According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1.5 million Americans sustain a brain injury annually, resulting in long-term disabilities. These disabilities include cognitive, emotional, sensory and motor impairments, which can permanently alter a person’s career aspirations and have profound effects on their relationships with others. Recovery starts in the brain where the damage occurred. Candis Fox, a Washington licensed educator and owner of Synsense, is no stranger to improving brain function.

Recovery from Brain Injury Can Be Elusive

Candis Fox Owner of Synsense
Candis Fox is the founder of Synsense, a cognitive remediation firm in Tacoma. Photo courtesy: Synsense

In 2012, after a motor vehicle accident left her with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), Candis spent nearly six incoherent months on her couch, unable to function in daily life, including cooking for herself. She struggled to remember things, she struggled to learn things and she struggled to get back to her former self. She was at a loss. With her doctor telling her nothing was medically wrong and that she would recover, she waited. She saw several neurologists and spent a year trying different medications; and she waited. Recovery was elusive. Finally, a friend referred her to an attorney who referred her to a speech language pathologist who happened to have a personal interest in cognitive remediation strategies. She found a therapist who happened to know a little about TBI recovery. She bounced around from provider to provider, gaining one piece of the puzzle at a time.

“I wasn’t going to live if I had to live the way I was, so I had to find a way to get better. With my Seattle/Bellevue care team, I showed a lot of progress and healed well enough to learn again.”

Once Candis regained the ability to learn again, she began studying with those who helped her heal and found a job with other educators at Lehman Learning in Seattle. During the next 3.5 years, she learned, practiced and designed improvements in existing remedial techniques and programs. But Seattle was never a home to her like Tacoma was, so she returned with the goal of bringing cognitive remediation to her hometown where she continues her studies and services.

Individualized Care for Brains

Today, Candis offers a wide array of direct services to people who are neuro-divergent, and provides consultation to families, businesses and schools on how to best support those seeking brain improvements. Candis operates outside of the traditional medical model and doesn’t accept insurance, but this allows her enormous flexibility in meeting people where they are. She is uniquely situated to catch those people, like herself, who are told to give it time. It’s common that after a few months of cognitive remediation, her clients are returning to work or school, better able to learn, focus and perform with a renewed sense of confidence and mastery of their own mental processing. Some of her work can be done at a distance, like with one recent client from Louisiana who had a TBI. After working with Candis remotely on a number of different strategies and programs, that client is back to her job as a CEO.

There is no one set protocol in brain injury recovery, but Candis is a problem solver. She uses established diagnostic testing and customizes remediation plans. She’s a bit nerdy about it, too!

Candis Fox
Cognitive remediation takes many forms. Photo courtesy: Synsense

“I read at least four neurological studies a week and take local and online courses on neurology, psychology and trauma sensitivity,” she says. “I have a Master’s in Secondary Education with over 13 years of experience, including three years in a classroom for middle schoolers with emotional and behavioral disorders.”

Working with Candis means that you are paying for full access to her experience and knowledge, empathy and techniques in a coordinated fashion. When you work with Candis, you sit, you talk and you engage in a plan that you adjust over time to drive your own brain evolution.

One Stop Shop

Candis believes that all people should have access and the means to acquire and implement cognitive remediation strategies and control over their healing journeys. Because every brain is different, she listens a lot and walks the road of cognitive improvement with each client, including finding meaningful financial arrangements that get clients what they need, but still keep her business in operation. She gladly works with lawyers to provide superbills, collective healing payment agreements with partnered naturopaths, and she even works with schools through consulting agreements. Synsense is about establishing and practicing right relationship. Right relationship to the mind, to emotions, to bodies, to the environment and to communities. Brain injuries are a messy business for everyone involved, but so is cognitive remediation, and Candis loves the complexity of all of it.

Check out Candis’s website, Synsense to learn more about how to retrain the brain for an improved quality of life. Synsense is located in Tacoma’s Proctor District. Consults and services are by appointment only, and you can reach Candis directly by calling 253-242-3357, or sending an email to candis@synsense.org.

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