Key Point

After a traumatic brain injury, post-concussion symptoms and changes in cognitive abilities might interfere with a student’s ability to think, concentrate, memorize, and recall information. Your child’s attention span also might be affected. These symptoms can make schoolwork more difficult and challenging.

Follow this action plan to be sure your child gets the accommodations he or she needs at school. This plan will help you identify the appropriate school staff member to coordinate the accommodations. Communicating with this key staff member is essential to this process.

  1. Identify the contact person at your school. Contact person(s) might include: your school nurse, counselor, principal and/or social worker. A teacher is usually not the contact person and doesn’t coordinate accommodations.
  2. Tell your contact person about your child’s injury as soon as possible.
  3. Ask your contact person to arrange a meeting with you and staff at your child’s school to discuss the academic accommodations you need. It’s important to complete a written, signed and agreed-upon plan.
  4. You might need to consider a 504 Plan to get specific short- or long-term accommodations. The 504 Plan is taken from the federal law Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Your school is required to comply “if a student has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, i.e, learning.”

Resources

Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
Guide explains your child’s right to education accommodations
www.braininjurymn.org/consumerguide/education.php

Minnesota Low Incidence Projects
Information helps families navigate the educational system
www.mnlowincidenceprojects.org/tbi.html

Minnesota Department of Education
www.education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/SpecEdClass/DisabCateg/TraumBrainInj

Pacer Center:
Champions for Children With Disabilities 952-838-9000 or www.PACER.org

School Accommodations
www.pacer.org/publications/pdfs/ALL15.pdf

Questions to Ask About School Adaptations
www.pacer.org/parent/php/php-c91.pdf

Students With Disabilities and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHP-c33.pdf

For a complete list of handouts available through PACER go to:
pacer.org/publications/specedrights.asp

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.