Parents and Educators as Partners: A workbook on helping your child after brain injury

Parents and Educators as Partners: A workbook on helping your child after brain injury

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W. and Bob Cluett, A.D.

Workbook for parents of children and youth with acquired brain injury shows how to work more effectively as partners with educators to address the student's special needs for education and support in the classroom. It shows how to apply 6 essential skills used by professional case managers to negotiate educational services for the student. Included with the manual is a CD with over 60 pages of printable worksheets.

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Full Description

As children return to school after a traumatic brain injury, parents face new challenges to identify, negotiate, coordinate and advocate for services in school and the community. This workbook shows parents how to communicate and negotiate effectively with educators and school systems. Worksheets and examples teach parents how to use the skills of assessment, information gathering, referral, service coordination, advocacy and evaluation to create effective educational programs and service plans.

Includes workbook plus a CD with 64 pages of PDF files for all worksheets in a 8.5 x 11 format.

ISBN# 1-931117-46-2
Pages 64 pages, 7 x 8 ˝, softcover
Year 2016 (2nd edition)


Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

With over 35 years of experience working with persons with disabilities and their families in medical, rehabilitation, educational and vocational settings, Ms Lash is a Founding Partner and President at Lash & Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. in Wake Forest, NC. She is an author of many publications on the psychosocial impact of brain injury. Her writing and training emphasize coping strategies for families and practical interventions by professionals and educators in hospitals, rehabilitation programs, schools, and community agencies.

Trained as a social worker at Boston University School of Social Work, she moved from clinical work to program development in the community for many years. While at New England Medical Center in Boston, she developed national training programs at the Research and Training Center on Childhood Trauma. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Active on many national committees, she formerly co-chaired the National Task Force on Children and Adolescents of the Brain Injury Association of America and is on various national task forces on brain injury and editorial boards of rehabilitation journals.

She is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and currently Chair of the North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council.

Bob Cluett

As the survivor of a childhood brain injury, Mr. Cluett brings a special perspective as CEO of Lash & Associates Publishing/Training Inc. The skills that he developed during his corporate career of over 25 years in communication, marketing, direct mail advertising and sales now focus on publishing information about the consequences of brain injury among children, adolescents and adults.

He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina.



Special thanks

About the authors

Skill 1 Assessment

  • Worksheet list
  • Assessment summary

Skill 2 Information gathering

  • Worksheet list
  • Information gathering summary

Skill 3 Referral

  • Worksheet list
  • Referral summary

Skill 4 Service coordination

  • Worksheet list
  • Service coordination summary

Skill 5 Advocacy

  • Worksheet list

Skill 6 Evaluation

  • Worksheet list
  • Evaluation summary



Sample excerpt. Preview only-please do not copy.

No one is prepared for their child to have a brain injury. Few parents know what to expect as their child returns home from the hospital or rehabilitation program. As a child enters or returns to school, new questions arise. "How will the brain injury affect her ability to learn? Will my son need special help in school? Why has his behavior changed? Why does it take her so much longer to do her homework? Will the teachers know what a brain injury is? Will they know how to help my child in school? How will her friends react?"

Many parents hear that, "Your child is the first student we have had with a brain injury." This comment often worries parents and raises many questions about the ability of teachers and school staff. Parents may voice concerns about whether the local school will know how to help their child if they have little training or experience with brain injury. Many parents are just entering the world of special education because of their child’s brain injury. This can be confusing and raise even more questions about how their child will be tested, taught and evaluated.

Educators and school staff may also have many questions. They will be looking for information and resources to help them understand what it means when a student has a brain injury. They will be doing their best to understand how your child’s abilities have changed and to identify areas where help and support are needed.

Educators and parents share the same goal of helping your child learn. They have the same goal of helping your child acquire the skills that your child will need to develop into a mature and capable adult. Despite these common goals, educators and parents sometimes feel that they are on opposite sides when there are disagreements about the student’s abilities and needs and the resources that are available to help the student.

This manual was written to help parents and educators work together. It is based on six skills or steps including...

  • Assessment or "How has the brain injury affected my child?"
  • Information Gathering or "What do I need to know?"
  • Referral or "When do I need to get a specialist involved?"
  • Service Coordination or "How do I pull this all together?"
  • Advocacy or "How can I help others understand what my child needs?"
  • Evaluation or "How do I know if this is working?"

No will will ever know a child as well as a parent. As children move from teacher to teacher, class to class, school to school and from childhood to adulthood, parents remain the constant presence among the changing faces of teachers, therapists, assistants, counselors, psychologists and many others. Parents also have the unique view of their child’s abilities and difficulties before and after the injury. Yet, parents are too often unprepared for the many hats that they will wear in their new roles as general manager, service coordinator, advocate, negogiator and communicator. These are the skills that most parents of children with special needs develop over time as they work with school systems. However, parents of children with special needs that have occured because of an injury do not have the option of easing into the special education system slowly. They enter this world with little preparation and often develop the necessary skills by trial and error.

This manual helps parents understand and apply the six basic skills that will help them effectively manage and coordinate services at school and in the community when their child has special needs because of an acquired brain injury.

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