Jump to content

Menu

Brainstorm with me about concussions and academics


creekland
 Share

Recommended Posts

Public school Bio class that's on Block scheduling meaning it runs from Aug - Jan WITH a state test that must be passed to graduate in Jan.

 

Young lad who had a major concussion from a football hit.  He has missed 3 weeks of school already and is returning Monday to see if he can adjust back to school.  According to mom, he can not write, can not spend more than 10 minutes on a computer, can not handle bright lights or "busy" things causing his mind to try to focus on more than one thing at once.  She expects he won't be back to normal until perhaps mid-Nov.

 

At a parent meeting on Thursday I suggested the incredibly obvious solution:

 

Drop the class and take it in the spring instead.  Bio has a ton of new knowledge/vocab/etc.  If he were to come back now as his "old" self he'd have no problem as he's a super high academic student.  But with the restrictions?  I fail to see how it's in his best interest to try.  He wants to head to college.  State test results are on his transcript. It would be better for him to do well.  At the time both guidance and mom were on board and this was our plan.

 

Then yesterday I find out the young lad does not want to do this AND mom is supporting his decision.

 

My brain has been struggling to come up with a plan that could work for him while not slowing down the other students.  

 

I can dim lights, but... beyond that and having someone else take notes for him so he doesn't have to write... how in the world do I make this work?

 

We use computers.  I use our white board up front and often show computer demonstrations of what we're doing.  The class does projects and assignments.  He's behind one significant test already and next Friday is likely to be the next one.

 

And what if junior plans to defy mom and do more than she says he can?  (I know I would if I were in his position, but that doesn't mean it would be the right thing.)  How do I continually watch one student when I have 26 others?

 

If anyone has suggestions for me to think about between now and Monday morning, I'm all ears.  He's a very intelligent, nice young man and I'd love a win-win opportunity for both him and the class.  I'm just having trouble figuring out what that is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see how he will do well in the class with his restrictions for another month when his is missing a good portion of it. I don't he is able to keep up on the reading either, so someone taking notes for him won't do much good if he can't read them. With the concussion, he has to let his brain rest in order to heal. I am not sure how the kids that I know who have had bad concussions as his caught up once they were able to attend classes all day. It was usually a slow start to returning to classes because they couldn't handle being at school all day due to the lights, noise, etc... He may find he has no choice but to drop the class because of his grades. I am wondering if he and his mom think that you will drop some of his assignments to help him out.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no suggestions but my dd had a concussion the year she had biology. She got the concussion a few days before school started and wasn't back to normal until end of December. We had previously homeschooled and this was her first year at a private school. She missed several days and then we tried a modified schedule. She could not do it. I was at a football game watching her older sister perform in poms and a few of the teachers came over by me and gently told me "bring dd home and homeschool her". She was failing tests and was miserable. My dh wanted to make it work but finally gave in.

 

Even at home we struggled. She could only handle reading for 10 min at a time and then would forget everything she read. I tried reading ro her and it was the same thing. There are just so many things to memorize in biology. We ended up dropping down to just s few subjects. At the time I was terrified that she would never get better. Finally 2nd semester she was doing much better and she was able to catch up. I really think if she stayed at school she would have failed and her recovery would have been even longer.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really am not seeing how you can adjust a class of 26 to accommodate for this one kid while moving at the needed pace?  I don't think mom is being realistic and maybe after a bit at school he'll either roll with it and adjust or they will re evaluate and discover they really do need a plan B. 

 

I would do what you can without affecting the class, pacing, or content for the other students - copy notes from another student, dim lights, etc.   I think mom needs a reality check.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Y'all have given me some ideas...

 

Yes, I'd already planned on exempting him from several back assignments.  Honestly, if he can master the concepts, that's all that's important.  Assignments merely help with that.

 

BUT... it's doubtful he will be able to master the concepts at this point.  (I really appreciate the BTDT experiences so I can understand more of what's going on.)

 

An incomplete might help, but the state test is still in Jan.  If we push him off to the May test, it's better if he takes the class right before the test, not months before.

 

So now I'm wondering about talking with the lad himself.  I know mom and guidance believe me.  It's junior who doesn't.

 

My suspicion is that he's feeling really badly about many things at the moment.  Mom said he lives for sports and now he can't play football for the rest of this season and basketball is in doubt too.  Many of his friends are in my class.  He's bored out of his mind with the restrictions, but tires easily when he tries anything and still has headaches, etc.  All of that (and probably other things that have changed) are probably making him want to return "anything" to normal rather than changing more.

 

So... speaking to him Monday...  I'm his second class.  He will have already tried his first one.

 

I'm toying with suggesting he try the "new" planned schedule where he goes to a gifted seminar that can better meet his needs and make his decision AFTER seeing what his other possibility is - hopefully finding friends there.  Catching up from one more day wouldn't affect a thing.  I'd have to see if I could get guidance on board with this.  I'm positive the gifted seminar teacher would be fine with it.

 

Or I could let him try class and then talk with him to get his feel for the whole thing.  Perhaps if he feels badly he'd be more open to considering his other option?

 

I was wondering if Mom was exaggerating and perhaps the lad was chafing from unnecessary restrictions, but reading the BTDT situations on here I'm not leaning that way anymore.  She had paperwork from a concussion specialist group and said they told her his is among the worst they've seen.  I have plenty of reason to believe her over him if he suggests he's fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I know is how badly C and I were affected by our concussions last year. They occured on July 12 and when we attempted to begin trig assignments after Labor Day, he could not manage them, and I could not teach them. It was awful for us. We tried again after Thanksgiving and did much better. Somehow we managed to catch up by the time he took his math placement exam for U of Mi.

 

Emphasize brain healing. He can always learn biology in the future, but only if his brain heals. To be honest, it was 13 months after ths accident before C and I felt sharp, capable again. For him, thankfully just in time for college to begin. Heis doing well and as for me, I started working on a new to me Chopin ballade, in August and wss actually able to make progress. Previous to that, I had trouble processing and felt like I had lost a lot of my music education. Very scary. So pleases let the family know that right now giving his brain time and rest is the most important thing they can do so he does not end up permanently brain injured.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emphasize brain healing. He can always learn biology in the future, but only if his brain heals. 

 

Good idea!

 

I already sent his GC a letter detailing my updated thoughts and possible options - specifically having him try the gifted seminar for the day.  For that to work I have to get at least guidance on board, and they'll likely run it through mom.

 

Our school still lets parents run the show for their offspring.  We can't overrule them.  (I like this policy, so this is not a complaint.)

 

And again (to all) I appreciate hearing these BTDT situations.  It gives me more to draw upon as my goal is what's best for junior.  At this point I plan to "fight" for his best interest rather than trying to figure out something in a likely "no win" scenario.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If nothing else helps, and you can't convince the young man otherwise, he could wear sunglasses in your class that are covered from the inside so he can't see anything, but still hear everything. Have him do an audio recording of each class with his own comments on it. Sit a student who is academically equally inclined next to him and have the student comment on what is happening.

I have never btdt, but those ideas came to mind.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It's not fair of you to continue giving one student special accommodations such as missing tests and assignments, is it not fair of you to hold up an entire class for one student, and it is not right for for you to be in this position.

 

Hard ass here, but make general accommodations for him (dim lights, etc), but let the chips fall where they may. One bad grade won't keep a kid out of an Ivy (if he's genuinely ivy-bound) or disqualify him from scholarships, plus he will have months to study for the test before he takes it, right? So even if he gets a bad grade in the class he could self-study and do well on the test?

 

Learning moment, natural consequences, blah, blah, blah...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a webinar about returning to school after concussion.  

 

http://www.pattan.net/Videos/Browse/Single/?code_name=brainsteps_presents_concussions_in_the

 

Thanks, but I'll have to actually watch it at school as our internet here at home is slow.  Rural areas often come with compromises...  I'll be going to school tomorrow to get ready for next week and finish grading projects, so I'll take a look at it then.

 

It's not fair of you to continue giving one student special accommodations such as missing tests and assignments,

 

I have to say I disagree with this.  If his situation weren't health related, I'd agree, but I think it's important to make accommodations in health-related situations.  No one in his class (pretty much all high achievers) will have issues with it.  They understand what's going on.  At school we often make accommodations to students for documented health situations.  Things happen.  We have students dealing with cancer, heart issues, allergy issues and more.  School gets missed.  It's not fair to them to insist they complete all the same things while dealing with what life has tossed them.

 

And no, he can't graduate without passing both the class and the state test in this subject.

 

Can I just say :huh: .

 

A concussion is a brain injury.  From what you are saying, the child is in NO WAY ready to return to school-he should be at home, HEALING. What the heck is wrong with the parents?

 

I can't answer this one... I know mom felt it was important after three weeks that he start getting back into life.  She said she had research to back her up.  I'm assuming she's also taking the advice of the concussion doctor(s) they've seen.  I've no idea to be sure, but she had a doctor's note excusing him from all of the accommodations she was asking for.  (That's a legal requirement.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I can't answer this one... I know mom felt it was important after three weeks that he start getting back into life.  She said she had research to back her up.  I'm assuming she's also taking the advice of the concussion doctor(s) they've seen.  I've no idea to be sure, but she had a doctor's note excusing him from all of the accommodations she was asking for.  (That's a legal requirement.)

 

I think I'm projecting.  I've had to recover from a brain injury (not a concussion) and trying to doing too much set my recovery back.  It was a fairly miserable experience, so I think I'm having unreasonable empathy for your student. Disregard the prior comment.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would a doctor send a student back to school that quoting op,   "According to mom, he can not write, can not spend more than 10 minutes on a computer, can not handle bright lights or "busy" things causing his mind to try to focus on more than one thing at once.  She expects he won't be back to normal until perhaps mid-Nov."  Doesn't he have another class as well? You just can't push through a brain injury and get better. I can't imagine what you could do in class that would work. Can the school district send him a home tutor so he can space out his ten minutes at a time of work?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would a doctor send a student back to school that quoting op, "According to mom, he can not write, can not spend more than 10 minutes on a computer, can not handle bright lights or "busy" things causing his mind to try to focus on more than one thing at once. She expects he won't be back to normal until perhaps mid-Nov." Doesn't he have another class as well? You just can't push through a brain injury and get better. I can't imagine what you could do in class that would work. Can the school district send him a home tutor so he can space out his ten minutes at a time of work?

I too question the doctor's judgment. The school should provide a home bound student teacher. My brother's junior year he was badly injured, horrible concussion, writing hand broken, drainage tube in his chest. His high school sent a part time math teacher to the house two hours per day five days a week. He read important assignments aloud to my brother and did the work orally with my brother getting credit for dictating answers and short writing assignments. When he went back to school nine weeks later, he was completely caught up. Schools do not like to provide it because it is expensive, however, I think most states require that the service is provided for students with significant illness or injury.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would a doctor send a student back to school that quoting op,   "According to mom, he can not write, can not spend more than 10 minutes on a computer, can not handle bright lights or "busy" things causing his mind to try to focus on more than one thing at once.  She expects he won't be back to normal until perhaps mid-Nov."  Doesn't he have another class as well? You just can't push through a brain injury and get better. I can't imagine what you could do in class that would work. Can the school district send him a home tutor so he can space out his ten minutes at a time of work?

 

I can't answer your question as to why.  Perhaps someone on here more knowledgeable about the medical aspect of getting back into things can, I'm not sure.  I know her desired accommodations all were on the doctor's signed note, but whether they came from her or the office is beyond the scope of what I know.

 

And yes, our school also provides homebound instruction when needed.  It's definitely considered inferior though.

 

He has 4 classes plus an extra section of probably reading on his schedule.  He's returning for half a day to start with - his first block class which I'm thinking was English - and mine.

 

If he ends up staying in my class, I'm not sure what will work for him.  I'll really have to brainstorm.  It's what this thread was started for - to give me ideas.  I've gleaned more about the whole situation, so that will help if I'm unsuccessful with my second try at getting his schedule switched.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There needs to be an emergency 504 meeting. Guidance counselor and admin should be more proactive with this. Is there any way you can give him advance notes, so he just has to follow along in the lecture? Can he do his tests orally? (Either into a recording device or directly with you) He should be allowed extra time and frequent breaks on tests. The powers that be can get this for state testing, too.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know that a lot of the new research on concussions is not widely known amongst gps. A friend took her eight year-old to the family practitioner when she hit her head hard on the gymn floor resulting in a brief loss of consciousness and vomitting. The gp told her to have the child rest for a day and then go back to normal. 12 hours later with one pupil dilated and the other not plus severe, ongoing projectile vomitting, she ended up at a level 1 trauma unit with a completely appalled ER doc in charge. She ended up hospitalized for observation with follow up instructions of no t.v., computer, or reading for six weeks, no impact movement, lots of sleep. The family doc insisted it was over kill despite the fact that the little girl landed in physical therapy at the end of the six weeks because of balance and coordination issues.

 

I nearly died in college from a concussion. The county hospital doc sent me back to my dorm with instructions to my RA to keep an eye on me despite the fact I kept falling asleep and would stop breathing. He told my RA to shake me whenever I dozed off! After two hours and several long periods where I would stop breathing necessitating frantic dorm friends waking me up, an ambulance was called and I was turfed to a more advanced ER where I was sent tothe trauma floor for 72 hours.

 

Concussions must be taken very seriously and that word needs to get out on the street and into every medical establishment.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There needs to be an emergency 504 meeting. Guidance counselor and admin should be more proactive with this. Is there any way you can give him advance notes, so he just has to follow along in the lecture? Can he do his tests orally? (Either into a recording device or directly with you) He should be allowed extra time and frequent breaks on tests. The powers that be can get this for state testing, too.

 

The 504 meeting was Thursday's meeting where I thought all of us were in agreement.  Friday I got an email that mom had changed her mind due to son not wanting to drop the class.  I've been pondering my options/plans since.

 

There are some advanced notes I can give him and oral tests would be perfectly fine by me.  Our school provides teachers who read tests for students who need that, so there wouldn't be a problem.  They are allowed to write answers when needed.

 

A big part of my teaching isn't really lecture though.  It's a combo of lecture, discussion, and hands on or video demonstrations.  I tend to think most kids learn better when they "see" something vs just being told it.  I lecture the vocab and concepts, then show them things or have them discover it through various means/assignments, including computers since there are so many good videos out there (like of cells, etc).

 

Concussions must be taken very seriously and that word needs to get out on the street and into every medical establishment.

 

I agree, but stepping into the medical decision part of this is way out of my field.  I'm learning (crash course) what I can to do that is best for him.  Dealing with this is a new one for me.  I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

 

If he is there Monday... we have a fire drill during that class.  I'm going to assume sending him outside early is a given considering what everyone has said.  I can't fathom what the bells and flashing lights would do to his system.  Fortunately this is not a "guess when" drill as some are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO/gut instinct...the young man lost something very important to him (sports) and he doesn't want to lose anything else, like classes/credits/academic progress.

 

I think any plan that he would accept would have to make sure he doesn't lose ground or perceive himself as losing ground.

 

Some of the responses are pretty harsh and make me wonder what their idea of purpose of education is.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, but I'll have to actually watch it at school as our internet here at home is slow.  Rural areas often come with compromises...  I'll be going to school tomorrow to get ready for next week and finish grading projects, so I'll take a look at it then.

 

 

I have to say I disagree with this.  If his situation weren't health related, I'd agree, but I think it's important to make accommodations in health-related situations.  No one in his class (pretty much all high achievers) will have issues with it.  They understand what's going on.  At school we often make accommodations to students for documented health situations.  Things happen.  We have students dealing with cancer, heart issues, allergy issues and more.  School gets missed.  It's not fair to them to insist they complete all the same things while dealing with what life has tossed them.

 

And no, he can't graduate without passing both the class and the state test in this subject.

 

 

I can't answer this one... I know mom felt it was important after three weeks that he start getting back into life.  She said she had research to back her up.  I'm assuming she's also taking the advice of the concussion doctor(s) they've seen.  I've no idea to be sure, but she had a doctor's note excusing him from all of the accommodations she was asking for.  (That's a legal requirement.)

 

I would say that if you were a football coach, you could not in good conscience let him play and subject him to external stress, and as a biology coach you cannot let him use that muscle in a way that would impede his recovery. You're happy to let him simply not do the work in class but you can't pass him for that.

 

 

 

There needs to be an emergency 504 meeting. Guidance counselor and admin should be more proactive with this. Is there any way you can give him advance notes, so he just has to follow along in the lecture? Can he do his tests orally? (Either into a recording device or directly with you) He should be allowed extra time and frequent breaks on tests. The powers that be can get this for state testing, too.

 

Yes. I actually think the school district should let him finish it all in summer, and give him the quarter off. I don't see how they would let a child play football or basketball with an injury. I would compare it to this. And then I would suggest that the guidance counselor help find a way to work with colleges to apply with Junior year grades and let them know that he was recovering from an injury and the school had a plan in place to ensure he graduates with the coursework as planned by July 31st or something.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the school let him come and be there for study halls, lunch, etc, and meet with a homebound teacher there for whatever level of work he can handle? Maybe even with lying down in the nurse's office (I know the school I taught in had one, even though we only had a nurse a few days a month) for some of the time? Let him stay in the social part of school, but give him a break on academics as needed?

 

This kid has lost a lot in a really brief period of time, and probably fears losing more if he's out of the loop socially.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know that a lot of the new research on concussions is not widely known amongst gps. A friend took her eight year-old to the family practitioner when she hit her head hard on the gymn floor resulting in a brief loss of consciousness and vomitting. The gp told her to have the child rest for a day and then go back to normal. 12 hours later with one pupil dilated and the other not plus severe, ongoing projectile vomitting, she ended up at a level 1 trauma unit with a completely appalled ER doc in charge. She ended up hospitalized for observation with follow up instructions of no t.v., computer, or reading for six weeks, no impact movement, lots of sleep. The family doc insisted it was over kill despite the fact that the little girl landed in physical therapy at the end of the six weeks because of balance and coordination issues.

 

I nearly died in college from a concussion. The county hospital doc sent me back to my dorm with instructions to my RA to keep an eye on me despite the fact I kept falling asleep and would stop breathing. He told my RA to shake me whenever I dozed off! After two hours and several long periods where I would stop breathing necessitating frantic dorm friends waking me up, an ambulance was called and I was turfed to a more advanced ER where I was sent tothe trauma floor for 72 hours.

 

Concussions must be taken very seriously and that word needs to get out on the street and into every medical establishment.

So how did you get your concussion? And why did it take your friends 2 hours and several long periods of you not breathing before they called for help? They probably would have never recovered if you hadn't made it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not read all the above posts.  But I have a son, also a senior, who has had to take incompletes and postpone graduation with flat-out medical leave and withdrawal from school - in his case, college.  Kid was on Honors track in Chemistry when Bipolar and panic attacks started, then in spring term he fell and stopped his fall with the bridge of his nose and forhead on a street curb, with concussion.

 

OK, a bit more than "just" a concussion here, but still dealing with a young male who has had life basically stop for a while.  They need time to heal and/or adjust to any needed meds.  My son has tried twice to restart school, and this upcoming spring semester I will be driving him to one class a week at the local state u. (he still gets anxiety attacks while driving).  IF he can get through the class then next fall we will move him closer to campus (it is almost an hour drive from us) and have him take as full a load as he can tolerate.  He only needed three classes at the $$$ private college three hours away to graduate - using the state U closer to home is far cheaper since his merit award at MoneyBucks U is used up but it means he needs a full year's worth of credits to graduate with their degree (so he will pick up a good minor). 

 

It is very hard for young folks to have to stop and restart life like this, I have to keep telling my son that 10, 20, 30 years from now no one will care that it took him longer to get through school.

Stuff happens, life can not be planned out.  I am always telling all my kids "the key to surivial is adaptability". 

 

The student in your case should be allowed to try and take your class now.  He will soon see that he needs to give himself time to heal.  He CAN take it in Spring.  Life will go on, he will recover more fully.  He could just prepare for spring term by seeing how much he can study vocab. etc. now.   I like the idea of the gifted seminar - he does need to feel productive (I have my son doing a heap of yard work etc. to be busy while he is home, he is also reviewing his Calc. textsbooks and Organic Chem).   BUT - no one can tell him what he should do.  Make the options available, then let him decide what to do when he finds he just can't handle your class this term. 

 

It is great that you care so much - my son had a couple professors at MoneyBucks U that also bent over backwards for him after he got ill and had his concussion.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that if you were a football coach, you could not in good conscience let him play and subject him to external stress, and as a biology coach you cannot let him use that muscle in a way that would impede his recovery. You're happy to let him simply not do the work in class but you can't pass him for that.

 

It wouldn't really matter if I passed him or not.  If he can't pass the state test, he doesn't get credit.  But I have no intentions on passing him with just 2 chapters of the class completed, nor would our school do that for Bio.  His other classes (except Alg 2) are more flexible with content.  English-wise, he's already far enough along to easily pass the state test (says his English teacher).  It's ok if some content slides there.  He's a sophomore in our top level English class.

 

Is he eligible for an aide or a resource period?

 

Our school can and will provide him with whatever he needs/requests.

 

Could the school let him come and be there for study halls, lunch, etc, and meet with a homebound teacher there for whatever level of work he can handle? Maybe even with lying down in the nurse's office (I know the school I taught in had one, even though we only had a nurse a few days a month) for some of the time? Let him stay in the social part of school, but give him a break on academics as needed?

 

This kid has lost a lot in a really brief period of time, and probably fears losing more if he's out of the loop socially.

 

We don't have Study Halls in our school, except during Clubs twice per month.  Lunch he's out of for a bit - half days at first, then eating on his own with friends he selects for a bit afterward.  He's allowed to head to the nurse's office as he sees fit.  We have two nurses working daily at our school (one does middle school technically, but covers for high school too as needed).

 

I agree that I think he's fearful and/or frustrated at all he's lost.

 

Oh yikes on the fire drill!!! Yes, outside in advance and maybe even an appointed spot in the yard slightly away from the other students so he doesn't deal with so much noise and jostling. If you have a school nurse, possibly he/she could come early and accompany him.

 

I love the idea of the nurse being with him wherever he goes, but I'm not sure I can arrange that (or even have the time to suggest that and get it coordinated) Monday morning.  I am definitely planning on having him and a buddy leave early if he's still there Monday.  I wouldn't have thought about it without this thread and details people have shared, so thanks to those who have shared...  If he goes to Seminar, I'll be sure to suggest it to that teacher too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I also think he probably would be better off resting and healing.  It seems like for a biology class, it might help for him to spend some time learning about his own brain and its biology and healing needs.

 

In addition to the accommodations mentioned, I would think maybe recording  the class (audio-visual). lecture, demos, whatever happens. so he could review from that if he misses classes or cannot concentrate on what is happening could help.  And if he can get any text material in recorded form that might help if listening would work better for him.  

 

Will there be things like specimens in formaldehyde? Or other chemicals? That too, not just bright lights and sounds might be hard on him. 

 

If he gets worse (or fails to get better) because of taking your class rather than letting himself heal and rest, will you be blamed?

 

Is an email enough to change what was decided in a 504 meeting?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.concussiontreatment.com/images/SCI_RTS_Illustration.pdf

 

Creekland, This is the chart that I used last year when ds15 had a concussion.  (It took me a while to find it.  The world wide web is HUGE!!)

 

The recommendation is to only move to the next step when symptom free.  (On the chart, the symptoms they are referring to are listed in very small print.)  If your student is still having any of these symptoms (which it sounds like he is), school is unfortunately not the best option right now.

 

 

ETA:  When we were in the ER, the doctor told ds not to use TV, video games, etc. for 2 weeks (iirc).  Ds was fine with that until the doctor said no reading either.   :scared:   It was a long couple of weeks...

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 In addition to the accommodations mentioned, I would think maybe recording  the class (audio-visual). lecture, demos, whatever happens. so he could review from that if he misses classes or cannot concentrate on what is happening could help.  And if he can get any text material in recorded form that might help if listening would work better for him.  

 

Will there be things like specimens in formaldehyde? Or other chemicals? That too, not just bright lights and sounds might be hard on him. 

 

If he gets worse (or fails to get better) because of taking your class rather than letting himself heal and rest, will you be blamed?

 

Is an email enough to change what was decided in a 504 meeting?

 

Audio visual recording might be stretching it a bit.  I'm really unsure of that capability at school.

 

No dissections any longer in basic Bio.  He's missed one microscope lab looking at cells.  There's a basic one on diffusion this week, but honestly?  That's more to get a lab report in than much else.  The lab is simple.  I can't think of any chemical use coming up in the near future.  We have so much info to cram in there's not much time to play.

 

I'll only get blamed if I don't follow his 504 plan for accommodations.  My worry on that is if he'll keep up with it on his end as I know if I were in his shoes I'd be unlikely to.  He and I will have to have a discussion so I can feel out his thoughts and potential actions.

 

I presume his GC will be taking care of any changes in the 504 if there are any.  My e-mail was to offer a suggestion not previously considered.  I'll find out on Monday if he's there or not.  He might not be simply due to not being able to stay at school that long, but I'll still be in the loop with what is planned.

 

http://www.concussiontreatment.com/images/SCI_RTS_Illustration.pdf

 

Creekland, This is the chart that I used last year when ds15 had a concussion.  (It took me a while to find it.  The world wide web is HUGE!!)

 

The recommendation is to only move to the next step when symptom free.  (On the chart, the symptoms they are referring to are listed in very small print.)  If your student is still having any of these symptoms (which it sounds like he is), school is unfortunately not the best option right now.

 

That chart is interesting.  If he's still at the point mom said he was at Thursday, he definitely wouldn't be ready according to its standards.  I don't know how much the weekend will have helped.  It's been three weeks...

 

I'm wondering if a Plan B could include having him "study" some Bio in the Gifted Seminar room until he feels better.  I think someone could read to him and fill out notes for him for as long as he feels up to it.  He'd miss the classroom portion, but since a good part of that is on our whiteboard or computers anyway...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I'm wondering if a Plan B could include having him "study" some Bio in the Gifted Seminar room until he feels better.  I think someone could read to him and fill out notes for him for as long as he feels up to it.  He'd miss the classroom portion, but since a good part of that is on our whiteboard or computers anyway...

 

Is he in the class that did those interesting reports that you shared with us earlier this week?  Maybe someone could help him to do a report -- maybe on concussions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

He's a sophomore in our top level English class.

 

If he's only a sophomore then he is even more able to delay his studies while he heals. Yes, it is difficult, but that was a risk he took when he chose to play football, and the last thing he wants to do is cause permanent damage.

 

I still would compare it to any other physical injury and advocate for his getting time to heal, with the school helping him make up his sick leave in the summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 13 yo suffered her 2nd concussion last December while riding a horse. She was put on complete brain rest for most of December and started back  homeschooling sometime between January and February, not really sure when. She struggled for a long time, her pace was very slowed down and not much was getting accomplished due to persistent symptoms (headaches, pseudo-seizures, dizziness, fatigue, depressed mood). Last May the specialist in a TBI clinic finally took her completely off school - 6 most post concussion. He put her on medication to make her sleep and again she went on complete brain rest. She has just been released to try school at home for 7.5 hours a week which began a few weeks ago. Her symptoms have returned and she is back to laying in the dark, needing meds for headaches, sleeping for 4 to 5 hours mid-day and just complete fatigue. The only school she has done in the past few weeks has been testing and assessments and has it been limited to 1 hour at a time per day. Even in her cognitive behavior therapy appointment on Friday the therapist was really perplexed as to why she is so fatigued. The entire therapy session she just laid with her head leaned into a file cabinet. Would not really participate or communicate much of anything except that she didn't feel good and she didn't want the medication anymore.

 

Anyways, my point being is that almost a year later I didn't expect to still being having such significant problems and yes there are things that she is dealing with now that came on from the concussion, like depression and anxiety that are making her recovery longer but I have learned that the brain rest is so important and really giving them time to heal. He may find that he wants to do it but actually doing it may be very different. My dd often wants to try things, especially on good days but often comes home regretting it. Unfortunately, I feel like this just adds to the depression piece as they can't do what they want and what other kids their age are doing and in the case of my dd, she feels different. Most days she just doesn't feel good.

 

And as far as doctors go, I really don't think they have a clear understanding of things. My dd is seen by a TBI specialist, a CBT therapist, and her regular doctor and none of them agree on the same plan of action. They often approve her requests to try activities when she is ready as they feel her willingness and interest is a sign of healing. Unfortunately it takes very little to set her back.

 

I hope that he heals quickly and that he gives his body and brain time to heal. I am learning though that this can take a very long time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is he in the class that did those interesting reports that you shared with us earlier this week?  Maybe someone could help him to do a report -- maybe on concussions?

 

He is in one of those two classes, quite frankly, the better of the two.  I suspect it's because many students come from the same English class - many of our top students grouped together.

 

However, that assignment is one he's exempted from.  It was all computer research linking together concepts we've covered that he (mostly) missed and he can't spend time on the computer.

 

Nonetheless, if he sticks around and catches up... but I find that highly unlikely based upon what I'm reading on this thread.

 

If he's only a sophomore then he is even more able to delay his studies while he heals. 

 

My thoughts exactly and what I brought up at the meeting coupled with just how much new "stuff" is in Bio.  We were in agreement then, I wish it had stuck.

 

Anyways, my point being is that almost a year later I didn't expect to still being having such significant problems and yes there are things that she is dealing with now that came on from the concussion, like depression and anxiety that are making her recovery longer but I have learned that the brain rest is so important and really giving them time to heal. He may find that he wants to do it but actually doing it may be very different. My dd often wants to try things, especially on good days but often comes home regretting it. Unfortunately, I feel like this just adds to the depression piece as they can't do what they want and what other kids their age are doing and in the case of my dd, she feels different. Most days she just doesn't feel good.

 

And as far as doctors go, I really don't think they have a clear understanding of things. My dd is seen by a TBI specialist, a CBT therapist, and her regular doctor and none of them agree on the same plan of action. They often approve her requests to try activities when she is ready as they feel her willingness and interest is a sign of healing. Unfortunately it takes very little to set her back.

 

I hope that he heals quickly and that he gives his body and brain time to heal. I am learning though that this can take a very long time.

 

I couldn't bring myself to add a like to your post, but I do want to offer  :grouphug:  and best wishes for a full recovery.

 

I also want to say I really appreciate your adding it.  The line I bolded is almost exactly what mom was telling us about him on Thursday.  Why she's opting to let him stay in Bio is beyond my understanding, esp if she's done the research she says she's done.  I suspect she feels badly for him and wants to support whatever he wants to try.  It's probably what many of us would default to, but it really doesn't seem to be the right path be on right now.

 

Then too... I'm one who likes to challenge kids.  It's how they learn best and most of them really like it given enough freedom with it.  If the current plan sticks, I'm really going to have to figure out how to NOT challenge him while still "being myself" with the others.  At the moment, I've no idea how that works when they're all together - I try to make our discussions challenging - even if we're off topic. (I try to get them to think.)

 

I'm going to lobby hard to get them to switch back to Plan A.  Or maybe he'll try a day or two and figure out Plan A is better for him.

 

I'll admit I'm a little frustrated about it all at the moment, but I really appreciate the knowledge of what I'm dealing with.  It would have been really easy for me to make clueless mistakes had I not started this thread.

 

I wonder if I could pull a day to have the class research concussions... but that would probably be too obvious.  Scratch that brainstorm.  (sigh)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a really long, confusing road to walk down with no clear cut answers, imo. I have posted so many times on this board asking for help over the past year. As a parent, I am always second guessing myself and what is best for her. I am pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough? It feels like it has been a long time, and it has in some ways. I have heard that it can take up to two years for a child to really get back to where they were.

 

And about every 30 days she seems to hit a wall. I have no idea why. This time we got to two months and we are now hitting that wall again. I think if it's not going to work for him he will know fairly quickly and he will see what his triggers are. Feeling good at home is different then having to get up early, get ready and deal with all the things that come with school (lights, sounds, smells) and he might find himself overwhelmed quickly.

 

Even going outside is sometimes too much for my dd. She would prefer to lay in the dark (blinds closed, lights off) and when she hits that wall that is what she resorts to. Even driving in the car she is still more prone to sitting in the back since it's darker. It's almost like it has become part of who she is, which is the scary part for me.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Audio visual recording might be stretching it a bit.  I'm really unsure of that capability at school.

 

 

 

 

I am not talking about professional documentary quality recording.  My impression is that nowadays for a servicible recording that is a capacity that is available on some smartphones, iPads, perhaps even Kindles, etc. and a few years ago I was at a meeting which was being recorded on a laptop computer though the camera was not very good.  Devices with audio-visual recording capability such as iPads  often are owned by someone privately even if the school has no such thing.  There may be kids who know how to do an audio visual recording. I think both my son and his best friend know how to do this on Apple devices, or could readily figure it out, for example.  Maybe there would be some way someone could get some community service credit for making such a recording as a good deed. It might not be helpful to this particular boy, but I would hardly think that in 2015, assuming you are in the USA and not in an extremely impoverished area, the capability would be beyond what could be done.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I wonder if I could pull a day to have the class research concussions... 

 

 

I think this is a wonderful idea!!!!!!  It is important for people to know about and too few do.

This seems like it would be far more valuable to life than ... I dunno ... Krebs cycle or something.

Who cares if it is obvious. The situation with the one boy has brought to your attention that even you could use understanding more about this area.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is a wonderful idea!!!!!!  It is important for people to know about and too few do.

This seems like it would be far more valuable to life than ... I dunno ... Krebs cycle or something.

Who cares if it is obvious. The situation with the one boy has brought to your attention that even you could use understanding more about this area.

 

The Krebs Cycle is far more likely - pretty much guaranteed - to be on their state test.

 

But I'll play with the idea.  Cell specialization comes up later this week.  If I can find time myself to research exactly what happens to brain cells during a concussion - what knocks them out of line causing the effects (not just the brain moving bit) - then it would tie in pretty well.  I'm guessing it has to do with neuron connections, of course.

 

FWIW, Bio isn't the only class that teaches these sorts of things.  Health class and Fitness & Wellness do too.  Those are both required classes associated with PE.  Health is for freshmen and F & W is for juniors.  (Sophomores get Driver's Ed.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you spoken with him to determine *why* it is important that he forge ahead now?  Perhaps you will get an answer that will allow you to allay any concerns he has that are driving him to this decision?

Public school Bio class that's on Block scheduling meaning it runs from Aug - Jan WITH a state test that must be passed to graduate in Jan.

 

Young lad who had a major concussion from a football hit.  He has missed 3 weeks of school already and is returning Monday to see if he can adjust back to school.  According to mom, he can not write, can not spend more than 10 minutes on a computer, can not handle bright lights or "busy" things causing his mind to try to focus on more than one thing at once.  She expects he won't be back to normal until perhaps mid-Nov.

 

At a parent meeting on Thursday I suggested the incredibly obvious solution:

 

Drop the class and take it in the spring instead.  Bio has a ton of new knowledge/vocab/etc.  If he were to come back now as his "old" self he'd have no problem as he's a super high academic student.  But with the restrictions?  I fail to see how it's in his best interest to try.  He wants to head to college.  State test results are on his transcript. It would be better for him to do well.  At the time both guidance and mom were on board and this was our plan.

 

Then yesterday I find out the young lad does not want to do this AND mom is supporting his decision.

 

My brain has been struggling to come up with a plan that could work for him while not slowing down the other students.  

 

I can dim lights, but... beyond that and having someone else take notes for him so he doesn't have to write... how in the world do I make this work?

 

We use computers.  I use our white board up front and often show computer demonstrations of what we're doing.  The class does projects and assignments.  He's behind one significant test already and next Friday is likely to be the next one.

 

And what if junior plans to defy mom and do more than she says he can?  (I know I would if I were in his position, but that doesn't mean it would be the right thing.)  How do I continually watch one student when I have 26 others?

 

If anyone has suggestions for me to think about between now and Monday morning, I'm all ears.  He's a very intelligent, nice young man and I'd love a win-win opportunity for both him and the class.  I'm just having trouble figuring out what that is.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you spoken with him to determine *why* it is important that he forge ahead now?  Perhaps you will get an answer that will allow you to allay any concerns he has that are driving him to this decision?

 

I have not seen him in three weeks.  If he shows up tomorrow, I will need to have a talk with him - a short talk I presume.  Ideally I'd prefer totally private too, but that will be tough to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forget who posted this up thread, but I wholeheartedly agree that you cannot just press through concussions. It might be hard to come to terms with the fact it just involves time to heal. My ex had a moderate concussion from a fall, it took 2 months before he even acted like himself. Like fourcatmom expressed, there are good days and bad days. It may have been discussed here too about allowing time to heal up front may ward off creating permanent long-term issues. I don't have a study to cite, however. 

 

I wish him all the best and to you as well as you maneuver through this with him. 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell young lad that a dear friend of our, in her 3rd year of nursing school last year, suffered a concussion. She went back to school after 2 weeks despite limitations because it was "can't miss" stuff. She failed the semester, and has now taken a leave of absence from school for this year. The doctors are now saying that some of the brain damage may be permanent - she didn't allow it enough time to heal.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some legalities around recording in class in my state. Everyone has to give permission in advance in writing. Best to find out particulars before anyone commences recording in class.

 

Ah!  Good point!

 

Where I am it seems to be okay so long as not published, so that when a class my ds was in was filmed and some participants then wanted to put it on You Tube, putting it on You Tube needed everyone involved to sign off.  But the original recording process didn't. Or at least apparently didn't.  Maybe they were just lax.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Krebs Cycle is far more likely - pretty much guaranteed - to be on their state test.

 

But I'll play with the idea.  Cell specialization comes up later this week.  If I can find time myself to research exactly what happens to brain cells during a concussion - what knocks them out of line causing the effects (not just the brain moving bit) - then it would tie in pretty well.  I'm guessing it has to do with neuron connections, of course.

 

FWIW, Bio isn't the only class that teaches these sorts of things.  Health class and Fitness & Wellness do too.  Those are both required classes associated with PE.  Health is for freshmen and F & W is for juniors.  (Sophomores get Driver's Ed.)

 

 

Concussion may impair the Krebs Cycle. Amongst a cascade of adverse effects.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idk if I'd have the whole class suddenly switch to a concussion project. That might embarrass the heck out of the kid and make him feel like it's drawing more attention to his issues.

 

I don't think you can persuade mom into changing their chosen course of medical advice either. I would figure out what you are able to let slide and still count him as having taken the course. What a stressful situation for everyone! You must be a good teacher to be able and willing to be so adaptive.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...