How do you manage a broken brain?
What do you do when some skills are at the 75th percentile, and others at the 2nd percentile?
Much harder -- when some skills are at the 4th percentile, and others below the 1st percentile?
Do you create a profile of all the strengths and weaknesses, a visual representation to analyze and evaluate? An MRI of the mind?
Do we create programs to strengthen the weakest areas, or do we leverage the stronger domains? Or perhaps the middle range?
Can two or three areas of strength be combined to help an area of weakness? What role might cognition-medications have? What role do psychostimulants have?
How do we measure progress? How do we know when to change direction?
How do we intervene in infancy, when surgeons can remove half the brain and a child can still go to college? In early childhood? In pre-adolescence? During the teen years? In adulthood? In old age?
How do we leverage computerized, robotic, and remote human aides to support severely impaired cognitive functions?
We flippin' don't know. We're barely at the starting line. We don't have any science-based plans. Opinions, yes. Science, no.
It's not surprising. We know far more about kidneys than minds, and we don't really know how to manage an injured kidney. Is physical exertion good or bad? How low should the blood pressure be? Proteins good or bad? Which proteins? ACE inhibitors?
We're in the stone age of managing broken brains -- little improved from the best practices of the past 10,000 years of human history.
I can imagine ways to start to make progress. Ways to study developing brains and minds. Ways to create comprehensive profiles of strengths and weaknesses and use those profiles in discussion and analysis. What I can't see is how to make significant progress in my lifespan with the available political will and funding.
Anyone know a billionaire with a cognitively disabled child?