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My OTDA Journey -The lessons I have learnt Two Years On

3 November 2020

On the 18th January 2018 Lenore's life changed.  profile picture of Female with cream scarf, light brown hair and dangle earrings smiling

A culmination of symptoms, and concerns raised by her Optometrist had led Lenore to her doctor’s office; several tests later and Lenore was again in her doctor's office being told she had a cricket ball sized benign brain tumour and she would require surgery.

Lenore underwent brain surgery and woke with a groovy new half shaved head, an epic scar, and a challenging road to recovery.

As Lenore started her rehabilitation, one of her major goals was maintaining her driver’s licence and returning to the roads.

“Maintaining my licence was a very big deal, it was very, very important to me. It meant my independence, not relying on others and feeling normal again”.

Six months after surgery, Lenore’s doctor sent through a referral to Indigo’s Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment (OTDA) team.

Lenore said on the day of her assessment she was very nervous, and very glad she had done driving lessons beforehand as the assessment was very different to a regular driving test.

“The driving test itself is very comprehensive and thorough. Because of my brain injury, the Occupational Therapist was assessing my capabilities, my response times, peripheral vision, how I used the pedals”.

Two years on Lenore is well on the road to recovery, and most importantly she is DRIVING!

“I understand why I had to do the OTDA assessment now, and it has helped me put things into perspective. I have a memory of what I was like beforehand [when I drove] and I took everything for granted; I wasn’t negligent, but I didn’t give as much thought to what I was doing. Passing the driving assessment, because it was with an OT gave me the surety and confidence that I was really capable to drive”.

Our OT Driver Assessors meet and work with their customers when they are vulnerable, nervous, and unsure. They don’t just assess, they provide context, perspective and confidence, and assist in giving people back not just their independence, but also their dignity and sense of who they are.