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Health Information and Tools > After Brain Injury > Life After Brain Injury >  After Brain Injury Guide: Work and School
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Life After Brain Injury

Work and School

Going back to work depends on the person and the brain injury. A brain injury can cause many changes in behaviour, emotions, communication, and thinking skills.

It may be hard for him to do the job he did before the injury. Even if he can’t work after the injury, there will be other things he can do to keep busy and feel fulfilled. This might be the time for him to volunteer or find new hobbies or activities.

Work is a big part of most people’s lives. Work makes us feel like we’re doing something positive, it makes us feel responsible, it gives us financial independence, it lets us interact with others, and it gives us structure. People who are able to work after brain injury are usually healthier and feel better about themselves than those who don’t.

Some agencies or outpatient rehabilitation programs can help people with a brain injury reach the goals they need so they can go back to work. This may include re-training or learning a new job, help with assistive devices, and finding a job. They work with the rehabilitation team to learn what the best fit is for the person.

Going back to work after a brain injury can be challenging and rewarding. You have to look at the person’s interests, skills, and finances. The rehabilitation team works with the person to help him regain or develop job skills.

Talk to a health professional such as a physiatrist or occupational therapist to learn more about going back to work.

Going Back to School after a Brain Injury

School is important for social and educational growth. Along with learning, people find friends, support, and learn social skills. Sometimes the effects of a brain injury aren’t seen at first but become more noticeable later, when thinking and social demands increase at school.

Most colleges have an office for students with disabilities. Schools can help by:

  • giving extra time for tests for slower thinking or information processing
  • giving tests privately and in a quiet environment if you have trouble paying attention or concentrating
  • putting you in classrooms with less noise and distractions
  • voice recording lectures if you have trouble paying attention, concentrating, or problems with memory
  • letting you review the teacher’s or a classmates notes if you have trouble listening and taking notes at the same time
  • writing down assignments for problems with memory and concentration
  • having a place where you can take a break or rest if you get too tired or start feeling frustrated
  • offering tutoring

In many cases, parents and family members become advocates to assure you get the services you need to be successful at school.

Parents and family also serve as go-betweens to make sure that rehabilitation providers and school personnel meet to develop a plan for a successful return to school. Members of the brain rehabilitation team can help by letting you know about resources the school system or healthcare services offer.

Talk to your physiatrist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist for more information about going to school.​

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