• Westmoreland Intermediate Unit BrainSTEPS Team Mission Statement:

    The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit BrainSTEPS Consultation Team is committed to the successful school re-entry of children and adolescents within Westmoreland County who have experienced brain injury, mild to severe.  Our goal as a multidisciplinary team is to work cooperatively with families, medical facilities, school districts and community agencies in the provision of outreach services including, but not limited to: the training of key personnel; liaison/family support; educational needs identification; educational plan development; educational plan implementation; and the monitoring/trouble shooting of educational service delivery.  It is our fervent belief that through the pooling of interdisciplinary resources within our service area, it will be possible to maximize positive outcomes for our students, both now and in the future.

     

    BrainSTEPS

     

    BrainSTEPS School Re-Entry Program


    Each year, over 4,000 of Pennsylvania’s children survive severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) significant enough to require hospitalization. Many are left with life-altering difficulties in physical, cognitive or behavioral functioning.

     

    The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, under contract from the PA Department of Health and partnered with the PA Department of Education, has created the Child & Adolescent Brain Injury School Re-entry Program called BrainSTEPS (Strategies Teaching Educators, Parents, and Students).  BrainSTEPS is working to make sure that those who must provide educational support to children with TBI have a good understanding of brain injury, the resulting challenges, and supports and interventions that will help these students achieve educational success through graduation.

     

    The BrainSTEPS team:

    • Is comprised of education professionals, medical rehabilitation professionals and family members.
    • Receives ongoing training from local and nationally recognized leaders in the field of pediatric brain injury.
    • Provides “BrainSTEPS 101” presentations, helping schools compensate for the lack of brain injury training in college teacher training programs.
    • Provides training, consultation and on-going support regarding identification, school re-entry planning, IEP development, intervention selection and implementation, long-term monitoring of students and other issues professionals face in supporting students with brain injury.
    • Consults with teams through the BrainSTEPS Program, on a case by case basis.

    What is a Head Injury?

    A head injury is a blow or trauma to the head.  While no signs of a brain injury may have been found at this time, problems may develop up to 48 hours later.  The signs may be subtle, and may last for days, weeks, or months. Watch your child closely after the injury.

    What are Signs of a Head Injury?

    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Changes in behavior
    • Bulging “soft spot”
    • Severe headache
    • Blurred vision
    • Dizziness, clumsiness
    • Weakness to one side of the body
    • Slurred speech
    • Confusion
    • Seizures

     

    What Does the BrainSTEPS Program Offer?

    • Development of teams
    • Ongoing team training
    • Consultation from IU team
    • Hospital to school re-entry
    • IEP and 504 plan development
    • Academic interventions
    • Educational programming
    • Graduation planning

     

    How Do I Make a Referral?

     

    To make a referral, visit the BrainSTEPS website:  BrainSTEPS Referrals  

     

     

     

    Questions about the BrainSTEPS Brain Injury School Re-Entry Program?  Contact the team leader:

     

    Natalie Smith, Educational Consultant

    BrainSTEPS-WIU Team Leader

    nsmith@wiu7.org

    724-836-2460, ext. 2321

     

     BrainSTEPS Brochure for Westmoreland County

      

    Resources: 

    Websites for families and educators: