A child who is involved in a car crash might suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In the days immediately following the brain injury, the student might have to remain home from school. Trying to reintegrate them into the classroom can be a challenge, but it is possible if the parents, teachers and school administrators work as a team to do what is best for the child.
There are many ways that teachers and others in school might need to accommodate children recovering from TBIs based on the symptoms they have. Many kids who suffer brain injuries have issues with memory and attention. They might also struggle with mobility, coordination, communication, language, senses and emotions. These can affect how they learn and process information and how they interact with others.
Some of the common accommodations that kids with TBIs might need include:
- Frequent breaks to help them refocus and concentrate
- Extra time to complete work
- Creative ways to complete tasks that involve reading or writing
- Assistive devices or sitting in a specific area of the classroom
- Making up work due to missed lessons caused by medical needs
- Having a 504 education plan or an individualized education program (IEP) in place
When the injured child first returns to their classroom, they will have to take things slowly. In this age of technology, this can be difficult since many lessons focus on screen time. A child with a TBI might not be able to use a tablet or computer for more than a few minutes. Teachers who are willing to adjust the expectations for the child can help them to succeed.