Date
26 September 2021

Support attention, communication, and organisation

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Support a return to learning and activity’

Notice where support is needed

Notice where support is needed

Many symptoms can often be misinterpreted.

Instead, these symptoms are signals that a brain is still healing and needs a supportive environment to aid recovery.

 

  • Difficulty staying on task
  • Reduced ability to focus
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty completing work
  • Forgetting what they have been asked to do
  • Difficulty doing more than one thing at a time
  • Problems organising approaches to tasks
  • Difficulty getting started on tasks
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts clearly, either verbally or in writing
  • Heightened sensitivity to noise

Source: Adapted from Changes: Behaviour, mood & personality (opens in a new tab/window)

Seat with positive peers

Seat with positive peers

Positive peers can help with clarifying instructions, moving between tasks, preparing for transitions, and managing task completion.

11604 [Screen-Shot-2019-01-17-at-12.05.12-PM.png]

Source: Ministry of Education

Source:
Ministry of Education

Support the beginning of tasks

Support the beginning of tasks

Provide assistance with getting started on tasks – then ask the child or young person about the first thing they are going to do next.

11605 [Amelia-Elenoa-Ministry.JPG]

Source: Ministry of Education

Source:
Ministry of Education

Useful teaching strategies

Useful teaching strategies

Select teaching strategies that support the recovery of a child or young person with a non-traumatic brain injury

Seek feedback on what’s helpful.

Adjust as needed.

  • Revisit a concept as many times as needed.
  • Check for understanding and the need for assistance.
  • Preview new material when possible.
  • Develop with the learner strategies that help them coordinate learning and materials between home and school.
  • Consider using a communication notebook or email routine for school-home communication.
  • Timetable the most important learning tasks at the times when the learner has the most energy.
  • Seat the learner near to the location of instruction and away from distractions, such as doors, windows, and high traffic areas.
  • Eliminate interruptions as much as possible.
  • Make sure to have the learner’s attention when giving directions or instructions.

Source: Adapted from Brain injury in children and youth: A manual for educators – Colorado Department of Education (opens in a new tab/window)

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Adjust and adapt for your own context.

  • How will you monitor a child or young person’s progress on a task so they don’t get too lost or stuck?
  • In what ways could you use digital tools to support refocusing?
  • What strategies will you use to ensure instructions can be followed and referred to later?
  • How can distractions in the environment be minimised?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Cognition Attention concentration memory

Cognition: Attention, concentration & memory

Read time: 4 min

Publisher: Brain Injury NZ

Download PDF

Brain injury in children and youth A manual for educators

Brain injury in children and youth: A manual for educators

Read time: 212 min

Publisher: Colorado Department of Education

Download PDF

Website

BrainSTARS: Attention

Publisher: BrainLine

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Support a return to learning and activity”:

Return to the guide “Supporting learners with acquired brain injury”

Guide to Index of the guide: Acquired brain injury and learning

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