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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Choosing a High - Quality Rehabilitation Program

Babies who have suffered a brain injury at birth are likely to develop cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities as they grow up.

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Disorders such as learning difficulties, autism, ADHD, and behavioral problems are shown to have a strong correlation with birth brain injuries. What’s more, babies may require lifelong assistance with physical development, such as coordination and balance, walking, sitting down, standing, and other daily tasks like eating and getting dressed.

Choosing a high-quality rehabilitation program for your child can help him or her with development. Below we discuss two types of therapy: physical and occupational.

1. Physical Therapy

A physical therapist will work with your child to improve and help develop physical independence by teaching him or her and monitoring a series of exercises which often include:

Elk & Elk
  • Strength training
  • Joint mobilization
  • Flexibility
  • Balance activities
  • Coordination exercises

When it comes to choosing a therapist for your child, it is important to ensure that they have experience working with children who suffer from brain injuries. He or she should must be a board-certified clinical specialist, too, and ideally a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

2. Occupational Therapy

This type of therapy helps people overcome challenges that may prevent them from carrying out daily tasks. Children with a brain injury may need assistance with:

  • Emotional issues
  • Using the toilet unassisted
  • Dressing and feeding

Infants who need help with feeding, for instance, may be given assistance through a feeding tube until they’re old enough to move on to oral feeding. An occupational therapist will teach your child how to eat without a tube.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Rehabilitation Program

The overall goal of brain injury rehab is to help your child become as independent as possible. The earlier rehabilitation begins, the better the results are likely to be.

The best place to start when choosing a rehab program is with your hospital admissions staff. Information will also be available at any of the facilities you are considering and on their websites.

One of the most important questions to ask a therapist is the amount of functional improvement or development you can expect your child to gain during a period of treatment.

There are a number of stages of recovery from a brain injury, and a variety of levels of care may be needed throughout your child’s life. It is important to find out if the same facility or therapists will be able to offer your child the right levels of care throughout their developmental stages in order to create a smoother road for success. A few things you may want to consider when choosing a rehab program include:

  • A low-level brain injury program for children who may be slower to recover, or aimed at infants especially
  • Short-term care programs that allow respite for parents who are primary caregivers
  • Long-term supported living, if it is going to be necessary
  • What plan can therapists provide for your child’s future?

Be sure to research therapists and facilities before making a decision and carefully look at reviews, talk to your family practitioner, and interview therapists beforehand.