Outpatient services - brain injury rehab including concussions
The Brain Injury rehab outpatient team serves clients (from 3 months up to 18 years) and families who require rehabilitation following an acquired brain injury and are recovering at home.
Brain injuries are difficult to understand. You can’t see them, yet their impact can be complex and long lasting – affecting not only the person with the brain injury, but also their family.
Depending on the injury, people may experience a variety of emotional, behavioural, learning, physical, psychological and social difficulties. The brain injury rehab outpatient team is set up to address all these issues.
The program serves infants to 18 year-olds who have experienced a brain injury from a tumour, trauma, stroke or other illness, for example, meningitis or encephalitis.
A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on diagnostic tests such as x-rays, CT scans or MRIs. Concussions may occur following a blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head. A child does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- cognitive symptoms (confusion, disorientation, poor concentration and memory)
- physical complaints (dizziness, headaches, vision, sleep disturbances, nausea, or vomiting)
- speech language changes
- emotional changes
It is important to seek medical help as soon as possible following a concussion. If symptoms persist for 4 weeks, and your child is unable to return to full workload at school or unable to return to sports, a family physician may refer them to our BIRT outpatient services for consultation.
Concussion services offered include medical follow up, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work. Services are individualized and depend on your goals or priorities. We also offer concussion education through Concussion and You.
Services for clients & families
As part of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s client and family-centered care approach, we provide the following services:
- Brain injury follow-up clinic and consultation – a physician and nurse see youth regularly from the time of referral until young adulthood. Through this clinic, clients bring forward any concerns, therapy needs, and create a plan for medical, academic and community transitions.
- Social workers provide individual and/or family, as well as couple counselling to help improve coping related to emotional, behavioural, social and academic issues. Social workers also link clients and families to appropriate community agencies and resources.
- As needed, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech-language pathologists provide assessment, consultation, intervention/treatment and referral to appropriate community agencies and resources.
- Multidisciplinary assessments are available as required.
- Education about brain injury and community integration are offered.
- Support groups, therapy groups and educational workshops are available.
If needed, recommendations to other services at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are given.
Service Providers, Professionals & Organizations
Service providers, professionals or organizations can request:
- Education about the needs of people with acquired brain injuries and their families
- Consultation about community reintegration
- Development of partnerships
The brain injury rehab outpatient team includes the following professionals:
- Ambulatory-care nurse
- Occupational therapists
- Psychology assistants
- Social Workers/community developers
- Speech-language pathologists
These professionals work with each client and family to develop an individualized plan to address their unique needs.