Who We Help

Synapse House Stardust Bowling Outing March 23, 2018

We had a blast bowling at Stardust Bowl! The highlight of the outing was when Synapse House member, Ranier, rolled a STRIKE at his first time up! #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth

Posted by Synapse House on Sunday, March 25, 2018

Synapse House is the premiere social enterprise dedicated to giving brain injury survivors a second chance.  Founded and led by Speech Pathologist Deborah Giesler, MS, CCC/SLP, who has over 25 years of experience working with this population, Synapse House helps people with brain injury and stroke and their families:

  • Find a friendly place to fit in with our highly touted “Clubhouse Program”
  • Recover as much brain function as possible at precisely the right speed
  • Relearn basic job skills, including communication, computers, general office skills
  • Discover the fun of teamwork while remembering important math, logic and organization skills via our unique social enterprise program called, “Flour to Empower.”
  • Gain access to a loving, supportive community of people who just “get it”

Synapse House is open to new Clubhouse members via direct inquiry and healthcare professional referrals.






At a Clubhouse you are not a patient or a client, you are a member. You belong. It’s about your goals and your individual needs. What is so amazing about the Clubhouse Model is that the Clubhouse needs you as much as you need it. Members come to the Clubhouse and work on the actual day to day operations of the organization. Real work is what gets people better, not sitting on a couch or completing worksheet. The work is divided into different Work Units. All of these help one be better at home, in their community and for some, in a job.


We call our bakery program, “Flour to Empower” …and it is really something special!  

Most days, if you walk into the Clubhouse, it smells fabulous.  That’s because in our spacious, clean commercial kitchen, abiding by all the regulations set down by the Illinois Department of Health, we have specially trained baking supervisors who guide any members who choose to participate through the simple, logical, precise steps of creating delicious baked goods.

Our unique “Flour to Empower” program has proven that it is one of the very best ways for survivors to get hands-on, practical healing in a safe, controlled environment. The smiles on their faces after a successful bake are even better than the flavors of our popular assortment of delicacies.

We use the baked goods our members create to:

  • Thank the kind-hearted donors who participate in our Flour to Empower Gift subscription
  • Sell to customers directly through our bakery storefront in Elmhurst, Illinois
  • To celebrate birthdays and special achievements at our Clubhouse
  • To ship nationwide for those who support our mission
  • Finance fun activities at the Clubhouse
  • Share with our neighbors

By physically working with the flour, sugar, milk and eggs, members get a visceral chance to reconnect to their senses of sight, touch, smell, sound and eventually…after a little while at 350 degrees…their sense of taste.  

These are just a few of the many benefits members get with the Flour to Empower program.  And best of all? Working together in the kitchen is a lot of fun!

  • Practice math and memory skills
  • Work with others in harmony
  • Improve the ability for social interaction
  • Use language to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings
  • Create a product that contributes to the greater good (click here for details)
  • Re-learn basic business skills, such as packaging and shipping our delicious products
  • Develop a sense of teamwork and gain a tangible sense of accomplishment




Synapse House is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization.  We receive funding from donors, membership dues, Workmen’s Compensation insurance carriers and the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The Employment Unit addresses barriers and focuses on abilities to return individuals back to work, despite that fact that many will not be able to resume their former professions.  

Through our Employment Unit, individuals will work on regaining hard and soft skills, create a resume, job seek, and get placed in inclusive and supportive environments. The Employment Unit Coordinator works with members and their families on how to meet state expectations and find employment.

Synapse House staff happily work with members and their families to help them make the most of social services available in their area.

List of Grants and Insurance Companies we work with:

  • Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Supported Employment Program
  • Workmen’s Compensation Insurance
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Job Coaching

We consider it a part of our mission to support brain injury survivors and their families with the mountains of unfamiliar paperwork that comes with a brain injury.  We may be aware of programs and benefits to assist you or your loved one. Please inquire.