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Brain Injuries Can Cause Special Needs in Children

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 2.2 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) each year. Individuals can sustain TBIs in a number of ways, including auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and more. While a TBI can have serious symptoms for a victim of any age, children often tend to struggle even more with a TBI for various reasons. First, children may have difficulty fully understanding their limitations caused by the injury and may not associate the symptoms with the TBI. This may result in added frustration or even risk of further injury. Additionally, children with a TBI may have special needs when it comes to their education.

Rest Period

Immediately after a serious TBI, the majority of children will require a period of strict physical and mental rest. During this time, leaving the house may be too exhausting and the child may have significant challenges with even the most basic communications. Children may fall behind on their studies and may require tutors and educational rehabilitative specialists to catch up again. In cases of particularly severe TBI, a child may need to be home-schooled for an extended period of time.

Special Needs at School

When a TBI victim can return to school, symptoms may still linger and have an effect on their abilities and performance. Students with TBI may experience some or many of the following challenges:

  • Reading material multiple times with little to no retention;
  • Inability to remember what they studied, especially under pressure during a test;
  • Exhaustion from even the most basic school activities;
  • Needing extra time to formulate thoughts and communicate them orally or in written form;
  • Trouble paying attention or focusing in class;
  • Not processing information from lectures even if they are able to focus;
  • Trouble reading aloud quickly; and
  • Challenges with timed assignments or tests.

Accommodation for Students with TBI

Under federal laws, many schools are required to provide reasonable accommodations for students with qualified temporary or permanent disabilities, and a TBI can often qualify. A TBI victim will generally have to undergo an evaluation to assess particular behavioral, cognitive, or emotional challenges or weaknesses to design appropriate accommodations. Some common accommodation for student with TBI may include:

  • Allowing untimed or extended time tests and assignments;
  • Having note-takers or other similar assistance in lectures;
  • Clarification of instructions for assignments;
  • Giving them extra breaks;
  • Allowing for spelling or grammar mistakes on certain exams or assignments;
  • Not asking them to read aloud in class;
  • Adapting exam schedules to lessen pressure; and
  • Transferring them to a different classroom with additional personalized attention.

The accommodations for a particular child will be set out in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which will be regularly updated according to their progress.

Having a child with a TBI is never easy and your child may suffer long-term complications as a result of the injury. If your child suffered a TBI in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you deserve to recover for all of the losses incurred as a result. Please call the Boca Raton law office of Lavalle Brown & Ronan for a free consultation today.

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