The results show that regardless of injury severity many children have difficulties in retrieving and retaining information, and these impairments are particularly handicapping in the classroom. The study of 67 children aged 5-15 years admitted to hospital with TBI (35 mild, 13 moderate, 19 severe) reveals that one third of injured children performed below average in the classroom.
Children in the severe group had a mean IQ significantly lower than average- half had a reading age one year below their chronological age, and one third were reading at least two years below their chronological age. A further two thirds of children with TBI had difficulties with schoolwork, with half having attention, concentration and memory problems.
Traumatic brain injury is common among children. Most injuries are relatively mild, but every year over 3000 UK children acquire significant neurological or cognitive difficulties as a result of TBI. Many then return to school following a severe head injury without support or rehabilitation.
The follow-up treatment for children with head injuries is poor, which impacts on their education. At present, schools rely on parents to inform them about a TBI, and rarely receive information on possible long-term consequences.
Only one third of teachers were aware that the child had received a head injury. Teachers reported that for 31% of children no one informed the school about the injury, and often when the child then changed schools the relevant teachers were not informed of the injury. Only 18 parents (27%) reported that schools made special arrangements for their child's return after the TBI.