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Last Updated: 11/20/2017
 

Disability Information - Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

 

General Information

Education & Classroom Accommodations

Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

National Resources & Websites

Articles Related to this Disability

Medical Information

Books & Videos

Personal Home Pages & Websites

 

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 General Information

Brain Injury Glossary - Medical vocabulary associated with brain injuries.

 

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by the head being hit by something or shaken violently. (The exact definition of TBI, according to special education law, is given below.) This injury can change how the person acts, moves, and thinks. A traumatic brain injury can also change how a student learns and acts in school. The term TBI is used for head injuries that can cause changes in one or more areas, such as:

thinking and reasoning,

understanding words,

remembering things,

paying attention,

solving problems,

thinking abstractly,

talking,

behaving,

walking and other physical activities,

seeing and/or hearing, and

learning.

The term TBI is not used for a person who is born with a brain injury. It also is not used for brain injuries that happen during birth.

The definition of TBI below comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA is the federal law that guides how schools provide special education and related services to children and youth with disabilities.
 

For more information, visit http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/factshe/fs18txt.htm.

 

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations

What About School?
Although TBI is very common, many medical and education professionals may not realize that some difficulties can be caused by a childhood brain injury. Often, students with TBI are thought to have a learning disability, emotional disturbance, or mental retardation. As a result, they don’t receive the type of educational help and support they really need.

When children with TBI return to school, their educational and emotional needs are often very different than before the injury. Their disability has happened suddenly and traumatically. They can often remember how they were before the brain injury. This can bring on many emotional and social changes. The child’s family, friends, and teachers also recall what the child was like before the injury. These other people in the child’s life may have trouble changing or adjusting their expectations of the child.

Therefore, it is extremely important to plan carefully for the child’s return to school. Parents will want to find out ahead of time about special education services at the school. This information is usually available from the school’s principal or special education teacher. The school will need to evaluate the child thoroughly. This evaluation will let the school and parents know what the student’s educational needs are. The school and parents will then develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses those educational needs.

It’s important to remember that the IEP is a flexible plan. It can be changed as the parents, the school, and the student learn more about what the student needs at school.

 

Tips for Parents
Learn about TBI. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child. See the list of resources and organizations at the end of this publication.

Work with the medical team to understand your child’s injury and treatment plan. Don’t be shy about asking questions. Tell them what you know or think. Make suggestions.

Keep track of your child’s treatment. A 3-ring binder or a box can help you store this history. As your child recovers, you may meet with many doctors, nurses, and others. Write down what they say. Put any paperwork they give you in the notebook or throw it in the box. You can’t remember all this! Also, if you need to share any of this paperwork with someone else, make a copy. Don’t give away your original!

Talk to other parents whose children have TBI. There are parent groups all over the U.S. Parents can share practical advice and emotional support. Call NICHCY (1-800-695-0285) to find out how to find parent groups near you.

If your child was in school before the injury, plan for his or her return to school. Get in touch with the school. Ask the principal about special education services. Have the medical team share information with the school.

When your child returns to school, ask the school to test your child as soon as possible to identify his or her special education needs. Meet with the school and help develop a plan for your child called an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Keep in touch with your child’s teacher. Tell the teacher about how your child is doing at home. Ask how your child is doing in school.

Tips for Teachers
Find out as much as you can about the child’s injury and his or her present needs. Find out more about TBI. See the list of resources and organizations at the end of this publication.

Give the student more time to finish schoolwork and tests.

Give directions one step at a time. For tasks with many steps, it helps to give the student written directions.

Show the student how to perform new tasks. Give examples to go with new ideas and concepts.

Have consistent routines. This helps the student know what to expect. If the routine is going to change, let the student know ahead of time.

Check to make sure that the student has actually learned the new skill. Give the student lots of opportunities to practice the new skill.

Show the student how to use an assignment book and a daily schedule. This helps the student get organized.

Realize that the student may get tired quickly. Let the student rest as needed.

Reduce distractions.

Keep in touch with the student’s parents. Share information about how the student is doing at home and at school.

Be flexible about expectations. Be patient. Maximize the student’s chances for success.

 

For more information, visit http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/factshe/fs18txt.htm.

 

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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

Brain Injury Association of Michigan - The Brain Injury Association of Michigan is a non-profit organization that brings together people with brain injury, their families, friends, and concerned professionals to improve the quality of life that people experience after brain injury.

 

Addressing Michigan’s Public Service Gaps for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (PDF) - A report produced by the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) using grants from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The report is a culmination of a five-year multi-agency partnership that involved the Michigan Department of Education, to conduct a State needs assessment and to develop service infrastructure recommendations. You can view the Full Report and the Executive Summary on the Michigan Department of Education Web site at http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-8347-103283--M_2004_10,00.html.

 

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 National Resources & Websites

Brain Injury The online authority for information about living after a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury.

 

MENTOR ABI* Group: http://nj.thementornetwork.com/state/index.asp 

Providing Rehabilitative and Support Services for Persons with ABI (*Acquired Brain Injury).

 

MN West Metro TBI Family Support Group: The West Metro TBI Family Support Group was started in May 2005. The support group is for kids/teens and their family. We meet on the 1st Thursday of each mouth for 7:00 to 8:30pm in Buffalo, MN. Contact Jay & Amanda Bowden at westmetrotbi@hotmail.com or call the support group at 763-355-0107.

 

Brain Injury Association (formerly the National Head Injury Foundation)
105 North Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: (800) 444-6443 (Family Helpline); (703) 236-6000
Email: FamilyHelpline@biausa.org
Web site: www.biausa.org

Emergency Medical Services for Children—National Resource Center
111 Michigan Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20010-2979
Telephone: (202) 884-4927
Email: info@emscnrc.com
Web: www.ems-c.org/

Epilepsy Foundation-National Office
4351 Garden City Drive
Suite 500
Landover, MD 20785
Telephone: 301-459-3700; (800) 332-1000; (800) 332-2070 (TTY)
Email: postmaster@efa.org
Web site: www.efa.org

 
Family Caregiver Alliance
690 Market Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104
Telephone: (415) 434-3388; (800) 445-8106
Email: info@caregiver.org
Web site: www.caregiver.org

Family Voices
3411 Candelaria NE, Suite M
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Telephone: (888) 835-5669
Email: kidshealth@familyvoices.org
Web site: www.familyvoices.org

Head Injury Hotline
212 Pioneer Building
Seattle, WA 98104-2221
Telephone: (206) 621-8558
Email: brain@headinjury.com
Web site: www.headinjury.com

 

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 Articles Related to this Disability

MI Legislation Introduced to Replace the Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury Services and Prevention Council Introduced on January 27, 2015 - Click here.

 

NFL Chooses Michigan Site for National Brain-Injury Treatment Program (MIRS December 17, 2014) Michigan will host the only brain-injury treatment program in the nation to help both military veterans and professional athletes recover from injuries sustained on the battlefield and football field. The program will take place at Eisenhower Center in Ann Arbor. Representatives from the residential neuro-rehabilitation facility were joined by veterans and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in announcing the "After the Impact" program. Eisenhower Center will become the main facility used by the NFLPA for treating brain injuries and other neurological issues. "After the Impact" provides intensive treatment for soldiers and athletes recovering from concussions, mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in intense transitional treatment of multiple deficit areas resulting from the injury. It also includes education and other supports for living with a brain injury. It evolved from the Eisenhower Center’s transitional treatment program to help military members deal with brain injuries.

 

An Interview with Brain Injury Advocate Elizabeth Peterson on the Documentary “Every 21 Seconds…” - Every 21 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. Although the incidence is quite prevalent, people aren't aware of brain injury. Elizabeth Peterson is Director of the New Mexico Brain Injury Advisory Council and extensively involved in issues related to head injury, brain trauma and traumatic brain injury. In this interview, she discusses a movie entitled “ Every 21 Seconds…” a 60 minute documentary telling the stories of 8 New Mexicans living with brain injury.
 

OH Disabled Pupils Learn to Focus in Sensory Room - The bright colors, dazzling lights and textured gizmos in the new "sensory" room at a school for students with developmental disabilities actually have a calming effect. [Free registration/login required to view this article.]

 

The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential: www.iahp.org - Serving children by teaching parents how to enhance the development of their children based upon proven brain research and documented results with both well and brain-damaged children.

  

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 Medical Information

Brain Injury Glossary - Medical vocabulary associated with brain injuries.

 

New Therapy Helps Victims of Alexia - An experimental therapy is helping people with a bewildering condition called alexia, which can leave its victims speaking normally and able to spell words aloud but unable to read. A stroke left Bill seeing written letters that looked like gibberish - devastating to an educated 62-year-old left terrified of getting lost amid street signs he couldn't decipher.

 

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 Books & Videos

 

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 Personal Home Pages & Websites

I am a Brain Injury Survivor from Rockland, N.Y. in the U.S. I am owner of a web site dedicated to living with TBI. http://www.tbilife.com has poetry by survivors from around the world; important links; Q&A by survivors, and much more. I have also published a book of poems on my life, along with info on Brain Injury. Please visit my site to utilize anything you find helpful. My experiences are very real and part of life. My efforts to help others are sincere and focused. My best regards, Daniel Windheim

 

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