If you are having trouble viewing this email please click here September 2013
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Region 4 @ George Mason University

A news brief linking people and resources to support quality practices in the education of all students

For the 2013-14 school year, we have updated the format of our TTAC newsletter. All subscribers will now receive a news brief of information and resources via email once a month from September through May, excluding December. Each news brief will highlight a key topic in education related to supporting the learning needs of all students.
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Concussions are sustained by thousands of students in grades K-12 every year.

Educators, school personnel, medical professionals, and family members need to work together to plan and implement the return to school process. There are a variety of strategies for addressing the myriad of challenges faced by these students.

Be Ready

  • Learn how to assist a student who has sustained a concussion (a mild traumatic brain injury) when he/she returns to the classroom. “The term “mild” is used in reference to the severity of the initial physical trauma that caused the injury. It does not indicate the severity of the consequences of the injury.” (Brain Injury Association of America, 2013)
  • Each student will need academic, environmental, and social adjustments tailored specifically to his or her needs because every concussion is different. The consequences of a concussion can affect all aspects of daily life including physical, sensory, cognitive, and social skills. (Brain Injury Association of Virginia, 2011)
  • The child or student may become less effective as a problem solver and student and both academic and social learning can be compromised. (Presentation by Peter D. Patrick, Ph.D., Virginia Department of Education Traumatic Brain Injury Team Training, July 30, 2013).


Set a course of action

  • There are accommodations and modifications needed to help a student while he/she is recovering from a concussion (which often improves within 4 weeks). General safety procedures, including medication, or scheduling adjustments, such as shortening length of classes and increased breaks, may be necessary. Environmental accommodations and the modification of instruction, including reduced content per page, adjusting expectations, and the possible use of assistive technology, both low and high tech, could be needed.
  • If symptoms persist for a longer period of time, a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may need to be developed and closely monitored for progress.

For more information and ideas, go to:

Brain 101: The Concussion Playbook- Teacher Packet
    This packet includes:
  • Information for Teachers: Signs and Symptoms of Concussion
  • Return to Academics Progression
  • Accommodation Suggestions
  • Accommodations Plan from Healthcare Provider
Working with Individuals with Brain Injury: A Professional’s Guide
    This guide contains:
  • Brain Injury Deficit Management Strategies Chart
Brain Injury in Children and Youth: A Manual for Educators
    This manual contains:
  • Chapter 3: Changes in Learning and Intervention Strategies
  • Brain Injury Association of America (2013). Mild Brain Injury and Concussion: Definition. Retrieved from http://www.biausa.org/mild-brain-injury.htm
  • Brain Injury Association of Virginia (2011). The Voice of Brain Injury: Help, Hope & Healing. Retrieved from www.biav.net/about.htm
  • Patrick, P. D. (2013) Presentation at Virginia Department of Education Traumatic Brain Injury Team Training, Staunton, Virginia.

This news brief is a collaborative effort of the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers at George Mason University and James Madison University. This issue was prepared by the staff of the VDOE TTAC at George Mason University. For questions about the content, please contact Clare Talbert or Kris Ganley or call our office at 703-993-4496.

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Contact Info:
Address: 4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703.993.4496
Fax: 703.993.4497
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