Consideration of the Federal Guidelines for Academic Services for Student-Athletes with Sports-Related Concussion Purpose: Federal regulations should be implemented to provide appropriate services for student-athletes who have sustained a concussion, which can result in impaired function in the academic setting. Eligibility guidelines for special education services do not specifically address the significant, but sometimes transient, impairments that can manifest after concussion, which occur ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2012
Consideration of the Federal Guidelines for Academic Services for Student-Athletes with Sports-Related Concussion
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bess Sirmon-Taylor
    Concussion Management Clinic, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
  • Anthony P. Salvatore
    Concussion Management Clinic, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2012
Consideration of the Federal Guidelines for Academic Services for Student-Athletes with Sports-Related Concussion
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, November 2012, Vol. 13, 70-78. doi:10.1044/sbi13.3.70
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, November 2012, Vol. 13, 70-78. doi:10.1044/sbi13.3.70
Abstract

Purpose: Federal regulations should be implemented to provide appropriate services for student-athletes who have sustained a concussion, which can result in impaired function in the academic setting. Eligibility guidelines for special education services do not specifically address the significant, but sometimes transient, impairments that can manifest after concussion, which occur in up to 10% of student-athletes.

Method: We provide a definition of the word concussion and discuss the eligibility guidelines for traumatic brain injury and other health-impaired under IDEA, as is the use of Section 504.

Results: The cognitive-linguistic and behavioral deficits that can occur after concussion can have a significant impact on academic function. We draw comparisons between the clinical presentation of concussion and the eligibility indicators in IDEA and Section 504.

Conclusion: Speech-language pathologists are well-positioned to serve on concussion management teams in school settings, providing services including collection of baseline data, intervention and reassessment after a concussion has occurred, prevention education, and legislative advocacy. Until the cultural perception of concussion changes, with increased recognition of the potential consequences, student-athletes are at risk and appropriate implementation of the existing guidelines can assist in preservation of brain function, return to the classroom, and safe return to play.

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