Accepting Accommodations in College for Invisible Injuries

[Bob Duncan] As a parent with a child that has special needs, that's handicapped in a wheelchair, we spend a lot of time looking around the environment and seeing what's adaptable for her and what's not adaptable for her. And with Jonathan and the concussion physically you don't see—Jonathan still looks the same— but you have to understand that he is struggling inside, and so you have to think through what accommodations—what needs to be done to assist him to continue his learning process. And I have to say a lot of thanks to Marquette University for the work that they're doing. They actually had some experience where a young man fell off a balcony on spring break a few years ago, suffered a traumatic brain injury, came back to school, and they worked. The Dean reached out to me and shared with me that story and said, "We'll be more than happy to sit down with Jon and adjust both his learning and his studying habits and adjust some testing." And again, you never think about that looking at a perfectly— what appears to be healthy young man compared to my daughter in a wheelchair. But we had to take them up on that, and Jonathan had to take them up on that. And it's hard because there's a bit of pride in Jonathan in wanting to do things like he normally did, but I am proud that he has chosen to take that advice and work with University, and it's paying off this year.

Bob Duncan talks about his son with at TBI having to swallow his pride and accept the academic accommodations offered at his college.

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Bob Duncan

Healthcare Executive Bob Duncan and his wife, Sarah, have three children. Their son Jonathan was a sophomore nursing student and a cheerleader at Marquette University when he sustained a concussion that led to an academic leave of absence and ended his cheerleading career.

Posted on BrainLine February 21, 2014.

Produced by Sharon Ladin and Justin Rhodes, BrainLine.