Pennsylvania’s BrainSTEPS (Strategies Teaching Educators, Parents, and Students) Brain Injury School Re-Entry Consulting Program is in its 9th year of assisting school districts. Annually in PA, approximately 4,000 children sustain moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are significant enough to require hospitalization and over 20,000 children sustain concussions (mild TBIs). Many students return to school with lingering effects that impact classroom performance. BrainSTEPS has been designed to consult with school teams and families in the development and delivery of educational services for students who have experienced any type of acquired brain injury. To date, BrainSTEPS has provided training and consultation to thousands of students and hundreds of schools in Pennsylvania.

Acquired brain injuries include any injury to the brain that is sustained after a period of development and includes all traumatic brain injuries (injury is caused by an external force and includes concussions) and non-traumatic brain injuries (strokes, tumors, seizures, aneurysms, etc.). BrainSTEPS works to not only re-enter students after a new brain injury, but with students previously identified as having a brain injury who may begin to develop educational effects over the years as the brain matures and develops.

BrainSTEPS is

  • Considered a national model for brain injury educational consulting
  • Comprised of 31 statewide consulting teams, consisting of education professionals, medical rehabilitation professionals, and family members
  • Housed within all 29 educational Intermediate Units statewide

BrainSTEPS Team

  • Provide various brain injury presentations to groups from educational, medical, and rehabilitation facilities in the community
  • Consult with schools regarding identification, school re-entry planning, IEP/504 Plan development, intervention selection and implementation, long-term monitoring of students and other issues professionals face in supporting students with brain injury
  • Monitor students annually until graduation for manifestation of new cognitive/behavioral/social issues
  • Access additional support from the statewide Program Coordinator
  • Receive training from national experts each year around brain injury topics impacting students

Additionally, BrainSTEPS has trained over 800+ Return to Learn Concussion Management Teams in districts across PA to monitor student academics and symptoms for the initial 4 weeks of recovery, prior to a BrainSTEPS referral.


To learn more or to refer a student to the BrainSTEPS team please contact:

Tina Gelso, M Ed, MA OTR/L BrainSTEPS Team Leader
Phone: 570-287-9681, ext. 156
Fax: 570-287-5721