When dealing with a student with a concussion, the parents, coaches, teaches, and school nurses all work together to get him or her back to the classroom safely and as quickly as possible.
What do I need to know about my students returning to school after a concussion?
Supporting a student recovering from a concussion requires a collaborative approach among school professionals, health care providers, and parents, as s/he may need accommodations during recovery. If symptoms persist, a 504 meeting may be called. Section 504 Plans are implemented when students have a disability (temporary or permanent) that affects their performance in any manner.
Services and accommodations for students may include speech-language therapy, environmental adaptations, curriculum modifications, and behavioral strategies.
Students may need to limit activities while they are recovering from a concussion. Exercise or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse.
What to look for after a concussion
Students who return to school after a concussion may need to:
- Take rest breaks as needed.
- Spend fewer hours at school.
- Be given more time to take tests or complete assignments.
- Receive help with schoolwork.
- Reduce time spent on the computer, reading, or writing.
When students return to school after a concussion, school professionals should watch for:
- Increased problems paying attention or concentrating.
- Increased problems remembering or learning new information.
- Longer time needed to complete tasks or assignments.
- Difficulty organizing tasks.
- Inappropriate or impulsive behavior during class.
- Greater irritability.
- Less able to cope with stress or is more emotional.
It is normal for students to feel frustrated, sad, and even angry because they cannot return to recreation or sports right away, or cannot keep up with schoolwork. A student may also feel isolated from peers and social networks. Talk with the student about these issues and offer support and encouragement. As the student’s symptoms decrease, the extra help or support can be removed gradually.
Acute Concussion Evaluation Form (ACE) (ATTACHED)
Click here to download the ACE Form to evaluation your students concussion. This form is available through the Center for Disease Control.
Click here to learn more about the PA and NJ concussion laws.