Adolescent Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
Shepherd Center’s Adolescent Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program addresses the developmental and emotional needs of younger patients who have sustained a brain injury. Led by world-renowned physicians and staff, the Adolescent Program focuses on a healthy lifestyle with the highest possible level of function and independence. We use a coordinated, team-based approach to traumatic brain injury rehabilitation to help adolescents reach their maximum potential. The program extends across inpatient and outpatient and Beyond Therapy® settings that match the individual patient’s cognitive and behavioral abilities as they progress.
About Our Adolescent Program
Young patients with brain injuries have unique needs compared to adults with brain injuries. Specialists in Shepherd Center’s teenage rehabilitation program carefully evaluate each young patient’s brain injury, family history, medical needs and rehabilitation goals. Our specially trained and experienced staff is dedicated to serving the unique needs of the adolescent population through the program.
Our adolescent patients with a brain injury receive:
- Medical, psychological, and rehabilitative care from an experienced team of physicians, nurses, neuropsychologists, psychologists, counselors, and occupational, physical, speech, and recreation therapists.
- An interdisciplinary approach to addressing teen patients’ special needs for independence, socialization, age-appropriate activities, security and privacy.
- A high priority on involvement with family and friends.
- Education and training in self-care, problem-solving, self-esteem, self-advocacy, drug and alcohol awareness, and sexuality.
- Programming that addresses thinking, communication, behavior management, and community integration.
A brain injury affects adolescent patients as well as their entire families. Shepherd Center provides extensive support, including:
- A Shepherd Center psychologist with extensive teen rehabilitation treatment experience meets with family members to educate them on brain injury rehabilitation.
- Shepherd’s licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and chaplains work with family members individually or as a unit to address emotional needs and new dynamics.
- Shepherd offers extensive Peer Support for families of brain injury patients both during inpatient care and after discharge. Peer Support walks alongside patients’ families and offers their own journeys as reference guides, coming together on a level impossible without shared experience. Peer Support offers one-on-one meetings, group meetings, classes, calls, texts, emails, social media, and video meetings. Families can decide which method of support works best for them.
Adolescent Brain Injury and Returning to School
Before returning to school, adolescent patients meet with neuropsychologists and speech therapists who conduct comprehensive evaluations. These evaluations typically occur as part of the outpatient day program and help to identify cognitive challenges and create treatment goals, which can include improvement in reading comprehension, listening skills, speech, writing and memory. The therapy team also provides strategies for patients, families, teachers and classmates to help overcome challenges that could interfere with academic success.
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 adolescent brain injury.
Teens who do not continue with Shepherd’s Outpatient Program may receive follow-up support after discharge through Shepherd Center’s Transition Support Program. This program works to maximize client and family independence and autonomy by providing education, guidance and support upon discharge to improve health and safety outcomes.
Shepherd Center Teen Outings
Shepherd Center's community outings for teens typically occur as part of the outpatient day program and include going to restaurants, shopping malls, sports arenas and even important milestone events such as Shepherd prom and homecoming. These outings promote problem-solving and provide the experience of being out in the community in a supportive group. Therapists are always on hand to provide assistance and support.