Rehabilitation Psychology/Neuropsychology (RPN) provides comprehensive psychological care to patients participating in the Milestones Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation Program as part of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team.  

Multidisciplinary team members include:

  • Program case manager
  • Speech language pathology therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Art therapists
  • Rehabilitation engineering
  • Education
  • Consultation with referring physicians 

Participation in the Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation Program typically follows a hospital admission or other significant medical intervention related to a traumatic or acute health crisis.  Outpatient rehabilitation often marks the transition from the initial, medically-focused phase of treatment to a longer term phase of treatment in which patients return to more familiar routines and activities at home, school, and in the community. Patients and families are excited to progress to outpatient rehabilitation; nonetheless, intensive rehabilitation is not easy. The Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation Program includes a variety of therapies to address physical and cognitive abilities lost due to illness or injury. It is common for children to experience physical discomfort, cognitive fatigue, and emotional distress related to the challenges associated with recovering from injury or illness and efforts to return to more typical activities. RPN works with patients and families as they adjust to the experiences of rehabilitation and cope with injury or loss of functioning. RPN services may include:

  • Age appropriate education regarding injury, illness, or impairment
  • Behavioral strategies to promote optimal levels of independence
  • Assessment and treatment of emotional/behavioral reactions to impairments and disability with cognitive and behavioral techniques.
  • Assessment/treatment of behavioral concerns at home or in rehabilitation therapies
  • Psychological and educational support to family
  • Consultation and problem-solving regarding community/social integration and educational/vocational planning
  • Brief assessment of cognitive sequelae to brain insult
  • Referrals for appropriate community providers, as needed

Most patients experience a wide range of emotions during rehabilitation. Some amount of sadness and worry are normal, expected emotional reactions to illness/injury. RPN assists patients and families with effective participation in therapies and gradual return to age appropriate peer and community activities. Sessions with RPN will also monitor and evaluate changes in mental status, track neurocognitive recovery (thinking skills), and conduct brief neuropsychological screens when appropriate. We provide education to patients and families about how changes in neurological status affect thinking skills, emotions, and behavior. During the recovery process patients often progress through many changes in thinking and behavior that can be difficult for families. RPN will help patients and families manage these cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes.

The majority of patients in the Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation Program will be referred to the Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic for a formal neuropsychological assessment. RPN faculty and fellows at both locations communicate closely regarding current treatment goals and challenges. Recommendations from the neuropsychological assessment are carefully written to address the unique needs of patients at this phase of rehabilitation. 

Common populations served:

  • Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Infections of the Brain and Encephalitis
  • Stroke
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Amputation
  • Pediatric Cancers (e.g. leukemia, brain tumor)
  • Other Neurological Conditions (nervous system related)

For more information please contact us at 734.998.2483

Resources:

Brain Injury

http://www.biausa.org/
http://www.brainline.org/

Spinal Cord Injury

http://www.spinalcord.org/