Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
A traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical
force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment that adversely
affects a child's educational performance. It is considered the leading cause of mortality and
disability among children with estimates of over one million occurrences each year. The 1990
revision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act included Traumatic Brain Injury as a
special education diagnostic category. Although this allowed students greater access to
appropriate services, it pointed out the need for additional knowledge and training for educators
working with this population. Therefore, a review of published studies on assessment and
school-based interventions for students with TBI was conducted. Assessment included both
formal, standardized measures and informal methods. Despite the apparent need, few empirical
studies have examined rehabilitation for children and adolescents who have sustained a head
injury. Treatment approaches were divided into three categories: cognitive remediation,
social/behavioral interventions, and the impact of the family on child outcome. Evidence was
found supporting all three areas, but more studies are needed to confirm the findings as well as
study the duration of effects over time. Finally, recommendations for components of a school based
intervention program are outlined.
Smith, Deanne, "Brain Injury in Children: Assessment and School-based Interventions" (2002). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 987.
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