Teaching Strategies for Students with Brain Injuries

Teaching Strategies for Students with Brain Injuries

Janet Tyler, Ph.D, Jean Blosser, Ed.D. and Roberta DePompei, Ph.D.
Teaching strategies can help the student with a brain injury in school. This tip card helps parents and educators identify effective teaching strategies for students with brain injury. It shows how to adapt instruction for students with cognitive difficulties and how to develop educational strategies for math, reading and writing.
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This tip card identifies teaching strategies to help students with brain injury compensate for challenges with attention, concentration, memory, organization and following directions. It provides suggestions for student modifications in key subjects of math, reading and writing. It is an excellent reference tool for educators and parents to use jointly in the classroom and for homework.

Recommeded use with Tip Card on Special Education IEP Checklist

More details on teaching strategies can be found in the manual Learning and Cognitive Communication Challenges .
Pages 8
Year Second edition, 2011


Jean Blosser, Ed.D.

She is Vice President for Therapy Programs and Quality with a special focus on school-based and early intervention services. Her extensive clinical work and publications have focused on the needs of students and children with impairments in cognitive communication due to acquired brain injuries.

Janet Tyler, Ph.D.

Dr. Tyler is the Director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s Neurologic Disabilities Support Project, a statewide program that provides inservice training, consultation and technical assistance to educators serving students with traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Tyler also serves as an adjunct member of the Department of Special Education’s graduate faculty at the University of Kansas where she provides preservice training in traumatic brain injury. Since 1987, she has published, presented and consulted widely on educational issues related to traumatic brain injury.

Roberta DePompei, Ph.D.

Dr. DePompei is a Professor and Clinical Supervisor at the Audiology and Speech Center at the University of Akron in Ohio. An advocate of the needs of youths with brain injuries and their families, she is on numerous national task forces and committees, as well as former co-chair of the Special Interest Group on Children and Adolescents with Brain Injuries for the Brain Injury Association of America.

Widely published and a national and international presenter, Dr. DePompei specializes in the impact of brain injury upon speech, language and communication. She is especially interested in developing transitional opportunities for students as they progress through school and prepare for adulthood.


This tip card helps parents and educators...

  • Adapt instruction for students with cognitive difficulties
  • Develop educational strategies for math, reading and writing

Back to School

Classroom Skills and Strategies

  • Attention/concentration
  • Memory
  • Organization
  • Following directions

School Subjects

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing



Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Back to School

Because each child is unique, there is no one teaching program that will be applicable to all students with brain injuries. However, by remediation, adapting instruction or modifying the environment, the student can have greater opportunities for success in the classroom and community.

This tip card provides examples of teaching strategies that can be used to provide support and assistance for students with brain injuries. Use the following strategies to support the student during learning activities and class assignments.


The ability to maintain awareness over an extended period of time and accurately respond or complete a task.

  • Reduce distractions in student’s work area (re-move extra pencils, books, etc.).
  • Divide work into smaller sections. Have student complete one section at a time. Suggest times and expectations for completion.
  • Ask student to orally summarize information that has just been presented.
  • Use cue words to alert student to pay attention (e.g., “listen”, “look”, “name” etc.).
  • Establish nonverbal cueing system (e.g. eye contact, touch etc.) to remind student to pay attention.

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