The team around your child
This section talks about the different people and services who may be able to support you and your child.There are a number of people who might be on-hand to support you when your child is back at home. All of these professionals will bring different skills to the table and contribute to your child’s wellbeing.
But it can be hard for parents to know where to start in accessing these services.1 Some parents talk about how strange and disorienting it can be to have lots of new faces around the home. If you and your child are visiting different professionals, this may be just as bewildering for the family.2
Community servicesMoving over to community services can be particularly difficult for parents, particularly if they have become used to a more intensive programme elsewhere.3 A return to the community must be carefully managed, and there are a number of areas of strain. There are a variety of community services – such as nursing, psychology and therapy – which are provided by various organisations. These may be provided privately, through your local authority, or through a charitable organisation.
Building a team around your childBut even if you and your family aren’t accessing community services, there are still different people you may come into contact with. These different people are like members of a team around your child.4 To take this further, you might think of yourself, a parent, as captain of that team. You will be the only person who sees everyone in the process, from the very first doctors to the physiotherapists when you’re at home.5 Many parents say they get a little tired of repeating the same information over and over to different professionals. You might find it easier to get this information written down. You can then share this with different people, or familiarise yourself with it so you can share it verbally.
TeachersIf your child is able to return to mainstream education, teachers will form part of the team around them. If we look back at some of the difficulties associated with acquired brain injury: 10 But this can be greatly helped along if teachers are kept informed and up-to-date.11 Some parents invite teachers to their child’s discharge planning meeting, if only so they hear about the plans for a child’s future ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’.12
- You can read more on this subject in our return to education section. Or read our section on talking with teachers.
Special Educational Needs co-ordinatorsSchools are required by law to have one of these people.13 They may be a teacher who has taken on this role on top of their existing duties. You might hear them referred to as SENCOs. Crucially, SENCOs are very much involved in the special educational needs process. This is the process whereby your child’s educational needs are assessed.
Medical and care staff
GPs (general practitioners)We all know what a doctor is. But GPs often act as a kind of gatekeeper to other services.
They may be able to refer your child to other people for specialist advice or treatment. Your GP should have been notified about the discharge planning meeting when your child left hospital.