For Educators

Teacher and Student in Science Lab

For Educators

Despite the high incidence of traumatic brain injury in students, it is often thought as a "loincidence disability" in the education setting. As a result, there is often a lack of training and education made available to educators to assist them in working with students with a TBI. When children with a TBI return to school, their educational and emotional needs are often very different than before. 

 There are many ways you can support your student after they return to school with a traumatic brain injury. Accommodations and strategiescan be used to modify and enhance the classroom and the student's skills. IEP and 504 plans can be developed. Collaboration and communication may be the best tool you can use to support your student. Explore the tabs for information about each of these topics!

The three key aspects of addressing educational needs of children who have experienced a TBI:

  1. Identification:  identifying the children who have been hospitalized or treated and released from the emergency department or doctor’s office, who are often unknown to their schools as a child with a TBI.
  2. Assessment:  Assessing educational needs of these children appropriately and defining cognitive challenges
    1. Tennesse Department of Education Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury
    2. Tennessee Department of Education Assessment Documentation
  3. Modification:  Modifying classrooms to fit the needs of the children with TBI-which typically means modifying the classroom to better teach all the children.

Here are 10 quick tips for working with a student with a brain injury:

1.     Find out as much as you can about the child's injury and his or her present needs. Research information about TBI and local and national resources. 

2.     Provide extended time for the student to finish school work/tests

3.     Give one step directions. Provide written directions for tasks with multiple steps.

4.     Keep a consistent routine. This will allow the student to know what to expect. If the routine is going to be altered, let the student know ahead of time.

5.     Provide the student opportunities to practice new skills

6.     Show the student how to use a daily schedule or assignment book.

7.     Reduce distractions in the classroom and let the student rest as needed

8.     Keep in touch with student's parents. Share information about how the student is performing at home and at school.

9.     Be flexible about expectations.

10.  Be PATIENT. Understand that it may take time to figure out the strategies that will work best for your student. 

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Tennessee Disability Coalition

The Coalition is an alliance of organizations and individuals who have joined to promote the full and equal participation of men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. We work together to advocate for public policy that ensures self-determination, independence, empowerment, and inclusion for people with disabilities in areas such as accessibility, education, healthcare, housing, and voting rights.

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Nashville: (615) 383-9442Toll-free: (888) 643-7811Email: coalition@tndisability.org