Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Rehabilitation of Acquired Pediatric Neurological Disorders

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been in existence for nearly 355 years, yet has escaped scientific understanding until the last 10 years.  This talk will begin with a review of the traditional understanding of HBOT and evolve to our modern understanding as a gene therapy for wounds in any location and of any duration.  Dr. Harch will explain how acquired pediatric neurological disorders are generally wounding conditions of the brain and show how HBOT can be effective in minimizing injury, treating the wounds, and speeding recovery, regardless of the length of time after the injury.

By Paul G. Harch, M.D.

Dr. Harch is a clinical emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine physician who, following the work of his mentor Dr. Richard Neubauer, helped pioneer the treatment of adult and pediatric brain injury with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  He is the co-author of the book, The Oxygen Revolution, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans, and maintains a private hyperbaric medicine practice through Harch Hyperbarics, Inc.



Exosomes- Stem Cell Based Therapy Using Exosomes for Brain Injury and Neurological Disorders/Injuries

Review of stem cell-based therapy using exosomes for brain injury and neurological disorders. Dr. Douglas Spiel will discuss the science,  application and benefits of Exosomes as a stem cell based therapy .

By Doug Spiel M.D.
A clinical physician who is board-certified in both diagnostic radiology and interventional pain medicine. His extensive knowledge in both these fields coupled with his understanding of the physiological basis of stem cell therapy has made him a unique presence on the educational landscape of regenerative medicine. Dr. Spiel lectures nationally for some of the most respected societies including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the American Society of Interventional pain Physicians, Boston BioLife, Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute, the American Association of Stem Cell Physicians and numerous state societies. Dr. Spiel serves on the editorial board of Pain Physician, section editor of Interventional Pain Management Reports and is a board member of the American Association of Stem-Cell Physicians. As an expert in Endoscopic Spine surgery, Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional pain and regenerative medicine, his novel treatment strategies serve as the standards for exosome therapy. Dr. Spiel has successfully treated numerous diverse pathologies ranging from central nervous system disease to alopecia, autoimmune disease and various spinal and musculoskeletal conditions.



Grief and Trauma in Families with a Child with a Brain Injury

“Ambiguous grief” or “unconventional grief” are the terms used to describe the grief experienced by people who have a family member who suffered a major injury or illness and may not be the same person they were before the devastating incident. This presentation will give voice and understanding to the grief and trauma experienced by family members.  We will discuss what “ambiguous grief” looks and feels like, how to find meaningful self-care while serving as a caregiver, and other strategies for managing the complex feelings associated with grief and trauma.

By Bianca Bentzin, LMFT-Associate

Bianca is a government attorney in Austin and also provides caring psychotherapy for individuals and couples at Healing Branches Counseling. Bianca’s therapy practice focuses on helping couples and families learn to break unhealthy relationship patterns, learn new ways to communicate, and deepen their emotional connections. Her work with individuals focuses on supporting clients seeking healing from anxiety, grief, trauma, loss or life transitions. Bianca experienced her own journey with TBIs when her 17-year old son was in a near-fatal car accident in 2017. She is using what she learned from this experience to support other families working through this kind of journey and to help organizations learn how to create trauma-informed work environments.



Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waivers

This session will present information on the Medicaid and Texas Home and Community-Based Services waivers, including who is eligible, how to apply and the types of benefits available.  Waivers pay for things like home modifications, respite, adaptive aids, habilitation, personal care services and respite. Texas does not consider a parent’s income when determining a child’s eligibility for most of these programs. The waivers open a world of new possibilities and opportunities for children and families.

By Elizabeth Tucker

Elizabeth Tucker, Executive Director of EveryChild, has 34 years of experience in advocacy, policy and program development to support children and adults with significant disabilities to move from institutions to the community or be diverted from institutional admission. For the past 14 years, she has worked for EveryChild and has assisted more than 580 children living in institutions or at imminent risk of institutionalization to live with families. Over sixty percent of the children EveryChild has supported needed a host family. Elizabeth works closely with the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Family and Protective Services to support children with disabilities living in DFPS facilities to move to families with long term services and supports that extend into adulthood.  She has a deep understanding of the Texas system of community services and supports for individuals with disabilities including Medicaid and Medicaid waiver services. Elizabeth participates in a variety of state-level workgroups including the Promoting Independence workgroup, the Star Kids Advisory Committee, and the Policy Council for Children and Families.



Navigating Public Education When Your Child has a Brain Injury

Obtaining appropriate educational services can feel like a daunting undertaking.  This session will clarify the process, dispel some myths, and give you a road map for your child’s success.

By Michell Huber

Michell Huber is the proud mother of a young adult with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus named Kelsey.  Her family has weathered many challenges including numerous neurosurgical and orthopedic surgeries, countless therapies, and special education hurdles.  She has also experienced the joy of watching her daughter grow in resilience and determination, currently living on her own for the first time.  Michell is a special education advocate, having started with Kelsey, and now representing dozens of students in Central Austin.  She attributes her love for advocacy to a justice complex and a big mouth.



Transition 101:  Getting Started

Transition to adulthood starts whenever a family begins to worry about the future and kicks in big time at age 18! We will provide a starting point on key issues for transition, including funding and services, legal considerations at age 18, transition in public school and health care.  We hope this workshop will give you the courage to get started today!

By Cynda Green

Cynda is the TxP2P Pathways to Adulthood Transition Coordinator.  She provides support through talking with parents whose children are transition age and facilitating the Pathways to Adulthood transition training across the state. She has two children; her son is 17 and her daughter is 24 she has Autism, epilepsy and ID.  Her own personal experience has guided her to TxP2P where she supports other parents with a positive attitude and lots of enthusiasm.



Neuronutrition After Brain Injury: An Evidence-Based Treatment Approach 

Nutritional and nutraceutical approaches can be safe and effective for the management of chronic symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. This lecture will help educate families and caregivers on why nutrition can be so effective, what supplements have strong evidence for treatment, and how to safely approach nutritional management.

Dr. Emily Gutierrez, DNP, C-PNP, PMHS, IFM-CP, Neuronutrition Associates

Dr. Gutierrez received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University with a focus in translational medicine and integrative health. She has also been trained through the Institute of Functional Medicine and is a certified practitioner. Dr. Gutierrez received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and is board-certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner and mental health specialist through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Dr. Gutierrez is co-owner of a medical practice, Neuronutrition Associates, in Austin, Texas, where she specializes in functional medicine.



Bent, Not Broken: The management of scoliosis and spinal deformity after a brain injury

Scoliosis, or a curvature of the spine, is a common for children after a brain injury. The management of these spinal deformities encompasses a number of non-operative and operative interventions that will be reviewed in this presentation. The session will combine a review of up to date medical evidence on the management of spinal deformity after TBI combined with case-based presentations from children with spinal deformity managed by Dr. Kaufman. The session is meant to be interactive and families are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

By Brian Edward Kaufman, MD

Dr. Kaufman is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the management of spinal deformities in children. He practices in Austin with Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics and serves as the Vice Medical Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Kaufman has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for his work and research with children with spinal deformities. Dr. Kaufman was trained at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and received advanced, specialized training in pediatric spine deformities at the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information, please visit his website



Outpatient Cognitive Rehabilitation for Pediatric Brain Injury

This presentation will focus on areas of cognitive function commonly impacted by pediatric brain injury.  The impact of difficulties with functions including speed of information processing, attention, short-term memory, and executive skills will be discussed in terms of implications for daily functioning.  A cognitive rehabilitation approach focusing on compensatory strategies to address these difficulties will be provided.

By M. Cullen Gibbs, Ph.D.

For the past 9 years Dr. Gibbs has worked at TIRR Memorial Hermann performing neuropsychological evaluations, cognitive rehabilitation, and clinical research with persons who have brain injury.  He received an award for an investigation of progressive cardiovascular intervention for the treatment of persistent physical and neurocognitive symptoms in adolescents with sports concussion.  He is Pediatric Service Line Leader for outpatient rehabilitation. Dr. Gibbs has been an investigator on two NIH funded studies. His clinical and research interests include cognitive rehabilitation and the neurocognitive and neurobehavioral correlates of traumatic brain injury, stroke, sports concussion, and neurodevelopmental disorders.



Strategies for Life: Maximizing Function after Brain Injury in Children

Youth with brain injury often have a variety of cognitive deficits and dynamic needs across the continuum of recovery—due to ongoing development and increasing cognitive demands—that make generalization of skills from one context to another challenging. The goal of this session is to describe some of the promising approaches for remediation of later-emerging cognitive challenges after pediatric brain injury. The presentation will focus on novel approaches, such as strategy-based reasoning training, and integration of new technologies–including online/mobile and virtual reality platforms–that offer promise in addressing real-life challenges, particularly for adolescents. An emphasis will be placed on forward-thinking applications to maximize learning potential and higher-order cognitive skills (e.g., executive functioning, social cognition, etc.), including practical tips and takeaways.

By Lori G. Cook, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Cook, a certified speech-language pathologist since 2003, serves as the Director of Clinical Research at the Center for BrainHealth of The University of Texas at Dallas. She is also a senior clinician for the Center’s translational Brain Performance Institute as well as an adjunct assistant professor for UTD’s School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Dr. Cook has also served as site research coordinator for National Institutes of Health-funded studies investigating the long-term recovery of higher-level language skills as well as executive function abilities after brain injury in youth.


Music Therapy: Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

Ask a board certified music therapist. Our presentation will provide an overview of what is music therapy? Who is a music therapist? How does music therapy work? Who can benefit from music therapy? What are some of the benefits (short- and long-term) of music therapy services? And more. We will also be available to answer any questions you may have about music therapy.

By Sharolyn Ferrer BM, GCMT, MT-BC, MMT &Chris Lippke, MT-BC

Gsus Music Therapy Services & Center – Where our focus is the overall well-being of the mind, the body, and the spirit through music. We provide our services (music therapy, music lessons, professional music services) from our facility in San Marcos, Texas, and in homes and organizations across Hays and surrounding counties. We are a full-service, clinical and medical music therapy service provider specializing in biofeedback and neurobiofeedback. We work with individuals, groups, families, and couples through the broken places and transition roads in life from in the womb and all the way through until death; and we services businesses and organizations dealing with workplace dynamics, team building, trauma, conflict resolution, transitions, and self-care. We began Gsus Harmonies Nonprofit (soon to be a 501c3 organization) to help us fundraise to provide music therapy scholarships for veterans and the families/caregivers, those who are low-income and homeless, and those with special circumstances and alternative abilities. The performing ensembles we offer allow us to provide integrative community and live music playing and performing experiences for and with the outlying community, with a focus for those with special needs. We absolutely LOVE what we do!

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