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Back to School After a Concussion

Pat Sublette, Oregon TBI Education Coordinator, The Teaching Research Institute-Eugene

Back to School After a Concussion

Often students return to school with subtle cognitive, academic, or behavioral needs following concussion. If these are addressed early on it can alleviate long-term difficulties. Here are guidelines for when a student returns to school after a concussion or mild brain injury.

Inform school staff
Learn basic information about concussion/mild brain injury.

Monitor student
Watch for any of the possible red flags associated with concussion/mild brain injury.

Provide accommodations
If red flags appear, teachers can provide minimal accommodations on a temporary basis until symptoms subside (usually within 3-4 weeks). Accommodations might include:

  • Reduced assignment load
  • Increased time to complete assignments or exams
  • Use of an organizer to track assignments
  • Rest periods during the day
  • Directions in both oral and written formats
  • Clear expectations
  • Large tasks broken into smaller components

If the student continues to have academic difficulty after a month, the student’s concerns should be further evaluated by a team and the evaluation process for more formalized support such as a 504 plan or IEP begun.

Communicate with the family
Stay in regular communication about changes noticed at school and at home.

For more information or assistance about concussion/brain injury, contact Pat Sublette at 541-346-0597 or the Oregon TBI Consulting Team.

This information was adapted from Ylvisaker, M., Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation, 2nd ed. Pages 381-384.

From The Teaching Research Institute-Eugene. Reprinted with permission.


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