Participation in play and learning are critically important to children and adolescents. While a child is on the rehabilitation unit, the rehabilitation team may approach his or her educational needs in a variety of ways. If the child is an inpatient for two weeks or more and is able to participate in traditional schooling, the Rochester school system may provide direct tutoring services. Alternatively, the child's own school may send work for the student. A volunteer Mayo Medical Student may assist with tutoring when needed.
On the other hand, some children may not be ready to participate in traditional education while hospitalized either because of their age or medical status. The educational needs for many child and adolescent patients change significantly as a result of their injury or illness. Rehabilitation counselors assist in determining each child's educational needs through informal assessments as well as formalized neuropsychoeducational testing; recommendations to accommodate those needs can vary widely, but may include approaches such as:
- home tutoring
- specific teaching strategies
- extra time for tests
- a gradual return to school schedule
- resource room use
- note takers
- extra sets of books
- physical site changes
With the family's permission, we include the child's school personnel in at least one care conference before the child or adolescent is dismissed from the rehabilitation unit, in order to facilitate communication and "next step" planning.