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Leslie Atwood Creates Mock Town to Help Individuals with Life Planning

The goal at NeuroRestorative is to help individuals become as independent as possible and back into their communities, living on their own and supporting themselves physically and financially. A part of this is preparing individuals before they go back into the “real world.” Leslie Atwood, MS/CCC-SLP, CBIS, Speech-Language Pathologist at our Lexington, KY, program, came up with a mock town, “Rehabopolis.” This mock town allows individuals to pay bills and manage money by receiving weekly mock paychecks, enabling team members to evaluate how an individual would be able to live on their own successfully.

Each individual draws a job out of a cup, is taught how to write checks, and is responsible for paying different bills, including rent, utilities, pharmacy costs, gas, food, cell phone, car insurance, cable, and wifi. The various offices in the building are mocked as utility offices. Individuals are responsible for dropping off bills on their due dates throughout the month, in the correct company mailbox. Our staff acts as the owners of those companies to help answer any questions on bills.

If an individual is unhappy with their job, they have the opportunity to apply for and get a different position. In addition, each individual is assigned a pet and is responsible for researching the pet, what it eats, and its monthly costs. To take it a step further, individuals will need to draw a money problem out of a cup each month. For example, needing new eyeglasses, haircut, tax refund, oil change, etc., and how they should financially handle that.

Not only is the team teaching them how to prepare themselves financially, but also communicatively. Each individual draws a problem from a cup weekly that doesn’t necessarily cost money. Still, they would need to be able to talk through how to handle it—for example, bugs in an apartment, noisy neighbors, problems with appliances, etc.

This is just one example of the extra steps our team members put forth to ensure our individuals are receiving the best care, preparing them to live a full, independent life.


Pictured: Leslie Atwood and Individual, Paul Dixon, who helped Lelisa create the simulation.