What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Students with traumatic brain injuries are becoming increasingly more prevalent. Brain
injury can result from two types of trauma: 1) external events, such as closed head
trauma or an object penetrating the brain; or 2) internal events, such as cerebral
vascular accidents, tumors, ingestion of toxic substances, hypoxia, or infections
of the brain. These students often exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
short-term memory problems, serious attention deficits, behavior problems, problems
of judgment, and serious anxiety attacks.
Strategies That Can Be Used With Students Who Have Traumatic Brain Injuries
Changes in symptoms and condition can occur at any time. This may require changes
in accommodations, as well as in education programs. (Some of the strategies listed
in the section on learning disabilities may also be appropriate.)
- Demonstrate new tasks, and provide examples, charts, and other graphic cues when possible
to illustrate ideas and concepts.
- State instructions clearly and go over each step to make sure the student understands
- Paraphrase information to help with recall.
- Review and summarize often.
- Repeat all key points.
- Provide ample time for task completion. Students with traumatic brain injuries often
need extra time to process information and complete tasks as well as to respond to
verbal cues and instructor questions.
- Encourage the use of schedules, checklists, and notebooks to assist in organizing
- Break assignments into smaller parts. Break complex tasks down into steps.
- Be prepared for reduced stamina and increased fatigue.
- Allow students to tape record lectures.
- Assist student in obtaining a note taker.
- Have the student sit in the front of the class: this helps with attention, concentration,
and also minimizes distractions.
Information Courtesy of Guilford Technical Community College. Used with permission.
Student Support Services
Student Services Building