Date
18 September 2019

Monitor physical activity and offer options to allow rest

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Concussion: Support a return to learning and activity’

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Notice where support is needed

Notice where support is needed

Many of the symptoms of concussion can often be misinterpreted as negative behaviour.

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

  • Feeling tired
  • Wants to sleep a lot
  • Yawning; dozing off
  • Late arriving
  • Daydreaming; looking blank
  • Doesn’t “seem like themself”
  • Easily frustrated
  • Shows no interest in playing
  • Unusually emotional
  • Sore head or other pains

Monitor fatigue, offer quiet zones

Monitor fatigue, offer quiet zones

A child or young person may have difficulty self-monitoring their level of fatigue.

Encourage timely breaks in quiet spaces.

Useful teaching approaches

Useful teaching approaches

Set up an appropriate learning environment and select teaching approaches that support the recovery of a child or young person with a concussion.

Seek feedback on what’s helpful.

Adjust as needed.

  • Provide the learner with access to a comfortable indoor or outdoor space to take a complete break or have a sleep.
  • Give the learner the choice to work where they are most comfortable.
  • Provide access to food and drink throughout the day.
  • Provide spaces to play or study free from additional stimulation (sound, movement, bright light, clutter or a number of objects on desk).
  • Provide opportunities to transition classes or activities early to avoid crowded spaces.
  • Timetable the most important learning tasks at the times when the learner has the most energy.
  • Include a mix of non-academic subjects and a focus on cognitive strengths.
  • Reduce or modify workload expectations.
  • Allow additional time to complete activities and assignments.
  • Excuse the learner from less important activities.
  • Give time to talk. Children and young people are often distressed and frustrated by their inability to perform.

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

Feed the hungry brain

Feed the hungry brain

Ensure children and young people can eat and drink whenever they need to.

Encourage a snack break whenever a child seems to be getting tired.

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Adjust and adapt for your own context.

  • How will you monitor a child or young person’s level of fatigue?
  • How will you offer rest stops?
  • How will you ensure all staff are aware of a child or young person’s safety needs during break times and during play or sporting activities?
  • What processes will you use to ensure that communication with the child or young person's whānau is effective and timely?
  • Where might the design of the learning environment increase fatigue?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Fatigue management

Fatigue management

Read time: 2 min

Publisher: Brain Injury NZ

Download PDF

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Concussion: 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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