A Resource for Teachers, Clinicians, Parents, and Students by the Brain Injury Association of New York State.

For Teachers


What Is A Brain Injury?

Acquired Brain Injury

  • Injury to the brain after birth, which is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative


  • Includes brain damage resulting from strokes, aneurysms, anoxia, near drowning, toxic exposure or TBI

Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Specific damage to the brain that results when the head:


  • Hits a stationary object, is hit, is penetrated, is violently shaken, etc.

Traumatic Brain Injuries can be categorized by severity…

Potential (but not necessary) loss of consciousness for less than 30 min.

Loss of consciousness ranging from 30 min – 24 hrs.

Loss of consciousness lasting for more than 24 hrs.

Common TBI Signs and Symptoms:





Difficulty thinking clearly

Fuzzy/ blurry vision


more than usual

Feeling slowed down



less than usual

Difficulty concentrating

Sensitivity to noise/light
Balance problems

More emotional

Trouble falling asleep

Difficulty remembering new information

Feeling tired/having no energy


Trouble staying asleep



  • Damage to the brain may vary in extent, area and type of damage depending on a variety of factors relating to the nature of the injury, severity of the injury, how it occurred and how quickly medical attention was sought.
  • Learn more about the structure and function of the brain with an interactive 3D brain




How Can A Brain Injury Affect My Student’s Performance?

  • In general, a student who has sustained a brain injury may show difficulties with processing information, concentrating, test taking and communication among other things.  

  • The Learnet problem solving process that is emphasized on this site, addresses the most common ways that students’ performance is affected by brain injury.

  • As you work through the problems seen pages you will begin to see that the “problems” the student may be exhibiting, can be categorized into four groups:

    I. General/Medical
    II. Cognitive/Self Regulatory
    III. Behavioral
    IV. Social/Emotional

Begin the process by clicking on the most prominent problem that you have been able to clearly observe

Keep in Mind: a student with a brain injury often times has:

1. previous successful experiences in academic and social settings
2. a pre-morbid self concept of being “normal”
3. discrepancies in ability levels
4. inconsistent patterns of performance
5. more extreme problems with generalizing, integrating or structuring information
6. poor judgment and loss of emotional control which may make the student appear emotionally disturbed at times


TBI Statistics

*1.7 million TBI related deaths, hospitalizations and emergency department visits annually in the U.S.

*TBI is a contributing factor in 1/3 of all injury related deaths in the U.S.

*Children aged 0-4, 15-19 and adults 65+ are most likely to sustain a TBI

*473,947 emergency department visits for TBI are made annually by children aged 0-14 years.

*Of Children , males 0-4 years have the highest rates of TBI related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths combined.
More information about TBI statistics can be found by visiting: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsTBI_BrainInjury


Resources Available to Educators

NYS FACTS Coordinators:
FACTS coordinators provide local resources, training, information, advocacy and emotional support. The FACTS program is a unique New York statewide program offered at no charge for individuals who have sustained a brain injury prior to age 22, and their families.



This publication serves as an introduction for educators to the needs of students struggling in school, addresses the unique differences between TBI and other disabilities and provides ideas for classroom accommodations that target cognitive and behavioral challenges.



TBI Education: Offers evidence based information and resources for educators. Learn more about school reentry, teaching strategies and more.



Colorado's Department of Education-
TBI: A Manual for Educators





Fact sheet created by the Brain Injury Association of NYS


Returning to School After a Concussion: A Fact Sheet for School Professionals

A part of the "Heads Up" series created by the Centers for Disease Control-National Center for Injury Prevention and Control


Heads Up to Schools Fact Sheet

A part of the "Heads Up" series created by the Centers for Disease Control-National Center for Injury Prevention and Control


CDC-Concussion Signs and Symptoms Laminated Card

A part of the "Heads Up" series created by the Centers for Disease Control-National Center for Injury Prevention
and Control


Keep Moving Forward: Children with Brain Injuries

This documentary provides a moving account of the lives of three families with children who sustained brain injuries. The film focuses on changes in family dynamics, school-related issues, and the possibilities of lifelong recovery.

Created by the Brain Injury Association of NYS


This site is designed to provide educators and professionals with practical information that can be used to identify and provide appropriate services to children with a brain injury. Information provided includes a TBI identification protocol, manual, matrix, concussion information and additional resources.



Brain Injury Stories:
A blog by the Brain Injury Association of NYS




New Jersey Brain Injury Alliance: Guide for Educators http://www.tndisability.org/system/files/



Helpful Handouts: Handouts created by the Brain Injury Association of NYS that explain neuropsychological assessment and various intervention strategies for individuals with TBI.


Collaborative Problem Solving

Lives in the Balance is a non-profit organization founded by child psychologist, Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School and the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. The approach serves as a model for understanding and helping kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

In addition to Lives in the Balance, Dr. Ross Greene maintains two other websites: www.cpsconnection.com for advanced training and certification for proficiency in CPS and www.cpsinitiative.com offering a complete package of information needed to implement CPS.

o Voices of Collaborative Problem Solving…

o Hear the stories of fellow teachers and school professionals around the country as they describe CPS and how it has helped them with some of their most challenging students.

We are pleased to connect our users with another wonderful resource! We hope you find it useful.