The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program specializes in rehabilitation for patients with all types of traumatic and acquired brain injury.  Our staff develops individualized rehabilitation plans for any level of severity of brain injury including patients in an unresponsive state to those with mild physical and cognitive impairments.  The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital provides a full continuum of services for patients with brain injuries. We offer inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapies, and our brain injury follow-up clinic on the same campus.  We strive to maximize function, independence, and healing in collaboration with the patient and the family.

Each patient in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program has a dedicated team to provide exceptional and individualized care.  Our staff members are experts at treating all aspects of brain injury. Our clinicians have extensive experience managing acute medical needs including tight muscles (tone), respiratory complications, and neuro-storming. We provide comprehensive support for any cognitive and emotional changes the patient may experience.

Patients in our Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program have experienced the following types of injuries or illness: 

  • Traumatic brain injury after an accident or fall
  • Brain tumor or post-chemotherapy/radiation injuries
  • Near drowning experience
  • Oxygen deprivation (anoxic) injury
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Meningitis or other neurological infection

The team includes:

  • Physicians
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Clinical Dietitians
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Nurses Recreation Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Psychologist Case Managers
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Music Therapists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Patient Activity Aides


The patient and family are the most important members of our rehab team.  One parent or caregiver is encouraged to stay the night with the patient to participate in daily care and therapies.  The interdisciplinary team meets weekly with the family and patient to discuss goals and discharge planning.  The family and patient will receive from nurses and therapist hands-on training with medications and adaptive equipment.  Staff will schedule education with patients and their families to increase confidence and comfort in managing their child’s medical needs and care.  Our social services department, case managers, and psychologist provide the families with resources and support during and after the inpatient stay.

School Program

The job of a child or adolescent is school, whether it’s back to kindergarten or back to college.  Our program employs two full-time, licensed teachers who specialize in school re-entry.  Our teachers, alongside school personnel from the patient’s community, will assess for any new educational needs.  Teachers work closely with school and therapy staff to integrate a plan for school reentry into the rehabilitation process. Individualized Educational Programs can be implemented and/or updated during admission when appropriate.  Staff provides sessions to work towards each child’s educational needs.  Attending class provides a sense of normalcy, comfort, and time to practice social skills and interact with peers.  In 2017, 88% of discharged patients returned to school in 10 days or less, when school was in session.

Services and Programming

Our highly trained team provides a customized treatment plan that adapts as the patient’s needs change over the course of the admission.  Monday through Friday, patients will receive between 1.5-3 hours of Physical, Occupational, and Speech-Language therapy, according to their individual needs and ability to participate in intensive therapeutic activities.  Additionally, Music Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Pet Therapy, and Child Life specialists provide group and individual activities as tolerated.  Rest and quiet are an integral part of healing after a brain injury, so allowing time for rest is a part of the treatment plan.

Brain Injury Responsiveness Program

The Brain Injury Responsiveness Program provides pre-rehabilitative care and educational services to patients who are in an unresponsive or minimally responsive state after a brain injury (Rancho I-III).  Often these patients are not yet ready to participate in acute therapy and require more rest and less environmental stimulation. This program focuses on optimization of recovery and balancing medical management, assessing arousal and awareness, and family education and training.  Patients who are admitted to our Brain Injury Responsiveness Program receive at least one and a half hours of a combination of speech-language pathology, physical and occupational therapies, along with other individual and group activities, as tolerated.  Length of stay is typically between 4-8 weeks. Patients in the Program may transition into the Acute Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, or to home with the family.  Home evaluations and recommendations for home modifications may be provided as needed.  Case Managers will assist the family in coordinating care and therapies that may be needed after discharge.

Acute Brain Injury Program

The Acute Brain Injury Program provides services for patients whose recovery allows for at least three hours of intensive therapy daily, five days a week.  These patients can tolerate more environmental stimuli and are working towards following commands (Rancho IV-VI).  In addition to three hours of core therapies, patients participate in music therapy, recreational therapy, education, and group activities.  Staff will coordinate with patients and their families to provide community outings as appropriate.  This gives the patient the opportunity to practice using new equipment and strategies before discharge.  Community outings help patients and their families feel more confident in community reentry.  The medical team will work to streamline medication regimens prior to discharge and communicate with the patient’s community provider about any new needs.  Length of stay is typically between 2-8 weeks.  Many patients continue to benefit from outpatient therapies after discharge, and our team will collaborate with the community therapists to ensure continuity.  Home evaluations and recommendations for home modifications may be provided as needed.  Case Managers will assist the family with the discharge process, and any follow-up care that may be needed.

Brain Injury Follow Up Clinic

The Brain Injury Follow Up Clinic sees patients who have discharged from the inpatient Brain Injury Program shortly after discharge, and on an annual basis as needed.  The follow-up clinic focuses on the transition back into the home, school, and the community, and your child’s changing needs as they recover and grow.