It is never too soon to begin. Planning for your child's discharge from rehabilitation needs to begin at admission. While it is impossible for anyone to predict exactly how your child will recover, everyone needs to know as soon as possible whether your child will be going home upon discharge. Parents frequently ask when their child will be discharged. Although estimated dates may be given, it is important to remember that discharge dates can be changed based on your child's progress and readiness for discharge. The following questions can help you start thinking about the future.
Suggested questions to ask the rehabilitation program...
- When will I know how long my child will be here?
- Who will decide when my child is ready to be discharged, and how will this decision be made?
- Why would my child's stay be longer or shorter?
- What do I need to do now to get ready for my child to come home?
- Can I remove my child from the program if we are unsatisfied?
- If my child will not be coming home directly, will the program help me identify other options?
- What kind of follow-up care is available after my child is discharged?
- Will my insurance or medical program cover out-patient care?
- How do I get copies of records after my child is discharged, and is there a fee?
- How do I coordinate ongoing care with my child's local doctor?
- How do staff communicate with and prepare school staff?
TIP: Contact the social work department to begin learning about resources in your community, region, and state. The process to collect information needs to begin early. Don't wait for a referral from the doctor.
My Child's Educational Needs
A brain injury can affect a child's ability to learn, so preparing your child and the school is an important part of pediatric rehabilitation.
Suggested questions to ask...
- How will the brain injury affect my child at school?
- Will my child get any tutoring or educational help while in the rehabilitation program? If so, how will you decide what is needed? Who will pay for this?
- How will I know if my child needs special education as the result of the brain injury? If so, will you help me apply for this?
- How will you prepare for my child's entry or return to school after discharge?
- Will your staff help my child's teachers understand the consequences of the brain injury and how this may affect my child in school?
- What kind of physical help will my child need to function in the classroom at school?
- What kinds of technological aids, including computers, that are available in the rehabilitation program may be needed at school?
- What follow-up will you provide to the school after my child comes home?
TIP: If your child will be in a rehabilitation program for an extended stay, ask about starting educational services as an in-patient.