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Returning to School Tips

When students return to school after a concussion, school professionals and parents should watch for:

  • Increased problems paying attention or concentrating
  • Increased problems remembering or learning new information
  • Longer time needed to complete tasks or assignments
  • Difficulty organizing tasks or shifting between tasks
  • Inappropriate or impulsive behavior during class
  • Greater irritability
  • Less ability to cope with stress
  • More emotional than usual
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty handling a stimulating school environment (lights, noise, etc.)
  • Physical symptoms (headache, nausea, dizziness)

6 Steps for Return to Academics:

  1. No structured physical or cognitive activity
  2. Gradual reintroduction of cognitive activity
  3. Homework at home before return to school
  4. Return to school setting part day once able to tolerate 1-2 cumulative hours of homework at home
  5. Gradual increase to full school day
  6. Resume full academic workload; introduce testing; catch up with essential work

Possible Accommodations to Guide Return to School Curriculum:

  • Allow extended time to complete/turn in assignments
  • Reduce academic workload – classwork and homework
  • Provide lecture notes to student ahead of actual lecture (reduces multi-tasking demands)
  • Allow student to use other students’ study notes

Modify testing activities:

  • Extra Time
  • Quiet environment
  • No more than one test per day
  • Provide multiple-choice format
  • Delay/defer standardized testing
  • Reduce length of test or allow student to complete over multiple sessions
  • Oral test taking

Modify the environment:

  • Limit or avoid exposure to noisy areas of school (dismiss from class early to avoid loud, busy school hallways)
  • Shortened school day
  • Allow frequent rest breaks/rest – planned or as needed
  • Allow student to wear sunglasses and/or hat or visor to reduce impact of light sensitivity symptoms

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