Adolescent Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
Adolescents who sustain a brain injury have developmental and emotional needs that are distinct from adults who have sustained a brain injury.
Shepherd Center has more experience treating teenagers with these kinds of injuries than general rehabilitation facilities. Shepherd's adolescent program focuses on a healthy lifestyle with the highest possible level of functioning and independence.
Shepherd Center’s adolescent brain injury rehabilitation program includes:
- An interdisciplinary approach to addressing the teen patient's special need for independence, socialization, age-appropriate activities, security and privacy;
- A high priority on involving family and friends;
- An emphasis on private rooms or rooming teen patients together;
- Education and training in self-care, problem-solving, self-esteem, self-advocacy, drug and alcohol awareness, self-care and sexuality.
Returning to School after a Brain Injury
About 95 percent of adolescents in the Shepherd Center Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program return to school within three to six months of discharge. Shepherd's treatment teams begin working with the patient's school from the day they enter the hospital. This helps therapists establish an individual's pre-injury academic status and integrate class assignments into treatment as recovery continues.
Neuropsychologists and speech therapists conduct comprehensive evaluations to identify cognitive deficits and create treatment goals. Goals can include improvement in reading comprehension, listening skills, speech, writing and memory. Shepherd Center also provides strategies for patients, families, teachers and classmates to help overcome problems that could interfere with academic success.
Shepherd's back-to-school efforts continue even after discharge. For teens with brain injuries, a specially trained speech therapist assists school systems in preparing individual education plans. This interaction enables the therapist to educate teachers and school administrators on cognitive, social and behavioral issues related to the injury.
What's more, teens may receive follow-up support after discharge through Shepherd's Transition Support Program. It works to maximize client and family independence and autonomy by providing education, guidance and support upon discharge to home to improve health and safety outcomes.
Brain Injury Peer Support
Shepherd Center understands the need for adolescent patients to have positive peer interaction post-injury. Shepherd Center organizes teen "group time" that is dedicated to discussion of issues such as going out with friends, planning and organizing outings, and going back to school.
Family and Sibling Support
Educating family members about brain injury and rehabilitation goes a long way in helping both the patient and family adjust emotionally. A Shepherd Center psychologist with extensive adolescent treatment experience is available to meet with family members for this purpose.
Shepherd Center Teen Outings
Shepherd Center's community outings for teens include going to restaurants, shopping malls, sports arenas and even camping. These outings promote problem solving and the experience of being out in the community in a supportive group. Therapists are always on hand to provide logistical and moral support.