|There are currently 5.3
million Americans living with disability caused by brain injury. Over
2,000,000 brain injuries occur yearly in the United States. As many
as 500,000 people will require hospitalization and 70,000 to 90,000
individuals will suffer life-long physical, cognitive, and psychological
disabilities as a result of their injuries. Two-thirds of those who
sustain a brain injury are under the age of 34. Today educators are
seeing an increased number of students with brain injury entering
and re-entering their school systems. Few school personnel have received
training in the education or therapeutic needs of these students.
With the 1990 changes in special education regulations that include
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a separate category of eligibility,
there is a need for a comprehensive understanding of the educational
implications of brain injury.
There are two main types of traumatic brain injury: Penetrated
Head Injury and Closed Head Injury.
Penetrated Head Injury is the result of accidents, falls, abuse,
assaults and surgical procedures that cause a penetrated wound to
the brain (Savage & Wolcott, 1988).
Closed Head Injury is caused by a blunt force and can result in
diffuse impact and damage. When the force is very severe, damage
is caused from internal compression, shearing actions or stretchings.
A serious blow may create a ‘contracoup' injury by the impact
of the brain rebounding to the opposite side. For example, a blow
to the back of the head can cause frontal damage as the brain hits
the opposite point. The brain moves from front to back or side to
side within the skull causing injury beyond the locale of impacted