Providing Meaningful Opportunities for Socialization for Children with TBI
[Amy Mansue] There are a whole host of issues about socialization and how you can create friends, and as part of our work at the hospital, we actually created— our staff started a program socialization once a month. We call it Friday Night Fever—to give the kids who are either patients with us or had been patients with us a chance to come back and be with other kids like them, because the social stigmas are so difficult. Every Friday, once a month, there's some activity. We had bongo drums last Friday. I was humbled by my lack of ability, apparently. Kids come from all over and have friends that are there, and it gives them that socialization support that's just as important as the clinical expertise, and for some of those kids, that's the only friendships they will have. They host a prom, because again, that's something that sometimes kids don't get to do in their regular schools, and the prom is great fun and really wonderful. That came out of a volunteer effort that our staff saw as a real need, and we've now instituted, and it is really an important part of people's lives. They will tell you just how critical it is— that their kids look forward to that event once a month and it really gives them that socialization that they otherwise would lack.
"Opportunities for meaningful and fun socialization for kids with TBI are as important as any of the medical or rehab therapies they receive," explains Hospital Executive Amy Mansue.
Posted on BrainLine August 8, 2013.
Produced by Sharon Ladin, Justin Rhodes, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.