Children with moderate to severe brain injuries can have learning and behavioral difficulties throughout their lives. These children and their families require support and guidance to help achieve their full potential. While the brain injury does not change over time, the child’s difficulties may become more apparent as they grow and fail to meet educational and independent milestones. Most children will also require special services or accommodations from their school in order to maximize their education and independence. Our multidisciplinary acquired brain injury clinic looks to address the challenges that children with moderate to severe brain injury can face and to offer support to their family while decreasing the need to travel to multiple appointments.

Multidisciplinary care

Our physicians and clinicians recognize that the challenges children with moderate and severe brain injuries have can change as the child grows and can lead to difficulty with behavior and learning. These patients require a specialized multidisciplinary clinic in which they can see several medical sub specialists during one appointment and in one location, including specialists from:

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Psychology.
  • Speech therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Recreational therapy.
  • Social work.

During the clinic session, the multidisciplinary team evaluates each child and makes treatment recommendations.

Treatment Options

Treatment options may include:

  • Medications or other interventions to help their muscle tightness and movements.
  • Medications or recommendations to help with attention and arousal.
  • Evaluation for orthotics and other equipment.
  • Evaluation of therapy services.
  • Working with schools to ensure appropriate IEP or other accommodations are in place.
  • Recommendations to improve engagement in community activities.
  • Counseling to address behavior, emotional difficulties, and adjustment to their injury.
  • Evaluation of cognition and sight.
  • Social work consultation to maximize funding and community resources.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact a nurse at 216.448.6182.

Minimally Aware Program (MAP)

MAP your way to recovery

The Minimally Aware Program (MAP) is an inpatient program at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation. It is specifically designed for pediatric patients who have suffered a brain injury and are in a minimally conscious state or who are slow to respond. This program consists of Medical Management in addition to a variety of therapies. A strong focus of the program is on family education to support a safe transition to home.

The 4-week inpatient program consists of:

  • Evaluation for medical/pharmacological interventions.
  • Longitudinal assessment of level of consciousness.
  • Occupational, physical, speech-language pathology, and recreational therapies.
  • Initiation of an intensive mobility program to limit contractures and potentially increase functional mobility.
  • Management of spasticity and contractures.
  • Evaluation and establishment of communication systems.
  • Regulation of day and night routines.
  • Prevention of secondary complications.
  • Intensive family education.
  • Coordinated discharge planning.
  • Alternative treatment approaches such as frequency specific microcurrent (FSM), assistive technology, and yoga.

For more information, please contact 216.448.6400.


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Headache Turns to Severe Stroke for 11-Year-Old Boy

Vinny Mercurio couldn't walk, talk, or eat on his own, because of a hemorrhagic stroke. After countless hours of rehab and hard work, Vinny continues making amazing progress. For his perseverance and determination, he was honored as the 2019 Cleveland Clinic Children's Courage Award Honoree.

View Vinny's Story