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Returning to school after an ABI fact sheet

Returning to school after an acquired brain injury

Returning to school after a brain injury is an important step in a young person’s recovery. The transition back to school can be an exciting time for students and their family. However, many students will need some modifications and accommodations to help support their return to school. In addition, children may be anxious about returning to school while school’s may wonder about how the student will present, what supports they will require, and if the student’s support needs can be accommodated in the classroom.

How does the rehabilitation team support a positive return to school?

The rehabilitation team will link in with a student’s school early in the return to school process. Initially, school return will focus on social visits and connections, before gradually working toward increased attendance at school before focusing on academic skills and achievement. As part of this process, the rehabilitation team will aim to work with school’s to:

  • understand their student’s brain injury
  • understand a young person’s current post-injury function, likelihood of continued improvement, and areas not yet assessed
  • support needs (both short and longer term)
  • recommended modifications and adjustments to the physical environment, academic tasks, and social aspects of school life
  • current medical and activity restrictions
  • ideas to help return to school and how a graded return to school may work for your student
  • key contact persons at home, school, and within the rehabilitation team.

How long will the rehabilitation team help my student after they return to school?

The rehabilitation team will continue to support your student as they return to school and as they continue to progress through their schooling. This may include consultation on key concerns and brain injury concepts, assistance with understanding post-injury changes and function, developing support plans (such as individual curriculum plans), assisting in key transitions, and outpatient reviews.

Contact us

Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service
Queensland Children’s Hospital
Level 6, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 2950
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
f: 07 3068 3909

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Developed by the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, Children’s Health Queensland. Updated: October 2017. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.