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A traumatic or acquired brain injury can affect a student’s ability to learn and function in school and the classroom. Identifying the special needs of a student with a brain injury is the first step to providing support and accommodations in the classroom and at home. These blog articles discuss the effects of brain injury on learning in school for children and adolescents.

Children with Brain Injury: Recovery and School

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Recovery from brain injury is a long process for families and schools. An injury to a child’s brain is a physical and emotional trauma. Changing symptoms – a neurocognitive stall – may appear over a year after the brain injury. Students have new cognitive challenges in school as the brain recovers and learning becomes more complex in school. Family training and education of teachers on TBI are essential to help children cope and learn at home and in school.

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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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