Returning to School After a Brain Injury

In the case of a child with a brain injury, both the family and the child may be eager for a return to school. 

There are resources available to assist with this transition:

  • In the education system, most school boards provide special needs services, so your child does not necessarily have to attend a specific school. The manner in which schools provide services, however, may vary.
  • Your local brain injury association can be of assistance when your child returns to school.  It can provide education on brain injury to your school, consult with teachers, and provide a link to the hospital and other medical services.
  • Health Professionals. The health professionals most likely to be involved with your child’s return to school are psychologists, speech / language pathologists, and occupational therapists. In injury associations, health professionals, and the education system should work as a team with the family and child. 

Because school is a highly stimulating environment, it will be difficult at first for your child to deal with all the noise and activity.  

This is why many children return to school gradually.

Your child may start by attending a few hours, two or three days a week, without educational demands.  As they gain energy, attendance is gradually increased and a curriculum started. Eventually, your child may be able to attend full days, five days a week.

In rural areas, transportation limitations may mean that your child is at school for longer periods than appropriate.

If fatigue in school is a problem, ask if your child can have a rest period.

[Source: Alberta Brain Injury Network: Survival Guide (2003)]