“I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t remember anything I’d just studied or even the purpose of the exam. I thought it was just because the injury had ruined my brain,” writes Jennifer Mosher.
Returning to college after her brain injury, Jennifer struggled, and her once top grades dropped. Asking for help turned things around. “The disability office helped me understand that help was available for this,” she says, “and there was nothing wrong with needing accommodations to manage my injury.”
Getting back to class
Whether a student with TBI is in elementary school or in college, transitioning back to school post-injury can be difficult on many levels. Problems at school that result from a TBI can include:
Importance of accurate diagnosis
Sometimes a student’s TBI goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as a learning disability or behavioral problem. After all, problems from a brain injury can be similar to those related to a learning disability, so getting an accurate diagnosis can make all the difference. A correct diagnosis can lead to more a tailored — and successful treatment plan.
Know your rights
Educate yourself! There are federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities, and that includes students with traumatic brain injury. The more students with TBI and their parents know about laws regarding disability rights, the more they can ensure that the students get the accessibility or accommodations they need at school and in the community. For example, a child may need extra time to take tests or may need a computer equipped with an enlarged screen or a voice recognition program.
Ways educators and parents can collaborate
Children spend about six or more hours of their day at school, so educating educators about how best to help students with TBI is crucial. And some ways educators and parents can collaborate include: