After suffering from a concussion, students can experience a
variety of post-concussion symptoms, some of which can impact academic learning
and performance. A new study, “Academic Effects of Concussion in Children and Adolescents
,” in the June 2015 Pediatrics (published online May 11), provides
evidence of concussion’s effects on students, including increased concerns with
their ability to learn and perform in school and the types of academic effects
they experience. In the study, 349 students ages 5-18 and their parents
reported on academic difficulties and problems after sustaining a concussion.
The student’s level of post-concussion symptoms had a direct relationship to
the extent of academic effects. Eighty-eight percent of symptomatic students
reported school problems due to headaches, fatigue and concentration issues,
while 77 percent reported issues related to reduced academic skills such as
spending more time on homework, difficulty taking notes and studying. High
school students report greater adverse academic effects than younger students,
although students at all levels report academic challenges on various classes
(math being the most challenging). A higher number of reported academic
problems appears to be related to the greater academic demands in high school.
Study authors conclude that symptomatic students who sustain concussions need
academic supports during recovery. It is necessary for healthcare personnel to
define the student’s individual post-concussion symptoms and needs, and
communicate them to the school. In order to expedite recovery, schools must be
prepared to support recovering students based on their explicit needs.
# # #
American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric
surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of
infants, children, adolescents and young adults.