Traumatic Brain Injury – What is it?
by Sue White
Traumatic Brain Injury is:
TBI is any injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Some causes of TBI may include falls, sports injuries, car accidents, collisions with objects or other people, and being shaken.
Symptoms of TBI may include:
- Feeling dazed or “in a fog”
- Feeling disoriented
- Feeling confused
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty processing information
- Memory problems
- Problems learning and retaining new information
- Difficulty completing multiple tasks
- Feeling irritable, angry, anxious, depressed
- Difficulty with social interactions
- Withdrawing socially
- Feeling less motivated
- Physical symptoms, such as dizziness, weakness, headaches, changes in vision and/or hearing, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty with balance
Strategies for Supporting Students with TBI:
- Reteach previously taught routines and skills regularly and explicitly
- Use visual information as much as possible
- Provide consistent and frequent reminders of expectations/processes, especially prior to transitions
- Provide lists of “how to” complete routines for the student
- Be as consistent as possible with classroom routines
- Give the student time to practice routines and skills – these things may need to be re-learned
A student with a diagnosed TBI may be eligible for assistance through a 504 Plan; services may also be available through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if a student is found eligible for special education support due to TBI. Each building has a team which can meet to discuss possible student needs and/or evaluation(s) for services. School nurses are also involved in supporting students who have experienced TBI. Parents and staff members can request assistance from building staff if there are concerns regarding a student with a TBI.
Also, Bethel has a district wide TBI team. The team can assist in supporting students with TBI, and with guiding staff in regards to student support. You may contact Sue White at extension 2122 if you have questions or concerns.
The Center on Brain Injury Research and Training at the University of Oregon has a very helpful website, which provides a wealth of information regarding TBI.