Friday, December 14, 2012

How Concussions Impact School Performance

If you have kids that play a sport and you've known me awhile, I've probably had a discussion with you about ImPACT Testing for concussion management and encouraged you to get a baseline for your children. Unfortunately, I didn't learn about this until our oldest son, Ian, had his third concussion in 2008. In many school districts, they routinely administer a baseline ImPACT Test to all the athletes now, but that wasn't the case a few years ago. 

ASHA doesn't particularly advocate for the use of any assessment tools, but I'm proud to say the Association has been working on educating the public about traumatic brain injury with pieces like this infograph. The speech-language pathologists in your child's school can be a valuable resource if your child suffers a concussion. 
Kids and teens suffering from TBI may struggle with speech, language, and thinking, which can lead to problems reading or memorizing. They may have more trouble than usual focusing on tasks and homework or difficulties paying attention in class. Poor grades and/or problems talking with friends or doing favorite activities may result. 
Every school district across the United States has a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can work with a TBI-impacted student and his or her family and teachers to create a treatment plan. Leveraging their training in cognitive communication impairments and experience helping children develop language and reading skills, SLPs can administer and interpret cognitive and behavioral assessments. They may also work with teachers to transition kids returning to school after TBI and modify test times, class loads, homework, and deadlines as needed.
See the full post on ASHA' s site.

If you're the parent of an athlete, your child will probably respond the way Ian did and tell you they're fine in an effort to get back on the field as quickly as possible. My advise is to have a baseline ImPACT Test on file and pull in all the resources you have available to you if your child suffers a concussion -- starting with your doctor and the speech-language pathologist in your child's school.  

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