Head Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury

There are many types of injuries that can occur to the brain, including those resulting from a stroke, lack of oxygen, infection, tumor, surgery, or trauma. The most common injury in school is from trauma. A concussion is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.” https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html

If your student sustains a head injury, whether it occurs outside of school, at school, or during a school sponsored sport or activity, please contact your school nurse to help support and direct your child’s recovery. Nurses will collaborate with counselors and teachers to develop a “return to learn” plan. If a student is also a high school athlete, the athletic trainers will also be a part of this team, and direct the “return to play” protocol in collaboration with the student’s health care provider. School psychologists, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists may also collaborate if the recovery process time goes beyond general expectations or there are complications.

If the school based team would like more in depth advice in management of a student with any type of head injury, whether it is acquired or the student is born with it, the DBIRT- District Brain Injury Resource Team is available for consultation. This is a multi-disciplinary team with specialized training who will help support the school team in a personalized recovery plan for every student. This will include collaboration and possible referrals to determine if a student exhibits needs requiring a section 504 plan, special education services, or collaboration with a community resource regarding outside testing or therapy.

For more information about DBIRT contact the Co-Leads:

Dr. Stephanie Crawford at: sacrawford@dcsdk12.org or

Mr. Chris Mathewson at: Chris.Mathewson@dcsdk12.org

Resources to support students with brain injuries: