But for concussed students who don’t get academic support, the effect can be calamitous in its own way. Glassman told of patients with failing grades who missed semesters and repeated school years, with college hanging in the balance.
“There is that lag, and I think initially, the first wave of awareness has been helping schools understand the athletic safety perspective,” said Neal McGrath, founder and clinical director of Sports Concussion New England, who has worked with the Wellesley school system and spoke at the forum Tuesday. “The next wave is helping the faculty understand what to do with a student while in recovery.”
Today, Wellesley’s head injury policy allows shortened school days as well as modified testing and homework assignments to help concussed students return gradually to the classroom.
“I use the analogy — if you have a sprained ankle, you know the best way to get over it is to rest it. Only when it gets better do you put your weight on it,” said McGrath. “In academics, it’s sort of like you have a sprained brain.”
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