Traumatic Brain Injury

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA '97) defines Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as "an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open and closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas such as: cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual, motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, speech."

Students who have suffered a traumatic brain injury usually enroll in school after having had intense clinical intervention. The educational planning should start in the clinical environment and seamlessly continue through the entire support process to reintegrate the student into the local education setting. When the student returns to the local school, the curricular demands and instruction strategies must be identified and tailored to each specific student, depending on the type and severity of injury.