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What should I know about brain injury/concussion and my child?

The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2012, an estimated 329,290 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury.  This statistic does not include children who do not report their concussion or are seen and treated by their primary physician or other specialist due to a concussion or mild brain injury. 

 A concussion is a brain injury.  Brain injury presents a spectrum of disorder. Not every brain injury is the same and students with a brain injury are unlikely to achieve optimal educational outcomes without appropriate support.  To learn more about brain injury and the unique supports many of these students need, view our Educator’s Guide.  

As these students prepare to transition out of school, there are recommended practices for transition   The Center on Brain Injury Research and Training looked at models and recommended practices for planning, organizing, and evaluating transition education services and programs, and created a Transition Toolkit for Students with a Traumatic Brain Injury. The toolkit assists families and transition staff to recognize the unique challenges a student with a brain injury may have and how to address and work through the transition process.


If a student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), a 504 plan or may need accommodations for employment,  the Division of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) may be able to help.  DRS is part of the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services;  they offer vocational rehabilitation services for people with a disabilities to find or keep a job.  These activities can include career exploration, counseling, vocational evaluation and assessments, job development and placement, post-secondary education, on the job training and supported employment.  These activities should be part of a developed plan to prepare the student for leaving high school to find work.  The process can begin as early as 14.  View the DRS Transition Guide for more details about this process. If a student was injured prior to their 21st birthday and has a lifelong disability as a result, they may qualify for a Medicaid waiver that can also provide supports and services.


There are Clubhouse programs in Virginia where individuals with a brain injury attend as members and work on skills such as meal preparation, communications, vocational and life skills.  Day programs specifically for individuals with a brain injury are also available. To learn what is available in your area, view the state funded programs above or go here to “Find a Community Resource.”

More Resources:

Preparing for Life after High School.


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Transition Services - The Disability Law Center of Virginia



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Webinar Navigating Transition with a Brain Injury



CDC Heads Up to Schools

Printable version of Transition from School Quick Guide

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