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?
- Changes in behavior
- Bulging “soft spot”
- Severe headache
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness, clumsiness
- Weakness to one side of the body
- Slurred speech
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
724-836-2460, ext. 2321
Websites for families and educators:
- Authorization to Release/Request Information
- When Your Child's Head Has Been Hurt
- A Concussion is a Brain Injury: Get the Facts: Sports & Concussions
- Patient/Family Education: Head Injury
- Brain Injury: The ABC Years: Understanding and Preventing Pediatric Brain Injury
- My Child Has a Brain Injury: What Do I Do Now?