Concussion Update  

September 18, 2014
With the return to school and after school activities, the concern for potential concussions and brain injury increase. Data from the TBI registry indicates that the rate of all concussions peak in September and October each year. This is also true for sports’ related concussions. Students of all ages whether athletes or not may experience a concussion. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur following a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move back and forth quickly. Concussions can occur on the playground, in hallways, in gym class, on the athletic field, at home, or in the community. 

While concussions often occur during athletic practices and competition, they have educational impact. This impact prompted Nebraska to adopt the revised The Concussion Awareness Act. Provisions of this act indicate that schools must establish a return to learn protocol for students that have sustained a concussion. 
Recognition of concussions is critical because they may reduce a student’s:

•  cognitive ability
•  physical ability
•  social-emotional well-being
•  sleep patterns
•  motivation
•  organization
•  memory
•  self-awareness

If a student returns to the rigors of the classroom and physical activity too soon, it can extend recovery time and/or increase the risk of further injury.
A key component to an individual’s return to school is a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach with the student as the center of focus. It is important to establish communication and collaboration among families, educators and health care professionals with a goal to implement the most effective modifications and accommodations to support an individual student’s recovery. 

Resources and Contacts

Visit the Nebraska Department of Education website for information to support your schools return to learn protocol. https://www.education.ne.gov/sped/birsst/ 

-by Kristine Einspahr, ESU 10 School Psychologist