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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Accomodations for young students with brain injuries

Brain Injury (BI) can damage basic cognitive abilities like learning, focus, and memory as well as change emotional and behavioral responses. The ongoing consequences of BI can be very serious for small children attending school.

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Children with severe, traumatic injuries might not be able to go to school for a while. Many young students need to be homeschooled until they reach a point in recovery where they are well enough to travel and attend school.

BI can affect critical academic skills such as reasoning, logic, critical thinking, arithmetic, reading, vocabulary, writing, and spelling. Students suffering from BI may also experience increased fatigue and may need more breaks. Parents worry about their children falling behind in school. They can often express concerns that their child won’t grow up to graduate or attend college. Schools can provide accommodations that give children with BI a better chance at succeeding in school.

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Barriers to Academic Success

Young students with BI might complain that they are studying twice as hard, but achieving lower grades. They may have difficulty recalling what they read, regardless of how many times they re-read the same text. Even after studying hard, they might come up blank at test time. Students will need extended test time, as it may take them longer to come up with what they want to say. Fatigue is also a huge factor. Individuals with BI can get very tired and find it hard to make it through the school day. At night they are too tired to complete homework.

School System Meetings and IEPs

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), requires school systems to provide accommodations to students with disabilities. Such accommodations include special services and adjustments designed to aid children in overcoming their limitations and disabilities. School staff work to evaluate the student’s needs and determine what are reasonable and appropriate accommodations for each individual student. These arrangements are written up in the students Individual Education Plan (IEP). Parents are always invited to attend IEP meetings with the child’s teachers and school administration.


The first step in determining your child’s individual academic needs is a school psychologist or neuropsychologist to administer evaluations. An experienced BI professional who will rigorously evaluate academic strengths and weaknesses. U.S. laws require schools to perform appropriate evaluations when determining student accommodations.

Classroom Accommodations

Once the psychologist has determined an individual’s special needs, the child’s teachers and parents work together to figure out what accommodations are most appropriate to meet those needs. Some examples of classroom accommodations include:

  • Giving extra time on in-class assignments
  • Providing extra or extended breaks
  • Letting the student have a copy of the teacher’s notes
  • Repeating audio recordings of in-class direct instruction
  • Giving both written and oral instructions
  • Lowering the emphasis on spelling and grammar when grading written work
  • Allowing access to an electronic or paper dictionary for assignments
  • Seating near the front of the room
  • Reducing the quantity of the workload
  • Exempting student from reading aloud in front of classmates

Testing Accommodations

School also need to consider exams and testing environment. for young students with brain injury. Teachers may need to adapt test or conditions to tailor them to each child’s individual needs. Some testing accommodations might include:

  • Permitting students extra time to finish tests
  • Ensuring a quiet, individual environment to lessen distractions
  • Breaking longer tests into a series of smaller sections
  • Providing extra time for breaks
  • Administering oral tests
  • Providing a scribe to write student’s oral responses
  • Adapting open-ended questions into multiple-choice
  • Letting students explain or clarify responses
  • Allowing access to reference sheets with math formulas
  • Letting the student use a calculator or dictionary as needed