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Concussion Return to Learn School-Based Strategies to Support Student Recovery

Webinar Overview

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries. There has been a significant increase in society regarding concussion awareness due to emphasis in the media, as well as the recent passage of return to sports laws for student athletes in all 50 states. Schools nationwide are experiencing an increasing number of identified students with concussion who are returning to school with symptoms that impact their ability to learn. This period of recovery should be appropriately planned for and supported by school personnel because returning to the full cognitive demands of school too soon following concussion can increase and prolong symptoms. The great majority of students should recover within a month. However, students must progress through a return to learn process before returning to play/sports. Striking a balance between the need for cognitive and physical rest to recover, while simultaneously keeping up with academic content is the greatest struggle for both students and educators. This webinar will provide attendees with concrete strategies to employ when working with students to alleviate cognitive over-exertion and promote recovery during the school day.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of utilizing symptom-based information to guide academic adjustment support determination immediately upon the student’s return to school 
  • Prioritize the need for collecting academic and symptom data to legitimize all educational decisions made during the course of concussion recovery
  • Identify strategies to assist in managing the “academic load” balance that students post- concussion experience while recovering.

About Your Instructor:

Dr. Brenda Eagan-Johnson has over two decades of experience in the field of pediatric brain injury, education, and neuro-developmental issues in children. She is the Program Coordinator for a nationally recognized statewide child and adolescent brain injury school consulting program in Pennsylvania called BrainSTEPS. The BrainSTEPS model was adopted by the Colorado Department of Education in 2016. Dr. Eagan-Johnson received her master’s degree in the educational aspects of pediatric traumatic brain injury from George Washington University, where she now serves as an adjunct instructor in the graduate school. She obtained a Doctor of Education degree in Mind, Brain, and Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Eagan-Johnson serves on the board of governors for the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists and holds a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST) certification and three PA teaching certifications. Dr. Eagan-Johnson is published in pediatric brain injury, regularly presents at the national and international levels, and has received multiple state and national awards for her work. Dr. Eagan-Johnson served as an expert external reviewer for the CDC Report to Congress on the Management of TBI in Children. She was the co-lead for the 1st National Concussion Return to Learn Consensus, which is endorsed by 12 national organizations under the National Collaborative on Children’s Brain Injury (NCCBI). Spearheading development and creation of her state’s Return to Learn Concussion Management Team Model, now endorsed by two State Departments of Education, Dr. Eagan-Johnson has trained over 3,000+ school-based teams. Her brother sustained a severe TBI when they were teenagers, which is where her passion in the field began.

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