School Getting Smart

From the Globe and Mail (Canada), St. Micheal’s College School has developed a return to school program from concussions.  As we know return to the classroom and the school environment can be just as harmful as rushing back to sports.

“There’s a lot of focus on the return to play but not on the return to the classroom, where the kids can have a number of difficulties due to their brain injury,” said Corinne Kagan, a program director at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation.

The classroom demands that students listen, learn and think, all of which involve brainwork. Some of the symptoms of a concussion, such as headaches, dizziness and trouble concentrating, can make this even more difficult.

What St. Michael’s has developed, Ms. Kagan said, is “a very good thing.”

I have been promoting this from the beginning here on the blog.  In fact the school I work with adopted a policy that deals with this exact thing.  I believe it to be the first of its kind in Illinois.  Simply we educate the athlete and parents about the injury and proper management; with that the school is suggesting and allowing students to be excused for up to three days before seeing a doctor.  Upon return the student will work with the guidance counselor, teachers and myself for a simple graded return to classroom activity.  Since each person is different in recovery there is nothing set in stone for academics.  We do have an understanding that if the student misses quizzes/tests they will not make up more than one a day until full recovery.  Homework is often allowed to be turned in on a “graded return”, and classroom performance is monitored by the teacher.

This is not required of the student or parents, rather a recommendation and not every kid that gets a concussion follows our guidelines.  However my limited sample size shows some serious results (based on concussions from January 2010 to present): Continue reading

Awesome Article From Michigan

When concussions trickle into the classroom and “life”, what do we do?  Well if you have read this blog long enough I trust that you know the answer.  If you have not, or are a true skeptic about the lasting effects of a concussion, most prominently in the classroom of the adolescent individual perhaps you should read this article by Holly Klaft of Jackson Citizen Patriot seen on mlive.com.

Klaft takes a look at a high school athlete that had a couple of concussions, Bennett Thomson;

Bennett’s concussion occurred during a varsity soccer game against Northwest High School in September when he and an opponent both went up for a header. The other player came down on top of Bennett’s head, splitting it open.

Bennett was treated and then went home.

Then the headaches started and he couldn’t focus. Concentrating on schoolwork became difficult. Continue reading

Specific Academic Issues From Concussion

This is the next level of adolescent concussions, the classroom.  Thankfully at the school I work at we have created a policy to keep kids out of school and amend their schedules as needed, but others refuse to believe it trickles over into academia.

Even the CDC does not have specific recommendations about school, rather they defer that to the treating physician, which is perplexing because A LOT of MD’s/DO’s are behind the times to begin with.  Those medical professionals are looking to the CDC for what to do, it would be nice if the CDC and others presented guidelines.

It would be as simple as saying; “rest includes avoiding any physical or cognitive stress, for example; school, texting, computers, and video games.”