High School to Adulthood: For a Student with a Brain Injury

High School to Adulthood: For a Student with a Brain Injury

Ron Savage, Ed.D.

The transition to adulthood when a student has a brain injury (TBI) requires careful preparation and planning. This tip card helps families, educators and students develop effective transition plans a student with TBI for adulthood, identify choices after high school, and find resources for adult services.

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Full Description

Transitions after traumatic brain injury or TBI are often difficult for adolescents. This tip card helps parents understand the requirements of schools for transition planning under the special education law as adolescents approach adulthood. It identifies special needs when planning and educating students with acquired brain injury. It shows parents and educators how to build a plan that includes the student, recognizes the student’s abilities, and identifies choices for adulthood. Options are summarized for living independently, working after graduation, continuing education and finding disability support services.

Pages 8
Year 2006


Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage is Vice President of the North American Brain Injury Society. He specializes in the impact of brain injury and concussion on behavior and learning in children and adolescents. His international recognition as author and presenter is based on practical experience as a rehabilitation clinician, educator and school administrator.


This tip card helps families, educators and students...

  • develop effective transition plans
  • identify choices after high school
  • use resources for adult services

Beginning the Transition Plan

  • Tips on questions to ask about the student’s future
  • Tips on questions to ask about the student’s abilities
  • Tips on questions to ask about the student’s choices

The Transition Team

Planning for Living Independently

  • Checklist for skills the student will need

Work after School

  • Tips on abilities the student may need to work

Planning for Education after High School

  • Tips on planning for education after high school




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Transitions in School

Students with brain injuries go through many transitions in school.

These transitions or changes include…

  • switching between academic subjects
  • moving from one classroom to the next
  • changing grades each year
  • going from one school to another (elementary, middle, high school)

Yet by far, the most challenging transition for students with brain injuries is graduation from high school and entry into the “real-life” adult world. Many students with brain injuries who were successful in well-structured school programs face another set of barriers as adulthood nears. If one thinks that algebra is hard, try holding down a steady job. If one thinks that biology is difficult, try being involved in a loving relationship. If one thinks that history is tough, try living on your own and paying rent.

The adult world is demanding. It takes a lot of planning for the student to be successful and not fall through the cracks.

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