for Students with Traumatic Brain Injury
Students with TBI differ from others with disabilities in that they
do not experience well defined progress and vary widely in their
levels of learning difficulty.
Transitional programs that stress career education and job training
may be particularly critical for students who suddenly find themselves
at a different functional level than they anticipated before injury.
(school to work class and on the job training experiences)
Knowledge of the student's strengths and weaknesses as well
as motivation for employment will help shape realistic vocational
After determining interest and job-related skills, the student may
need the opportunity to practice vocational components in a structured
setting with opportunities for observational learning and feedback.
Environmental structure will also need to be reviewed in career
or vocational programming for students with TBI.
Modeled experiences, job-shadowing, on-the-job training, and internships
can ease the individual into the working world.
Vocational educators can help the students organize their time and
practice key skills, as well as work with employers to prepare them
for the needs of employees with TBI.
Routine is extremely important, as are clear expectations for behavior.
Traditional behavior techniques may not be effect with students who
have experienced TBI because such techniques require the child to remember
cause-effect relations. In addition these students do not respond to
Because social behaviors might be impaired by the injury, the
development of interpersonal and vocational relationships need to be
addressed. Some students with TBI many need very concrete lessons in
appropriate social behavior. Some students' behavior after injury may
appear immature and inappropriate.
Devising cues, providing clear expectations and explanations,
and offering opportunities for practice will all need to be included
in a comprehensive program.
With job training, productivity levels and work schedules may need
to be adjusted.
Practice with and repetition of activities, as well as feedback on
performance, also can strengthen the students confidence.
Whenever possible, activities pertinent to everyday living should
be incorporated into the curriculum.
It is critical to work with student using competencies that have
been maintained. This is important because extensive practice will
never help certain skills to develop in some students with TBI.
Memory deficits are not amenable to restorative techniques. Instead
the use of external memory aids in combination with specialized instructional
strategies appears to hold the most promise for rehabilitation of memory
in both children and adults.