Revisited: Academic Accommodations

Some of the most important posts will be re-published from time to time.  This one was published in October of 2010.

In the most recent Journal of Athletic Training, Neal McGrath was published about the accommodations that may need to be made for concussed students.  This topic is one that is commonly overlooked by those that care for the student-athlete that has a concussion.  The every day tasks of walking in a hallway at a high school can be very difficult.

Below are the accommodations that were suggested, if you jump to the article you will see the rationale for each.

  • Excused Absence
  • Rest Periods During Day
  • Extension of Assignments
  • Postponement or Staggering of Tests
  • Excuse from Specific Tests
  • Extended Testing Time
  • Accommodations to Sensitivity to Noise/Light
  • Excuse from PE/Sports
  • Avoid other Physical Exertion
  • Use of Reader for Tests/Assignments
  • Use of Note Taker/Scribe
  • Use of Smaller/Quieter Testing Room
  • Preferential Classroom Seating
  • Use of Tutor
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Computer Concussion Testing Issues

Thanks to an alert reader an article was sent to the inbox dealing with neuropsychological testing, specifically the ImPACT test.  The author of the article published on Slate, Christine Aschwanden, provides a very well written reason as to why some are starting to take a much harder look on these types of tests;

On closer inspection, though, the whole thing begins to fall apart. “It’s a huge scam,” says physician Robert Sallis, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “They’ve done incredible marketing, and they’ve managed to establish this test as the standard of care with no evidence that it has any benefit.”

Dr. Sallis is not the only one, in fact we receive numerous questions about all the NP tests, and recently we have seen more and more research regarding the downfalls of this type of testing.  Research like this one (sourced in the article) written by physical therapists and a physician are being done by independent parties and seem to reveal there is a problem.  According to one of the developers of ImPACT some of the information is not viable if only because of the particular journal it appeared in; Continue reading

Male vs. Female

On Tuesday the National Athletic Trainers’ Association held the Youth Sports Safety Summit in Washington, DC and an important research project was released examining the differences in symptoms being reported by male and female athletes.

The paper will be published in the January edition of Journal of Athletic Training but here are the highlights and take home message.  (By the way the author was R. Dawn Comstock of Ohio State University).

  • 2 year study
  • 800+ subjects
  • 9 different sports
  • Most frequent symptoms of headache/nausea in both male/female
  • Males more often reported fogginess, slowed down, amnesia and disorientation
  • Females more often reported sleep disturbances, balance issues, drowsiness and sensitivity (lights and sounds)

It is important to make sure the symptoms that females show more often are not overlooked or associated to other issues.  Gender-based differences is an issue that has not been researched fully, but this is a good beginning.  The more we can understand how the brains are reacting to the concussion, the better we can be at identifying it.

Seeing what conclusion Comstock has with this information will be interesting.

Academic Accommodations

In the most recent Journal of Athletic Training, Neal McGrath was published about the accommodations that may need to be made for concussed students.  This topic is one that is commonly overlooked by those that care for the student-athlete that has a concussion.  The every day tasks of walking in a hallway at a high school can be very difficult.

Below are the accommodations that were suggested, if you jump to the article you will see the rationale for each.

  • Excused Absence
  • Rest Periods During Day
  • Extension of Assignments
  • Postponement or Staggering of Tests
  • Excuse from Specific Tests
  • Extended Testing Time
  • Accommodations to Sensitivity to Noise/Light
  • Excuse from PE/Sports
  • Avoid other Physical Exertion
  • Use of Reader for Tests/Assignments
  • Use of Note Taker/Scribe
  • Use of Smaller/Quieter Testing Room
  • Preferential Classroom Seating
  • Use of Tutor

 

Sobering Research from the Past

First appearing in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2001, Frederick O. Mueller found that;

A football-related fatality has occurred every year from 1945 through 1999, except for 1990. Head-related deaths accounted for 69% of football fatalities, cervical spinal injuries for 16.3%, and other injuries for 14.7%. High school football produced the greatest number of football head-related deaths. From 1984 through 1999, 69 football head-related injuries resulted in permanent disability. Sixty-three of the injuries were associated with high school football and 6 with college football. Although football has received the most attention, other sports have also been associated with head-related deaths and permanent disability injuries. From 1982 through 1999, 20 deaths and 19 permanent disability injuries occurred in a variety of sports. Track and field, baseball, and cheerleading had the highest incidence of these catastrophic injuries. Three deaths and 3 injuries resulting in permanent disability have occurred in female participants.
 
 
I would be interested to see this study reproduced in 2010 or 2011.  There have been some deaths recently associated and blamed on high school football the most recent was Andrew “Drew” Fremont Swank, of Spokane, Washington.