Student Julie Klein was playing first base when the shortstop threw her the ball, hitting her in the head.
“Instant headache,” she said.
But like many athletes, Klein shook it off and finished the game. It wasn't until the next day she knew something was seriously wrong.
“When I went to take a test for my favorite class, I couldn't remember any of the answers,” she said. “And I bombed it.”
Inability to focus or perform at school is not unusual for a concussed student. And that's one of the main reasons Dr. Patrick Mularoni and a team at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg created a new video.
“We noticed in our concussion clinics – we saw over 160 patients last year – that we'd have to reinvent the wheel every time we'd send a kid back to school,” he said. “We we're having to contact individual teachers and work very hard with individual schools in order to figure out what was best for that student. It ended up begin a lot of work for both of us.”
So they created and distributed the Return to Learning to local school districts, showing teachers what they can expect.
“Student athletes may look OK, but they're really not functioning OK,” he said. “And their cognitive abilities are not where they're supposed to be. So they may be able to show up at school and joke around with their friends, but if they were made to take a test, they're not going to score well on that test. And if those are important tests, like an ACT or SAT, or advanced placement test, they're really going to suffer and that's going to affect their future.”
The video also gives teachers suggestions such as advising against letting concussed students use computers.
“Maybe allow the student to leave class two to three minutes early so they can get to the next class without all the noise and craziness of the hallway,” the video advises.
Even that can stress the brain, and a stressed brain heals slower.
The video helps you recognize the symptoms of concussion. And it explains how doctors are attempting to get your student back into the classroom and how you can help.
You can view the Return to Learning video here .