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New Program Aims to Help Children with Brain Injuries Re-Integrate with School

NECN News reported online this weekend on a new program that is seeking to help children of all ages who have suffered brain injuries learn better and quicker. Our Chicago brain injury lawyers appreciate the need for efforts like this one. New information about how the brain recovers from these injuries-particularly in children-is coming out every day. The new data demonstrates that these traumatic brain injuries, even seemingly “mild” ones, have very real and prolonged effect on those hurt. Those consequences need to be taken into account at all levels.

This new learning program is called BrainSteps-Brain Strategies Teaching Educators, Parents, and Students-and is in use in Pennsylvania. Our Illinois brain injury lawyers have previously discussed this program which is growing in popularity across the state. It is essentially a “school re-entry” program which seeks to better transition children with brain injuries into the school and learning environment. It represents an important bridge, where otherwise children were often just thrown back into their normal routine without any real thought to the effect that the stressful transition might have on their recovery.

The article shares the frightening story of one little boy who suffered a terrible injury and is not using the program. The boy in the case was standing by as his father was cutting down a tree. The boy’s father position the boy at what he thought was a safe distance. However, when the tree fell it went in the exact opposite direction than the father thought it would go. Instead, it collapsed in the direction of the child. The boy was hit by a large branch and thrown into a pile of rocks. His skull was fractured in three places and there was bleeding on two parts of his brain. After being airlifted to an area hospital, doctors were able to save his life. However, they noted that it was a very close call.

The consequences of the brain injury were severe. The child had serious seizures for months and needed to wear a protective helmet for over a year. Even now, various bumps to his head are risky, and so serious caution has to be taken at all times to ensure he does not suffer any dangerous trauma.

Besides the physical damage, the young boy’s brain damage has other effects. He has struggled in school. He has difficulty paying attention in class and often has emotional problems. This is to be expected because the damage was to his frontal lobe-the part of the brain that handles an individual’s personality and emotions.

Fortunately, the BrainSteps program exists to help the boy through the difficult school process. A school psychologist has observed the child in the classroom to learn about possible issues. The professional then meets with the school administrators and parents to figure out the best teaching methods in his specific case. In addition, the psychologist works on ways to help guide the boy’s out-of-school homework and studying strategies. All of this is in conjunction with scheduling changes that better account for the boy’s unique needs

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