It is easy to become overwhelmed or confused by rehabilitation program information and options. But as you learn about rehabilitation, follow these tips.
TIP: Ask questions.
You know your child and family best. Don't be intimidated; ask questions about the rehabilitation programs you are considering. If you are confused or unclear about something, ask someone to explain it in more detail and in terms that you understand. View the worksheet for comparing rehabilitation programs.
TIP: Write it down.
Listen to your instincts and write down your impressions of each program. Putting your reactions, questions, and priorities down on paper can help you remember details and compare programs. Keep records of who you spoke to, the date and time, and a summary of your conversation. Keep all copies of letters. Ask permission to record important meetings, so you can review what was discussed at home and with other family members.
TIP: Visit the program.
Most rehabilitation programs have attractive brochures and information packets. It is your job as the potential consumer to look beyond the marketing materials to figure out if this program has what your child needs. Get a "feel" for the program by talking to staff and observing therapy areas. Quality of rehabilitation services is based on the skills and experience of staff, not the newness of the buildings or attractiveness of its brochures.
TIP: Gather information.
If you cannot visit because of distance or expense, try to gather as much information as possible. Ask if the program has a video or a website on the Internet. Ask the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire for information and recommendations from experienced parents and professionals.
TIP: Ask about programs for children.
Ask about other children in the program. Describe your child's age, current condition, and what your child was like before the injury. Learn if the program also treats children with birth-related conditions, chronic illness, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities. Learn how the brain injury program is similar to and different from programs for children with other conditions.