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Alma: My daughter is in HS and is suffering from a mild TBI, post concussion syndrome. She does have a 504, there arent any specific accommodations and the school had said they arent sure what to do to. Prior to the concussion, she was an excellent student ranking in the top 6% of her class. The school and teachers are giving her a hard time and this is causing her more stress and she has missed a lot of school. Now I have to go to a credit appeal for excessive absences- all which are related to her illness. I have a lot of medical notes to excuse her. I thought with a 504 in place we wouldnt have to go through the appeal process.

  1. My son attends a private school where they put a lot of emphasis on physical activity. They have the kids running, swimming, doing calisthenics, rollerblading, even riding unicycles. But they stay away from the kind of team contact sports likely to cause concussion. And I certainly don’t complain about it. Concussions is one of those “typical” teenager experiences I’m not sad he misses out on (bullying is another big one).

    Those parents who get neuro-psychs are smart! If you can afford it (or have the kind of insurance that would cover it) a good private evaluation is an invaluable asset. Even a decent publicly-funded IEE can be helpful, though I imagine the quality would depend a lot on where you live.

  2. JillG, My children are high school athletes and concussions and TBIs are becoming a major concern. I know some parents, especially those with athletes, are getting private baseline neuropsyche evals for their kids. Some high schools require certain types of pre-injury testing for all high school athletes and they provide (very basic ones) for free. The more complicated evals‚ some parents seek privately but are well worth it as well as follow-up ones if needed for college accommodations.

    JillG, keep contributing as your info is so helpful. I was not aware of all the resources noted in your replies.

  3. Alma ‚ It’s clear that the current 504 plan is not meeting your daughter’s needs. I encourage you to ask for a meeting with the 504 Team to discuss this. You can talk about your daughter’s disability, the areas you/they think are challenging for her, and any suggestions you/they may have for amending the plan to help your daughter be successful in school.

    If the 504 Team remains a loss about how to effectively help your daughter, it may be best to return to the evaluation phase. A well-completed evaluation will tell the Team what specific accommodations and supports your daughter needs to help her succeed. You can ask the 504 Team to reevaluate, or you could seek a private evaluation and provide the results to the school.

    You do have options if the Team in not amenable. The school must provide you with access to a review system, as well as opportunity for a due process hearing. OCR at the federal Dept of Education also has a complaint system you can access, and may be able to offer you technical assistance and information.

    Several states/orgs have created guides about teaching students with TBI. These are no substitute for a comprehensive evaluation, but may be a helpful starting place for you and the school. Here are a few:

    Brain Injury in Children & Youth: A Manual for Educators

    Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Educators

    A few more:

    Meeting the Needs of Students with Traumatic Brain Injury

    Brain Injury & the Schools: A Guide for Educators

    Brain Injury: A Guide for Educators

    Students With Traumatic Brain Injury: Identification, Assessment & Classroom Accommodations

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