What Information Will the School Need?

The basic question is "How will this brain injury affect my child in school?" There is no easy answer to this. It is different for each child because each brain injury is different. Let your child's teacher and school know that your child has had a brain injury as soon as possible. Keep them updated on your child's progress. They need to know:

If your child now takes medication, the school will need information about your child's medications. In large schools, the school nurse or other health professional will administer or directly supervise the administration of medication to your child. In small schools, a health professional may not always be present. Identify the person responsible for administering medication to your child each day. Also identify another person who will administer medication to your child if the first person is not at school. Make sure everyone understands:

  1. Name of the medication(s)
  2. Amount to be given
  3. Schedule for giving it
  4. Any side effects of the medication
  5. What to do if there is a missed dose
  6. Any allergies your child has to medications

If your child has developed a seizure disorder since the brain injury, the school will need information about the seizures. Both you and the school staff should develop a plan for handling in-school seizures. Make sure the appropriate school staff knows about your child's seizure medication and the type of seizure your child has. Your child's friends may be concerned about your child's seizures. Tell them about your child's seizures and what they can do to help their friend. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet or necklace for your child.

Schools and rehabilitation programs often have different expectations about what students need, what resources are available, how much services will cost, and who will pay for them. Therefore, it is important that people from the school and rehabilitation staff get together as soon as possible to begin planning before your child goes home.

Rehabilitation staff can advise school staff about your child's:

School staff can advise rehabilitation staff about your child's:

Caution: Ask the school what paperwork (letters, tests, or reports) is needed to show that your child has had a traumatic brain injury.

By sharing this information, rehabilitation and school staff can work with you to figure out if your child will need:

  1. Special educational services or programs for learning
  2. Physical, occupational, or speech therapies at school
  3. Special transportation to and from school
  4. Adjustments in scheduling and activities
  5. Changes in the physical setup of your child's classroom

TIP: Follow up to be sure information is exchanged between rehabilitation and school staff by meetings, in writing, during visits, or by telephone.

TIP: Attend meetings between rehabilitation and school staff so you have first-hand knowledge of discussions and recommendations.

It was like learning another whole language when we applied for special education. The school gave me a handbook on the law and how to apply.