Students with Brain Injury: Challenges for Identification, Learning and Behavior in the Classroom

Students with Brain Injury: Challenges for Identification, Learning and Behavior in the Classroom

Katherine Kimes, Ed.D., Marilyn Lash, M.S.W. and Ron Savage, Ed.D.

A brain injury can have many physical, cognitive and behavioral consequences for students. This manual gives educators and parents a foundation for understanding the educational needs and behavioral challenges of children with traumatic brain injuries with in-depth discussions of how to help students think and learn and how to help students with behavioral challenges.

Students with Brain Injury is also available as an eBook click here .

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Full Description

This manual explores why brain injury is considered low incidence by educators when it is the leading cause of disability among children. It provides methods for identifying students with a history or brain injury and brain trauma. Common myths about the cognitive impact of a brain injury are corrected with examples of classroom interventions. Common changes in learning are identified with strategies for teachers in the classroom and for parents at home. Case examples with student vignettes illustrate how to use cognitive support and accommodations for students with brain injury. It explains the relationship between cognitive changes and challenging behaviors, including methods for addressing behavioral changes in the classroom.

Details
Item SWBI
ISBN# 1-931117-42-X
Pages 64 pages, 7 x 8 ˝, soft cover
Year 2008

Authors

Katherine Kimes, Ed.D.

Dr. Kimes has an extensive background, both personally and professionally, in the area of brain injury. She has studied acquired brain injury and has a unique understanding of the mechanisms of injury and how the brain has the capacity to heal after injury. When she was 16, Dr. Kimes was a passenger in a one car accident and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. After spending weeks in a coma, she regained consciousness; however, her world had drastically changed. She was unable to walk and the left side of her body was severely impaired. Her tongue was paralyzed and she couldn’t eat or talk. Doctors told her parents that it was highly unlikely that she would be able to graduate from high school without major assistance and higher education was out of the question. Her personal experience of living with brain injury has evolved into a philosophy of recovery and what is possible.

This philosophy now encompasses the education of students with brain injury and those who teach them. Dr. Kimes has worked with adults who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and has written various articles on brain injury and special education for the George Washington University’s HEATH Resource Center and Disabled Student Services. She has guest lectured on the topic of traumatic brain injury for the University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She spoke at the 2007 South Carolina Statewide Brain Injury Conference in Columbia, SC on the topic of service coordination for students with brain injury. She has an M.A. degree in Writing (2000) and an M.A. in Transition Special Education with an emphasis in acquired brain injury (2004). Dr. Kimes completed her doctoral program in the Leaders for Systems Change Program in Special Education at George Washington University.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Ms. Lash has over 35 years of experience working with persons with disabilities and their families in medical, rehabilitation, educational and vocational settings. Currently, she is President and founding Partner at Lash & Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. in Wake Forest, NC. She is an author of many publications on the psychosocial impact of brain injury. Her writing and training emphasize coping strategies for families and practical interventions by professionals and educators in hospitals, rehabilitation programs, schools, and community agencies.

Trained as a social worker at Boston University School of Social Work, she moved from clinical work to program development in the community for many years. While at New England Medical Center in Boston, she developed national training programs at the Research and Training Center on Childhood Trauma. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Active on many national committees, she formerly co-chaired the National Task Force on Children and Adolescents of the Brain Injury Association of America and is on various national task forces on brain injury and editorial boards of rehabilitation journals.

She is the Past Chair of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and currently Chair of the North Carolina Statewide Advisory Council on Brain Injury.

Ronald Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage has worked with children, adolescents, and young adults with traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders for over 35 years. Presently, Dr. Savage is Executive Vice President for the North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS). Dr. Savage is also Program Consultant to The George Washington University Graduate Program in Traumatic Brain Injury and Editor of the Brain Injury Professional.

Dr. Savage is the former Executive Vice President of the Bancroft Neurosciences Institute in New Jersey; the former Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services at The May Institute in Massachusetts; and the former Executive Director of Clinical Services for Rehabilitation Services of New York. In addition, Dr. Savage has started and directed several specialized brain injury programs for children and young adults throughout the country and has authored textbooks, journal articles and book chapters on pediatric brain injury. Dr. Savage is the former Chairperson of the Pediatric Task Force for the Brain Injury Association of America; the past Co-Chairperson of the International Pediatric Task Force for the International Brain Injury Association; and serves on numerous professional and advisory boards across the country.

Contents

About the Authors

Who This Book Is For

Chapter 1: Numbers Tell a Story
The Child’s Developing Brain
How Many Children Have Brain Injuries?
How Are Children Hurt?
How Do Educators Define Traumatic Brain Injury?
Comparing the Numbers – incidence vs. identification
Why Is It So Hard To Identify These Students?
Questions Lead to Identification
Assessment and Outcomes
Summary
 
Chapter 2: Myths vs Facts about Brain Injury in Children
Myth 1: All brain injuries are the same
Myth 2: A mild brain injury has no consequences
Myth 3: A severe brain injury means that the child will never recover
Myth 4: Once the child has physically recovered, the brain has completely healed
Myth 5: Recovery ends six months to a year after the initial brain injury
Myth 6: IQ scores are a good indicator of a child’s educational future
Myth 7: Professionals are always right.  They are the experts
Myth 8: A brain injury can heal itself
Myth 9: The uninjured parts of the brain will take over
Myth 10: The very young child is too young for therapy and education
Myth 11: A parent shouldn’t tell other people about their child’s injury
Myth 12: It is natural to have temper outbursts, mood swings or aggression
Myth 13: It’s okay to get behind the wheel of a car and drive
Myth 14: A child who can speak, write and read after a brain injury will not have any difficulty with communication
Summary
 
Chapter 3: Helping Students Think and Learn
Attention
Auditory and Visual Perception
Memory
Organization
Reasoning and Abstract Thinking
Problem Solving
Summary
 
Chapter 4: Helping Students with Behavior after Brain Injury
Understanding the Whole Child
Secondary Depression and Withdrawal
Lack of Insight / Denial of Disabilities
Impulsive Behavior / Lack of Inhibition
Poor Emotional Control
Apathetic / Not Caring Attitude
Agitation and Irritability
Aggression
A-B-C Behavior Model
The A-B-C Behavior Model in Action
Behavior Plan as Part of Child’s Educational Plan
Summary
 
Future Challenges

References

Excerpts

Who this book is for…

Jack & Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got and down he trot
As fast as he could caper;
And went to bed and covered his head
In vinegar and brown paper.

As this nursery rhyme portrays, a fall can create serious repercussions in a child’s life. Most people do not realize that a fall can result in more than scrapes and bruises; it can also injure a child’s brain. Too often, the injury to the brain goes unnoticed and life goes on as usual. That is, until the child reaches new developmental milestones and the effects of the injury surface. However, by this time many parents have forgotten about the incident because the child "went to bed" and "covered his head in vinegar and brown paper."

Society’s understanding of brain injury in the lives of children has not changed much since the writing of Jack & Jill. A majority of the population still does not understand the repercussions of brain injury and how such an injury can have devastating effects on a child’s life. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability of children (ages 0-14) in the United States.

This booklet is divided into four sections:

  1. data on brain injury
  2. common myths and facts about brain injury in children
  3. educational issues for students with brain injury
  4. changes in behavior after brain injury.

It is intended for teachers, advocates, parents, or anyone who is interested in learning about the epidemic of brain injury among our children. It is the beginning of a journey to promote awareness of the multi-dimensional effects of brain injury on the lives and education of children. While this booklet is only a start, awareness is a journey that we can embark on together. Hopefully, one day it will lead to the national dissemination of information on the educational repercussions of brain injury on children. This is a subject that needs to be acknowledged by both national leaders and school systems. It is a matter of urgency as it affects the futures of our littlest survivors.

What initially began as a consultation project for Katherine Kimes’ doctoral program at George Washington University (GWU) soon became an ambition to build knowledge and to disseminate pertinent information to educators and parents. Upon presenting the first draft of this booklet to her peers at GWU’s doctoral education program, most of whom are special education teachers, she was asked how they could obtain it for their personal use. From the conversations that followed, it was obvious that these special education teachers were neither informed nor aware of the repercussions of brain injury on a child’s education. Brain injury in children is not widely understood. What is missing is an introductory guide on brain injury for both teachers and parents. This is exactly what this booklet attempts to accomplish.

Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

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