A study by the Concussion Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has revealed that a child who sustains a concussion during the school year has a longer recovery time than one who suffers the same injury over the summer.
“We were surprised at the magnitude of the differences,” Robert Doss, PsyD, co-director of the Pediatric Concussion Program and one of the study’s researchers, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We weren’t surprised that it was in that direction; just simply that the magnitude was what it was.”
The article quoted another study, “Returning to Learning Following a Concussion,” which was published in October in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The study “explains the difficulties children experience in a school setting after suffering a concussion. Post-concussive symptoms often can linger or increase in severity without proper adjustments to a child’s environment or academic routine. Research suggests that academic demands and school environment may be a barrier to recovery.
“Because each concussion and child is different, the AAP study recommends creating a multidisciplinary team to facilitate a student’s recovery and help him or her return to normal activities. Those four teams are:
- “Family (student, parents, guardians, grandparents, peers, teammates and family friends)
- Medical (emergency department, primary care provider, concussion specialist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, team and/or school physician)
- School academic (teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, school nurse, school administrator, school physician)
- School physical activity (school nurse, athletic trainer, coach, physical education teacher, playground supervisor, school physician).”
Doss went on to stress the importance of the “individual child” to the paper. “It seems like our practitioners are noticing more responsiveness by the schools to put forth accommodations for these kids,” he said. “Some schools are more accommodating than others. Some seem to have a grasp of concussions.
“Overall, I think our perception is that schools are more receptive and thinking about it more actively. They’re instituting programs on their own, so they’re prepared for what comes next.”