Concussion in the Classroom
Symptoms of concussion include physical, mental, and emotional problems that can interfere with daily functioning, including academic performance. Students who are recovering from concussion may have particular difficulties with concentration and memory, and may tire much more easily during the course of the school day. As they get more tired, symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and fatigue can increase.
Avoiding re-injury and avoiding mental over-exertion are both important to ensure recovery from concussion. In most cases, a student will recover fully in a week or so. When symptoms last longer, academic accommodations that can assist the student during recovery might include home tutoring, rest breaks during school, extended time for tests, or being allowed to eat lunch in a quiet place instead of a noisy cafeteria.
Concussion is an invisible injury. Because of this, changes in a student's behavior and academic performance may be blamed on other causes. For example, mental fatigue or difficulty concentrating may be misinterpreted as laziness or disinterest. Students themselves might wonder if they're "crazy" because they can't see or feel the concussion-only its effects. Pressures to return to sports or other activities before complete recovery may cause a student, parent, coach, or friend to minimize or ignore the symptoms of concussion.
A short video and a brochure providing more information about "Concussion in the Classroom" are available on this page or by contacting the Upstate Concussion Management Program & CNY Sports Concussion Center at 464-8986. These resources were developed to help students, teachers, parents, nurses, guidance counselors, school psychologists, and others understand the effects of concussion. Topics covered in these materials include the following:
- What is a concussion?
- What are the symptoms of concussion, and how do they affect academic performance?
- Ways to help the student who is recovering from concussion.