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Children with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Special Needs of Children with Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury [1] can affect a person of any age. Children, however, often struggle more because they may not fully understand the full impact of their injury and the resulting signs and symptoms. School-aged children who suffer traumatic brain injuries often require numerous accommodations at both home and school in order to succeed in continuing their education. The following are some examples of the special needs of school—aged children who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Immediately after the injury

Immediately following a severe traumatic brain injury, most children are unable to return to school for quite some time. Traveling to and from school may require too much energy and even basic communications with teachers or other students may be a challenge. For this reason, many injured children receive home-schooling or use private tutors and rehabilitative specialists before they ever return to regular school.

Struggles when they go back to school

According to a Brainline [2], an organization dedicated to helping kids with brain injuries, the following are some common struggles of which injured students complain:

  • Studying twice as much but remembering less and performing worse
  • Re-reading several times without retention
  • Remembering material until test time and then being unable to recall anything
  • Taking too late to formulate thoughts and translate them into words for essay exams
  • Exhaustion from the basic activities of the school day
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention in class
  • Listening in class and having nothing sink in

Accommodations for injured students

Brain injuries will affect each victim differently. Therefore, in order to determine the needs of a particular student, he or she will usually undergo a neuropsychological evaluation to assess the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional status. This assessment will identify weaknesses so that educators may formulate a plan for special accommodations to be made specifically for that child.

The following are some examples of accommodations regularly made in classrooms for children with traumatic brain injuries:

  • Allowing more time for assignments in class or tests
  • Allowing them to take extended or extra breaks
  • Assisting with note-taking in lectures
  • Clarifying instructions when necessary
  • Use of a laptop with grammar and spelling assistance
  • Reduced emphasis on grammar or spelling on some graded assignments
  • Providing extra reference materials when needed
  • Giving them preferential seating toward the front of the room
  • Favor quality over quantity of work
  • Avoid high-pressure scenarios, such as timed or highly competitive assignments
  • Not requiring the student to read aloud to the class
  • Providing a separate room with minimal distractions for tests or graded assignments
  • Break longer tests into shorter segments administered over time with numerous breaks
  • Give assistance with written answers or allow oral answers
  • Allow later clarification of answers on graded assignments or tests
  • Avoid having two tests scheduled on one day or allow the student to adapt an exam schedule

These are of course only some of the possible accommodations that may be provided for a child with a brain injury.

If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury, he or she will have to get an individualized education program (IEP) [3] in order to tailor accommodations to their special needs and ensure they receive the proper treatment. You child may even have to be placed in a special education class or program, separate from other children so that educators can best attend to their needs. As you can imagine, all of this can have a significant effect on a child’s life.

Contact an experienced brain injury attorney for help today

The experienced brain injury lawyers at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida are committed to helping families with children who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a preventable accident. Call our office today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

[1]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traumatic_brain_injury
[2] https://www.brainline.org/content/2011/10/accommodations-guide-for-students-with-brain-injury.html
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualized_Education_Program