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ERIC Number: EJ976830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Return to Learning: Going Back to School Following a Concussion
McAvoy, Karen
Communique, v40 n6 p1, 23-25 Mar-Apr 2012
A concussion is a brain injury that affects cognitive, emotional, behavioral, physical, and sleep/energy patterns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreational concussions occur each year. Countless more children sustain concussions from nonsports activities such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, and assaults. While not all children who sustain concussions are athletes, all children who sustain concussions are "students." Almost everyone understands the rationale for physical rest following a concussion. The cases of second impact syndrome, the phenomenon in which a student can suffer permanent brain damage or death from a second blow to the head during recovery from an initial blow, highlight the importance of not returning to play (RTP) before the concussion is 100% healed. In just the past few years, experts in the field of concussion have come to the realization that cognitive demands, much like physical demands, can worsen symptoms and can delay recovery. While the end result of continuing to push through cognitive exertion has yet to cause catastrophic brain damage or death, it would be wrong to believe that there are no risks at all. To date, there are no agreed upon formulas for return to learning (RTL). This is due largely to the fact that the return to school following concussion is an extremely individualized process. In concussion management, both RTP and RTL are common and important terms, but they are not parallel processes. The school psychologist and/or the school nurse are uniquely poised to facilitate the transition of a student with a concussion from the medical setting back to the educational setting. Their role is to help educate and facilitate subtle and profound academic adjustments over the course of recovery from concussion. The result of early intervention and comprehensive management of the concussion by the school team can make all the difference in subsequent cognitive and physical recovery. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A