About Us

The Beginning ...

Centre for Neuro Skills® was created out of necessity. In 1971, a devastating brain injury left 21-year-old Steve Ashley completely disabled. Conventional medicine and available long-term care gave Steve no hope for recovery or regaining an independent life.


As the brother of Dr. Mark Ashley, CNS founder and president, Steve provided a personal opportunity for Mark to demonstrate what he had come to believe through successful work with other individuals with brain injuries that rehabilitation was possible. People locked inside the physical prison of brain injury could be given the keys to freedom through an intense program of therapy.

Steve Ashley was the first CNS patient. His journey to recovery became the model for CNS ongoing philosophy and practice. Day after day of intensive therapy revealed Steve's unique physical and emotional needs. Steve needed to be functionally independent. He wanted to master some very basic living skills like eating, turning himself in bed, using his voice, moving his body. He needed help in controlling his behavior, in overcoming depression, and in finding a source of positive motivation. Most of all, Steve needed to be treated as an individual and as a whole person and treated with dignity and respect.

After months of successes and setbacks, celebration and frustration, Steve Ashley found a new life. He was able to speak, to drive his electric wheel chair, to use the bathroom, to feed himself, and to live alone in his own apartment. With CNS unique approach to therapy, he returned to society and to himself.

At CNS, each and every patient is a Steve Ashley. Our bias for action is to do whatever it takes to return the person with a brain injury to the highest level of independence possible.

Individuals recovering from brain injuries are treated with respect and dignity. Ethical working relationships between CNS staff members, patients, and their families are the basis of all treatment and therapy. Not every patient will regain the same level of function, but CNS is the place where individuals are rehabilitated to their fullest potential and given back a measure of control over their world.

At CNS, we believe that most survivors of brain injury, given the right therapy at the right time by experienced, involved professionals, can do more. They can regain a normal rhythm of living. That is what Steve Ashley taught us.

Philosophy of Quality

A person with brain injury may have just a single opportunity for rehabilitation. The quality of life that follows treatment often depends upon making the right placement decision.

CNS offers each patient the highest quality rehabilitation possible.

The quality of the recovery matters most at CNS. Reaching the best possible outcome drives treatment planning and delivery for every patient. Each member of the CNS staff is committed to doing all it takes, no matter how challenging, to help individuals with brain injury regain as much independence as possible.

CNS therapists are specially trained in working with persons who are brain injured. Several have close family members who have experienced brain injury. Their first-hand experience with the ups and downs of rehabilitation gives them an invaluable treatment perspective. They bring not only knowledge and experience, but also unique talents and compassion for understanding patients and helping them regain lost living skills.

Programs for Living

Development of individual treatment plans at CNS is a team effort. Each treatment plan is based upon an exten-sive evaluation of the patients's medical history and current level of function. Representatives from all therapeutic areas contribute to creating the overall treatment plan.

CNS believes relearning skills lost to brain injury is best accomplished through real-life experiences in realistic surroundings. The overall goal is to re-establish the rhythm of living disrupted by the injury. In that way, skills relearned are easily practiced in daily life. The patient works steadily towards successful re-entry into the community.

CNS patients live in comfortable, furnished apartments within the community, separate from the clinic. Patients apply newly acquired skills in home-like settings, and re-establish familiar daily rhythms of living. For example, rather than being served meals in a cafeteria, patients practice basic meal planning and preparation skills by preparing their own meals with the guidance of experienced therapists.

Ongoing Support

From the very beginning of the rehabilitation process, CNS works with families and involved, interested parties to plan for the day their loved one will be discharged. All available options are evaluated and information is provided to make decisions in the best interests of all concerned. Clinical case managers help sort out individual issues and develop solutions with which the recovering person and family can live.

An important part of the CNS philosophy is continued concern for the long-term well being of patients. CNS takes an active role in helping patients maintain their newly acquired skills following completion of their rehabilitation plan. CNS staff remains available to patients and their families long after discharge for ongoing advice and support, whether it's an experienced ear for listening or information for further care.