Category Description:

badge2Care and treatment of acquired and traumatic brain injury must address wide array of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

Students with Traumatic Brain Injury

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Students returning to school with traumatic brain injuries may have a variety of physical, cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional challenges. Recovery of function is typically enhanced through exposure to enriched environments like the education provided at schools. Just as schools promote learning, recovery after a brain injury is a re-learning process. This is why it is important to provide students with brain injuries access to appropriate supports and services by educators.

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Gathering Information When a Student Has a Brain Injury

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When a student has a traumatic brain injury (TBI), teachers, classmates, and school staff need information on how the brain injury has affected the child. Educators, students and parents often aren’t quite sure how to begin. The place to start is with information to help the educational team understand and meet the needs of this student in the classroom.

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Parents and Educators

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Parents know their child best – before and after the brain injury. This checklist for educators lists questions to ask parents to gather information on the physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral effects of the TBI. These tips help parents and educators communicate more effectively to understand the educational needs of the student.

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Assessment and Your Child’s Brain Injury

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Assessment of cognitive, physical, emotional, and behavioral effects after a child’s brain injury helps case managers, clinicians and educators develop plans for care and services. Assessment is necessary for everything from providing rehabilitation treatment to setting up home health care to developing a financial plan for life long care.

Parents must and should be part of the assessment team as they know their child best – before and after the brain injury. Assessment is the first step in planning treatment and setting goals.

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Traumatic Brain Injury in Students

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If you haven’t already had a child with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in your classes, chances are you will before you end your teaching career. Approximately 1 million children and adolescents receive a head injury each year. Of these injuries, 16,000 – 20,000 will be serious enough to cause lasting effects, and one in 500 will be severe enough to cause hospitalization. If the child’s injury requires hospitalization, it is likely that he or she will require special education services.

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Grief after Brain Injury – There’s No Way Around It

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Grieving a loss after a death, catastrophic injury, chronic illness or transitional loss is a hard, long, and difficult process. When a family member survives a traumatic brain injury, there are still losses to grieve as life will not be the same again. Avoiding the emotional pain that comes with grieving can delay and complicate the healing process.

There is no way to the other side of grief except to go through it. Take time to heal – for however long that takes! You are worth it!

Each loss and every aspect of the loss can be a source of pain and must be grieved. Each loss needs to be worked through individually and yes, this takes time.

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Music Therapy after Brain Injury

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Emotional reactions after traumatic brain injury include depression, boredom, loneliness and. Music increases dopamine levels associated with positive affect and feelings of well-being. Music therapy can help persons with TBI express feelings, concentrate, and participate in community events. Rehabilitation programs and families at home can use music therapy to help survivors with physical skills and coordination as well as social and cognitive skills.

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Normalcy after Brain Injury

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There was nothing mild about the effects of Diana Lund’s brain injury on her life. While she looked normal to others, her difficulty with memory, organization and problem solving meant she struggled to get through each day. Work became impossible. When the damage from a traumatic brain injury is not a visible disability, it is hard for friends, family and coworkers to recognize the cognitive losses.

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My Not-So-Mild “Mild” Brain Injury

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Anne Forrest’s account of her diagnosis, treatment and recovery from a so called mild brain injury shows how her life was completely changed by the trauma to her brain in a minor car accident. The cognitive changes resulted not only in the loss of her career, but made it difficult for her to simply get through the day. Looking “normal” made it hard for others to recognize her disability and needs for compensatory strategies and accommodations.

She says, “Looking back, I can see that I was exhausting myself trying to return to work and my normal life. My brain thought I was the old me, and I did not know I could not succeed at my old life with my now-injured brain.”

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Blast Injury PTSD in Reservists and National Guard by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

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Reservists and National Guard have long deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan which are stressful for families and children. War changes soldiers. Many veterans come home with blast injuries, undiagnosed concussions, post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), burns and amputated limbs. Adjusting to civilian life, going to college, returning to work, and living with family can be stressful for veterans and family members.

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