Brain Injury Rehabilitation Specialists

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Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation

On With Life's Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation program consists of a comprehensive team of specialists who are dedicated to providing the highest level of care and service through a transdisciplinary, collaborative team approach. Our areas of expertise include brain injury, stroke, concussion, Parkinson's disease and complex neurological conditions. Our program is staffed with a team of therapists trained in neuro-based physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, neuropsychology and clinical counseling. At On With Life we work hand-in-hand with our persons served and their families to identify the rehabilitation goals most meaningful to each individual and develop the individualized treatment plans to meet those goals. 

Areas of Expertise

One of the areas that differentiates On With Life's Outpatient program from other programs in the Des Moines and Ankeny area, is that our sole focus is in the area of neuro rehabilitation. Our team has extensive experience working with individuals who have sustained or are living with a brain injury, stroke, concussion, Parkinson's disease or other complex neurological condition. We focus our resources on training staff specifically in these areas and staying up-to-date on the latest research advancements and technology available. Neuro rehabilitation truly is our expertise and we are dedicated to bringing the people we serve the latest in best-practice treatment options.

Brain Injury

Whether the injury was the cause of a fall, car accident, brain tumor, surgery, or other life-altering trauma, we understand that each injury is unique, with specific needs, capabilities and potential. Therefore, each person served in our brain injury program has a treatment plan that is created uniquely for them. Our extensive rehabilitation experience in the treatment of individuals living with a brain injury will guide us as we work together with each person served and their family to identify rehabilitation goals and utilize the latest technology and intervention strategies to achieve those goals. Our transdisciplinary team approach will also allow each member of the rehabilitation team to communicate with each other throughout the process. This allows for carry over of interventions from one therapist to another and supports improved outcomes for those we serve.


A stroke can affect many aspects of life, including movement, communications, reasoning, balance, swallowing, speech and even breathing. Depending on the severity of the stroke, different areas of the brain can be affected. At On With Life, we understand that because each individual is different in how the stroke has affected them, that each rehabilitation plan needs to be different. The focus of the program is to identify each participant's personal goals and needs and prioritize interventions in a manner designed to support improved outcomes and community involvement. Our specialized Stroke ENGAGE Program was developed based on this understanding and focuses on identifying and responding to the special and unique needs of individuals recovering from a stroke. ENGAGE is an acronym designed to highlight the engagement and individualized approach to outpatient stroke rehabilitation:

  • E- Energy to meet program demands
  • N - Neurologically stable  
  • G - Goals specific to rehabilitation
  • A - Access to family and community support 
  • G - Good control of medical conditions to prevent secondary stroke 
  • E - Enthusiasm for the rehab process

Additionally, because individuals who have sustained a stroke are at higher risk for sustaining a second stroke, the team emphasizes the importance of providing education to our persons served and their family members to help them understand the risks and behaviors/activities that may increase such risk.


A concussion, which is also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is often caused by a sudden jolt, blow, or bump to the head or neck that may produce symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, light and noise sensitivity, memory challenges, irritability and sleeplessness. Concussion symptoms typically resolve within two to four weeks. At On With Life Outpatient, we see individuals at all levels of recovery - those suffering from an initial acute concussion and those whose symptoms have continued past the normal two to four week recovery period. 

A concussion can affect each person differently and requires a transdisiplinary team approach to care. To provide this level of care, On With Life has developed a Complex Concussion program which assesses each individual's symptoms and needs within our uniquely developed 7 domains of care. Those involved in the assessment and ongoing treatment could include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, vestibular and balance specialists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, counselors, neuro-ophthalmologists, vocational specialists and external physicians/specialists.  Based on the individual needs, we will tailor each treatment plan and involve the right team members to maximize function and improved outcomes.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease can impact many aspects of life, but at On With Life, our Parkinson's Disease program focuses on how individuals living with Parkinson's disease can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. As a neurodegenerative disease, individuals living with Parkinson's disease may experience walking difficulties, balance and coordination challenges, fatigue, tremors, difficulty with speech and fine motor skills, memory/cognitive challenges and depression. The goal of On With Life's Parkinson's Disease program is to provide a comprehensive outpatient program that addresses the specific needs of those impacted by Parkinson's disease at all levels of progression. The Parkinson's program is supported by a transdisciplinary team of clinicians that may include a physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist, neuropsychologist and care manager in addition to a primary care physician, neurologist and other medical specialists involved in their care. Our approach addresses mobility, balance, daily living skills, wellness, functional vision rehabilitation, aging with Parkinson's, home wellness programs, caregiver education, assistance with return or continuation of work, cognitive evaluation and rehabilitation, support and education regarding Parkinson's.

On With Life has a robust LSVT BIG and LOUD program which is an evidence-based therapy program. LSVT BIG focuses on strength, movement, balance, coordination and function. Each treatment focuses on the production of large amplitude (BIGGER) whole body movements and can improve walking, movement quality and independence. LSVT LOUD improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a system of exercises. These treatments can improve speech intelligibility, problems with articulation, diminished facial expression and impaired swallowing.

Other programs and areas we address include:

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation

  • Healthy Aging

  • Aquatic Therapy

  • Vision Rehabilitation

  • Vestibular rehabilitation

  • Return to Work or School Transition

  • Retraining for activities of daily living

  • Wheelchair positioning

  • Tone and contracture management, including upper and lower extremity splinting and serial casting

  • Low vision rehabilitation

  • Gait assessment and training

  • Home evaluation and modification

  • Medical nutrition management

  • Dementia screenings

  • Cognitive retraining and strategy development

  • Augmentative communication evaluation and treatment

  • Dysphagia and swallowing management

  • Neuro - IFRAH*/NDT based interventions

  • Management of communication disorders

  • Wellness programming that includes boxing and adaptive yoga

Outpatient Services and Programs

Our Team of Specialists Help Those with Neurological Injuries or Neurological Conditions

The Outpatient neuro team of specialists includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, counselors and care managers. Our team provides therapy and programs for those that have sustained a neurological injury such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke or brain tumor; or those living with a neurological condition such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Upon referral to our program, our admissions team will complete an evaluation of your needs and work together with you to develop an individualized plan that is appropriate for you and the goals you have. All eligible staff are Certified Brain Injury Specialists by the American Academy of Brain Injury Specialists.

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