The Rehabilitation of Cognitive Disabilities

pp 57-76

Neuropsychological Theories and Cognitive Rehabilitation

  • Kurt A. Moehle
  • , Jeffrey Lee Rasmussen
  • , Kathleen B. Fitzhugh-Bell

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According to Webster’s Handy College Dictionary (1961), “rehabilitation” means to “restore to good condition or respectable position,“ whereas the term “retraining” means to “subject to discipline and instruction; remake proficient or fit.” We see “rehabilitation” as a more global and comprehensive term, and “retraining” as applying more to specific tasks aimed at restitution of some function. Diller and Gordon (1981) have called rehabilitation, “ active process in which services are provided to the disabled person in order to reduce impairment, to facilitate optimal acquisition of skills, and to overcome the disability” (p. 703). We would characterize this as a more generalist rehabilitation approach with patients whose primary disability happens to be of a cognitive nature, and acquired rather than congenital.