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In-School Strategies Can Help with Students with Memory after TBI

Brain Injury Blog

In-School Strategies Can Help with Students with Memory after TBI

by Katherine Kimes, Ed.D., CBIS

Compensatory strategies help students with cognitive deficits 

There are many cognitive deficit issues that can challenge the education of the child or adolescent after acquired brain injury. These implications include memory loss, organizational problems, conceptual skills, problem-solving, the inability to multi-task, trouble concentrating or paying attention in the classroom, and word finding. Typically, most students with brain injury have inconsistent patterns of academic performance and/or uneven cognitive deficits. In order to provide the most pro-active learning environment for these students, teachers need to learn how to implement strategies that will help the child or adolescent learn to compensate for these deficits and surpass expectations.

Match student’s learning style with cognitive strategies

It is important to structure lesson plans and instruction based around the three types of learning styles.  These three learning styles include: 1) visual learners, 2) auditory learners and 3) tactile learners. Visual learners think in pictures and best learn from visual displays such as diagrams. Auditory learners learn best through verbal lectures, discussion and talking through things and ideas. Tactile learners are taught best through a hands-on approach. Now, based on these three learning styles it is important to develop strategies that can best address the multi-dimensional needs of a child or adolescent with brain injury so they can learn effectively. 

Most teachers ask how they can help these students learn strategies to help with memory issues. Teachers seek to find the answer in techniques can that be used to teach students with TBI strategies to compensate for these deficits.  These strategies are discussed below. 

Strategies to help with memory problems

A good first question to ask – “Is there a breakdown in memory?” If so, where is that breakdown? In order to form a memory, sensory processing must first occur. Teachers can help these children process sensory information by using different classroom strategies. Sensory information is encoded into short-term memory with the goal of storing short-term memory/information into long-term memory.

Strategies that the teacher can utilize to help with the child with memory problems and comprehension can include:

About the Author

Dr. Kimes is the President of ABI Education Services, LLC a consulting business that addresses the educational needs of children and adolescents with acquired brain injury (ABI).

October 2, 2012