Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Robin Gayle, Ph.D., MDIV, MFT

Abstract

Many symptoms of concussions can substantially interfere with the cognitive abilities, and skills students use in school. Although students may have similar symptoms, they experience concussions differently. Students returning to the classroom from a concussion often have different needs and abilities.

Research shows that a formal, individualized protocol to treat suspected concussions, both academically and physically, is vital to the successful recovery of each student. Much research is available on concussions for professional athletes, specifically related to recovery and returning to their sport. However, there is little research about high school students regarding concussions. Concussion recovery programs for high school student athletes primarily concentrate on returning the athlete to the playing field and often do not include protocols reintegrating students back into academics (Williams, Welch, Parsons, McLeod, & Valovich, 2015).

Typically teachers are notified when their students are returning to school after recovering from a concussion. However, many times teachers are not trained to help their students successfully return to the academic program. The high school under study has a concussion management program to help safely and quickly integrate students into their sport. This study documents how teachers can be included in the concussion recovery program by developing an academic protocol that allows students to gradually reintegrate into the learning environment based on their individual needs.

Keywords: Concussion, academic protocol