BrainSTEPS Program 2013


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The PA BrainSTEPS Program overview - updated for 2013! Brain Injury School Re-Entry Consulting Program that covers the state of PA, is funded by the PA Dept of Health and the PA Dept of Education, and implemented via the Brain Injury Association of PA since 2007. We have 30 consulting teams consisting of 320 active brain injury consultants from the educational, medical, and rehabilitation realms. It is a nationally recognized program for school consultation and training following student acquired brain injuries. For more information contact or go to our website

Brenda Eagan Brown, MSED, CBIS
BrainSTEPS Program Coordinator

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  • Injury to the brain AFTER the birth process.
  • Range in size from 8-20
  • Although it may appear at first like special ed. is the initial placement, over time as the brain begins to heal and reorganize – the student may begin to not look as “severe” as s/he once appeared.
  • While still recovering, to pay attention in class, the student’s brain may need to recruit non-injured areas of the brain. Areas that previously focused on filtering side conversations may not be available for that specific job, because they are needed for another task.
  • BrainSTEPS Program 2013

    1. 1. BrainSTEPS:Assists students, schools & families in Pennsylvania following acquired brain injury
    2. 2. Brenda Eagan Brown, M.S.Ed., CBISBrainSTEPS Program CoordinatorEmail: eaganbrown@biapa.orgPhone: 724-944-6542Website:
    3. 3. How Common is TBI in Children inPennsylvania? Each year, approximately 26,000 children in Pennsylvania sustain a traumatic brain injury (mild, moderate, or severe) Source: The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, 2008
    4. 4. In 2006 4,000children & adolescents in Pennsylvania were HOSPITALIZED with TBI Source: The Pennsylvania Department of Health, 2006 DOES NOT INCLUDE EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS.
    5. 5. Pennsylvania Students ReceivingSpecial Education Services as TBI: 705 2010-11 school year
    6. 6. The return to school can be devastatingif the health care facility (hospital orrehabilitation center) and the childshome school do not interact as soon aspossible and as frequently as possible Carter and Savage, 1988; Ylvisaker et al., 1991; Begali, 1992; Mira et al.,1992; Lash, 1992 Retrieved Jan. 21, 2013 from
    7. 7. The BrainSTEPS ProgramFunded by: PA Department of Health PA Department of EducationImplemented by: Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania since 2007
    8. 8. The BrainSTEPS ProgramBrain injury consulting teams available to families andschools throughout Pennsylvania.Teams consult with & train local school staff todevelop educational programs specific to individualstudent needs.
    9. 9. BrainSTEPS Assists Students withAll Acquired Brain Injuries Traumatic Brain Injury (includes Concussions) Non-Traumatic Brain Injury * Any child who has a brain injury that occurs AFTER the birth process can be referred to BrainSTEPS
    10. 10. BrainSTEPS Teams 30 BrainSTEPS teams cover PA 27 are based out of the educational Intermediate Units & 3 larger districts 320 active, trained BrainSTEPS team members Educational professionals Medical professionals Rehabilitation professionals Staff from community facilities Staff from government agencies University faculty Family members
    11. 11. Special Ed. Supervisor TAC 504 Consultant Coordinator Social OT Worker Therapist BrainSTEPSGuidance Teams PTCounselor Therapist School Family Psych/ Neuro- Member psych. Speech School Therapist Nurse
    12. 12. BrainSTEPSPA Hospital & Rehab Team MembersChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia The Children’s Institute of PittsburghLehigh Valley Hospital Acadia Rehabilitation, Inc.St. Christopher’s Hospital for Nemours/A.I. duPont HospitalChildren for ChildrenHershey Medical Center Mainline RehabilitationReMED Magee Rehab HospitalGeisinger Medical Center Schuylkill RehabilitationGood Shepherd Rehabilitation Reading HospitalSt. Vincent’s Medical Center The Barber InstituteBeechwood RehabilitationServices
    13. 13. BrainSTEPS Team Leaders  1-2 Team Leaders per team  Organize monthly team meetings  Ensure student referrals are assigned & follow up is provided  Conference call together once a month for 1 hour with the Program Coordinator for program updates  Meet with the Program Coordinator for Team Leader Regional day long workshops 2x/year  They are the “glue”
    14. 14. What BrainSTEPS Teams Do:1. Prepare the student for return to school2. Communicate with the district & medical, & rehab professionals3. Gather medical, rehab, & educational reports/evaluations to assist in making educational recommendations4. Conduct student observations
    15. 15. What BrainSTEPS Teams Do:5. Provide peer, parent and school training Individual to student needs for school teams General for district wide in-service trainings6. Consult on all aspects of the student’s educational plan & make recommendations to the district team7. Assist in transitioning a student from grade to grade or school to school by training new teachers
    16. 16. What BrainSTEPS Teams Do:8. Serve as a consistent point of contact for students9. Offer families support, education and connections to community resources BrainSTEPS Student Care Binders10. Continually update their brain injury expertise by attending mandatory BrainSTEPS trainings, obtaining CBIS certification, and participate in other brain injury training opportunities
    17. 17. 11. It is a goal of the BrainSTEPS Teams to monitor all referred students annually until graduation.
    18. 18. BrainSTEPS Database
    19. 19. BrainSTEPS Frontloads SupportsShort Term Impact = Long Term ImpactBrainSTEPS works to ensure that students whowould have otherwise immediately been placed inspecial education upon returning to school after abrain injury are receiving appropriate supports whilethe brain is healing, before school teams make longterm placement decisions
    20. 20. Brain Injury ScreeningBrainSTEPS teaches educators and relatedprofessionals to ask PROBING questionsabout prior brain injuries so theappropriate supports can be putin place.
    21. 21. Post Secondary TeamBrainSTEPS worked with the University ofPittsburgh to establish the 1st Brain InjuryCommittee in May 2012 – housed in the Disability Support Services office
    22. 22. December 2008,BrainSTEPS received anAward of Excellence for Programs & Services from the nationalBrain Injury Association of America
    23. 23. BrainSTEPS Concussion Support Statewide Return to School & AcademicsConcussion Management Team (CMT) Project
    24. 24. Concussions in Pennsylvania:Annually, approx. 22,000children ages 0-21 yearssustain concussions.
    25. 25. For students who linger, striking a balance between the need for rest and keeping up with academic content is the biggest struggle.
    26. 26. Available
    27. 27. Available
    28. 28. Return to School Concussion ManagementTeam Project (CMT) 2013 360 CMTs formed & trained by BrainSTEPS across the state of PA - Jan. 15, 2013 (40+ on wait list currently) CMTs consist of 2 monitors Academic Monitor (School Psych, Guidance Counselor) Symptom Monitor (School Nurse) CMTs follow BrainSTEPS Return to School Concussion Protocol
    29. 29. Layered Statewide Infrastructure forConcussion Return to SchoolConcussion CMT Monitoring BrainSTEPS Intervention– 4 wksoccurs 1-4 wks @ School level @ IU level 1st 2nd layer layer
    30. 30. CMT ProjectBrainSTEPS provided PA schools with: 1. A structure Concussion School Re-Entry Protocol 2. Information & guidelines CMT Training 3. Methods for gathering data CMT Monitoring Tools
    31. 31. Who can be referred to BrainSTEPS?
    32. 32. Who can be referred toBrainSTEPS?A student who:1. Has an acquired brain injury • At any point in the student’s life2. Is having difficulty at school as a result of the acquired brain injury• Concussions – referrals taken at 4wks. Post, unless there are “concussion modifiers” present• All other brain injury severities – referrals taken at any point in time. The sooner the better
    33. 33. BrainSTEPS Website
    34. 34. Available
    35. 35. Available
    36. 36. Contact:Brenda Eagan Brown, M.S.Ed., CBISBrainSTEPS Program CoordinatorPhone: 724-944-6542Email: