Students with TBI
Helping Children Return to Learning
Head injury and concussion among children are among the most serious healthcare issues facing parents, clinicians, and schools in the US today. A key aspect of rehabilitation is helping patients build and maintain their study habits, focus on developmental skills, regain independence, and reintegrate into the educational setting. Brain injury not only interrupts a student’s life, it can impair future learning capability, if appropriate treatment is not sought. In rehabilitation, therapists, nurses, and case managers establish treatment goals with the patient and their family, and together they become collaborators in the patient’s return to school. A comprehensive treatment approach puts the patient and family at the center of the interdisciplinary rehabilitation professionals providing residential, day treatment, and outpatient rehabilitative services.
For each child or adolescent, a program should be structured with rehabilitation services, educational development, and recreational activity. Evaluation of functional outcome goals should be established and modified throughout the patient’s rehabilitation. Following a brain injury in a child or adolescent, the ability to learn and accomplish milestone skills becomes a challenge. Educational programs offered in treatment are designed to help patients achieve measurable developmental outcomes.
Typically, an educational therapist evaluates each child’s learning style and creates an individualized program. A classroom setting with a curriculum base is also helpful, and offers a unique opportunity to enhance learning. Therapists can assist with the transition back into the school environment, including communication with the school, participation in meetings, and provision of written modifications or learning tips, according to the student’s specific needs.
If the child is ready to return to school, a case manager will often offer to assist with the necessary enrollment paperwork. In many cases, staff can also help families coordinate services through a school district of their choice.