The National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has funded research on returning to school following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This has included the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center MSKTC) which has developed a on page tool to assist parents and schools on assisting youth who have experienced a TBI return to school.   MSKTC notes that parental involvement is critical when a young person is returning to school after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Parents have the most knowledge about their child and are deeply invested in their daughter's or son's well-being and future. Often parents become advocates to ensure that all essential supports are in place to enhance their child's successful return to school. Parents may also be a go-between to make sure all the necessary medical information has been provided so the school can design the best plan for the student. If the student is close to exiting school, vocational rehabilitation professionals may also be involved.

MSKTC also notes that:

  • The effects of TBI vary greatly from student to student; no two will be alike.
  • Sometimes the effects of a brain injury are not obvious at first but become more noticeable later when thinking and social activities increase at school.

Some examples of changes that may occur after a person has sustained a TBI are:

  • Physical changes: tiredness; lack of interest; headaches; awkward movements; slowed reactions; heightened sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Cognitive (thinking) changes: forgetfulness; difficulty learning new material; word-finding difficulties; problems with organizing materials; easily distracted.
  • Emotional changes: unable to deal with minor changes in the environment or daily routine; little or no expressed emotion; depression.
  • Behavioral changes: irritability; inability to deal with unexpected event.

The full document is available in Content Resources.