Our brains are finely tuned and well-oiled machines, but concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, can actually alter how a person thinks, and what pathways their brain utilizes during problem-solving. Sometimes this is a short-term problem, and at other times a longer-term plan to help and accommodate to students is required. After an injury such a TBI or concussion, many complain about frequent headaches, nausea or severe fatigue. As a result of this, it often takes time, and specific targeted methods, to re-acclimate the brain to the tasks that school and ‘real life’ require. Sometimes, students, their families and teachers find themselves in an unexpected vicious cycle. Some of the common symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) show up at school, while others are more pronounced at home. These can include difficulty in making up missed work, physical and cognitive fatigue, visual exhaustion, difficulty holding onto details in ‘working memory,’ reading or using a screen for extended time, organizing writing, and executing tasks in an effective and efficient way. Concussion and brain injury are much less common than developmental learning issues such as ADHD and Dyslexia. So schools often mean well but are less experienced at working with students and families to accommodate and educate students. They may not be aware of the methods and advocacy issues, such as modified coursework and test accommodations, that students with TBI and PCS require. Neuropsychological testing offers helpful information, but tests used for evaluations often are too brief to reflect the real-time transitions, and extended demands, and multitasking that school and workplace on a student with PCD or TBI. Dr. Mannis’ partners with neuropsychologists to customized her methodology to help students manage the naturalistic demands and that they, their families and schools face.
At Ivy Prep, we have worked with over 200 students to help them better manage learning, home and workplace demands with an eye toward ‘hard’ neurologic problems such as TBI, PCS, brain tumor or other cancer survivorship, seizure disorders, Lyme Disease, and Neurofibromatosis, among others. We create a tailored approach to remediate the effects of a TBI, concussion, and these other neurologic disorders with an eye toward the individual goals, as well as short and long-term solutions. At school or in the workplace, we are trained to expect that students can learn strategies to overcome obstacles, but that I, “pushing through” isn’t always an option for students with neurologically-based functional problems. Powering through can aggravate and exacerbate the injury and also set a student up for feeling misunderstood, overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. The brain needs rehabilitation and proper attention to recover — and Ivy Prep’s neuropsychological specialization allows for a proper recovery and targeted educational support. Dr. Mannis has coordinated with schools and outside specialists to form a proper plan of action to help students with these conditions for over 30 years. Ivy Prep also assists in developing IEPS (Individualized Education Programs) or 504 (accommodation)programs for public schools, private schools, college workplace and professional programs to ensure that students with a TBI and other neurologically-based issue receive accommodations that they are entitled to given the nature of their specific health issues.