Definition . Eligibility . Characteristics . Strategies for School . Strategies for Home

Traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory/perceptual/motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Documentation the student meets all of the following:
  1. an injury to the brain caused by a physical force or internal occurrence has been diagnosed by a licensed physician or neurophysiologist; and
  2. the existence of cognitive, language, behavior, executive skills and/or motor problems as a result of the injury
.   High frustration levels
.   Fatigue
.   Possible irritability
.   Difficulties in the following areas:
Registering new information
Seeing relationships (similarities / differences)
Understanding abstract level of meaning (e.g. figures of speech metaphors)
Considering a variety of possible solutions
Holding several words or thoughts or intentions in mind at one time
Recalling events from earlier in the day or previously
Setting goals
Perceiving strengths and weaknesses in an objective manner
Focusing attention and filtering out distractions
Maintaining attention
Organizing objects into appropriate groups
Perceiving the spatial of orientation of objects
Recognizing objects if too much is presented at once or too rapidly
.   Social/behavioral disorders involve:
Awareness of self and others Awareness of social rules and roles
Interest in social involvement
Appearance and grooming
Awareness of self and others
Awareness of social rules and roles
Interest in social involvement
Appearance and grooming
Age appropriate behavior
Inappropriate social behaviors
.   Sensory (physical) disorders involve:
Vision and hearing
Speed and coordination of movement
Motor function
Eye/hand coordination
Spatial orientation
Strategies for School
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Use a team approach (general ed teacher, special ed staff, building counselor, nurse, administrator, family, and all support staff)
  • Provide sequential instruction
  • Arrange the classroom environment to be distraction free
  • Provide clear instructions
  • Use short tests and relatively brief testing and modify to meet student needs
  • Provide clear test instructions with examples
  • Utilize highly structured tasks
  • Teach the use of an assignment book
  • Provide student with study guide before unit begins
Strategies for Home
  • Redirect behavior
  • Change the subject/environment when needed
  • Provide positive reinforcement
  • Give student choices
  • Allow student to explore what he or she really wants
  • Structure situations so that the student can practice perceiving the feelings of others
  • Reward on task behaviors