TOOL 12.1: Concussion Implications and Interventions for the Classroom

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TOOL 12.1: Concussion Implications and Interventions for the classroom

Area of concern after Concussion

Possible classroom behaviour that indicates difficulty

Proactive solution for students

> Physical

Headaches in school

Allow for rest breaks; hydration; quieter location.

Dizziness

Provide calm environment without multiple distractions.

Fatigue: Sleeping more or less than usual

Allow for rest breaks; plan daily schedule with a variety of classes with different levels of difficulty interspersed (e.g. difficult vs less difficult).

Vision problems with sensitivity to light

Avoid fluorescent lights when possible; decrease brightness on computers, smart phones, tablets; limit time on computers; electronic gaming devices.

Hearing issues with noise (gyms, concerts, music causing irritability)

Avoid loud activities, including gym classes, loud music from headphones, dances or parties.

> Cognitive-communication

Unable to concentrate

Provide information in smaller chunks; assign less material for task completion.

Forgetting recently learned information or conversations

Allow for written and verbal cues; use note taker or provide written notes for reference.

Slow to process information (verbally or written)

Allow additional time for response; provide alternative methods for test taking; breakdown complex directions into simple steps; decrease length of assignments or do not give any.

Asks for repeats 

Provide written and verbal cues and notes; post schedule and assignments.

Word finding/naming (vocabulary) difficulty Pre-teach new vocabulary; cue using c

Pre-teach new vocabulary; cue using categorization and association.

Poor social interactions with others (easy to anger, rude, interrupts with irrelevant information)

Do not punish unacceptable behaviours; work on social skills one on one.

Area of concern after Concussion

Possible classroom behaviour that indicates difficulty

Proactive solution for students

> Cognitive-communication

Confused about recent activities/ experiences

Use technology (tablets, smart phones) to record cues as activities occur; use day organizer for reference.

Unable to attend to task completion

Break tasks into smaller pieces so each portion is successfully completed..

> Social/ emotional/ behavioural

More irritable in the classroom

Provide clear schedule for the day; recognize beginning of irritable behaviour and provide alternative activity.

Feeling anxious or tense

Provide time for rest during the day; provide clear schedule of activities for the day; less required work.

Feeling depressed

Point out strengths and successes during each day.

Easily overwhelmed by school requirements or activities

Diminish schedule to reasonable load that can be successfully accomplished; add activities only when success is demonstrated; decrease or eliminate homework.

Adapted from DePompei, R.& Blosser J. Pediatric traumatic brain injury: proactive interventions. (2019). Plural Press: San Diego.