With the heat letting up and the loud singing of insects come the promise of fall with cooler days, early darkness, and the start of school.
If you are a service member or veteran who has sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and you’re going back to school this fall, you may face challenges related solely to your experience with TBI. Here’s a list of resources that can help you manage the challenges and make the most out of your return to the classroom.
- Back to School Guide to Academic Success After Traumatic Brain Injury: This comprehensive 50-page guide, from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), provides help for service members and veterans who have ongoing symptoms from a TBI and are going to college, university or vocational school. Among many useful topics is information on accommodations that schools can be asked to make for TBI-injured students, such as approval to use tape recorders or other assistive technology and priority seating.
- PDF: Returning to School After a Concussion: A Fact Sheet for School Professionals: This 12-page document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can be given to teachers or administrators. It provides a helpful overview of a concussion’s potential effects on a student, the appropriate role of the teacher in supporting someone with TBI, how a concussion can affect learning, potential limitations, the importance of rest and other useful information.
- Changes in Behavior, Personality or Mood: This fact sheet offers tips for managing your mood. It also recommends two apps, Breathe2Relax and T2 Mood Tracker.
- Headache and Neck Pain: This two-page reference suggests possible contributions to head and neck pain and ways to relieve discomfort.
- Healthy Sleep: Includes tips for a good sleep environment, an exercise, and a link to an app to help those with chronic insomnia.
- Ways to Improve Your Memory: This fact sheet offers organizational tips to help you keep track of things you need to remember, steps to improve health and boost recall powers, and includes a helpful tracker to get you started.
- Concussion Coach: A mobile app for veterans, service members and others with typical symptoms of a concussion to moderate traumatic brain injury who are receiving face-to-face treatment from a health care provider. The app, designed by National Center for Telehealth and Technology, provides portable, convenient tools for patients to assess symptoms and cope with TBI-related problems.
Because the symptoms of TBI can worsen and additional complications can develop, it’s important to prevent a second TBI before the first has healed. A few resources may help you and loved ones stay protected: A Head for the Future, a DVBIC public health initiative to raise awareness and lower the risk of concussion among service members and veterans, and “Bicycle Safety,” a four-minute video by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that covers the importance of wearing a helmet and demonstrates the proper way to fit a bicycle helmet.
If you have tips or tricks to help with school, please feel free to share them with our community in the comments section below. Start this school year off prepared – we wish you all the best for academic success!