Carolinas HealthCare System

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To learn more about the Levine Children’s Hospital’s Emerging Responsivity Program, call:


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The Emerging Responsivity Program at Levine Children’s Hospital, in Charlotte, NC, is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for children with severe brain injuries who are in a minimally conscious state. Designed to specifically meet the needs of children as they recover from brain injuries, the treatment team focuses on stimulating responsiveness and preventing complications that could slow recovery.

The Emerging Responsivity Program team consists of board-certified pediatric rehabilitation physicians, certified brain injury therapists and certified rehabilitation registered nurses. They are all specially trained to care for medically complex and technology-dependent patients, including those with a tracheostomy, feeding tube or ventilator. They are also highly qualified to manage the stress responses of the body related to brain injury, including:

  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • SweatingInvoluntary muscle contractions
  • Fever

Sensory Stimulation

Therapists provide different types of sensory stimulation through a structured program to help patients become more alert and aware of their environment. These interventions help the brain begin to process sensory information again. Sensory stimulation includes:

  • Auditory stimulation – familiar music, recordings/videos of family and friend’s voices
  • Visual stimulation – different colored lights and projected images
  • Tactile stimulation – use of objects with different textures and temperatures
  • Vestibular stimulation – balance and positioning strategies
  • Olfactory stimulation – familiar scents
  • Oral stimulation – re-introduction of foods/liquids

This specialized program focuses on preventing potential complications of decreased mobility, such as muscle tightness and joint stiffness with the goal of progression to purposeful movement and functional mobility. The program provides a full scope of support, treatment and services, including discharge support, to help patients and families safely transition to life at home.

To learn more about the Levine Children’s Hospital’s Emerging Responsivity Program, call 704-355-3558.