Monday, December 6, 2010

Brain Injury Essay

The following write up was done by a local teacher (and our past daycare provider/neighbour/friend). She did a paper for her course on Brain Injury. Just thought I would share it with everyone! Enjoy and thanks again Cheryl!!!


Understanding Exceptionalities in the 21st Century: Chapter Fourteen
“Portfolio Submission”
Cheryl Beaumont
Brandon University

Understanding Exceptionalities in the 21st Century: Chapter Fourteen
            Canadian children enjoy sledding down hills, playing hockey, riding bicycles, and riding in vehicles. These everyday activities can result in traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries occur when a person’s brain receives a rapid acceleration or deceleration which results in tearing, bruising, or swelling of the brain (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011). Although, car accidents are a major cause of serious head injury, children can also fall, get hurt when playing sports, or be physically assaulted (CBC News, 2009). Once someone has had a previous brain trauma, they are more susceptible to more serious consequences if they have another.
            The four main types of traumatic brain injuries include: concussions (a brain injury that is characterized by temporary loss on consciousness with amnesia, weakness on one side of the body, dilated pupils, or vomiting), contusions (bruising, swelling or laceration of the brain), skull fractures (broken skull bones), and hematoma (a blood clot caused by a blow to the brain) (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011; CBC News, 2009). A brain injury may negatively affect a student’s educational performance.
            As educators, classroom teachers are members of the student support team. The student must be prepared for the demands of returning to school. Many teachers who receive these students are not adequately prepared to respond to their cognitive (decreased attention, memory deficits, poor concentration, etc.), academic (poor organizational skills, difficulties maintaining school demands, etc), and behavioral (social isolation, inability to prevent socially inappropriate behaviors, difficulties with relationships, etc.) needs (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011). Brain injuries can affect every aspect of a person’s life; however, often without any visible physical symptoms (Manitoba Brain Injury Association, n.d.). This mismatch can lead people to overlook the disability and to misinterpret the behaviors as an individual’s shortcoming.

An unexpected brain injury occurred in small town Manitoba when a boy was injured from a self inflicted bullet from a .22 caliber rifle (Ginter, 2010). The bullet entered into his head and pierced through three lobes of his brain. The bullet remains there as it would be more traumatic to remove it. After surgery, he had a breathing tube, IVs, a pressure monitor, and monitors stuck to his chest and back to monitor his vitals. July 29, 2008 changed their family forever.
Two years after the injury, the parents of this child still have many obstacles to overcome as their child enters into the high school world where adolescents want to fit in and not be perceived as different or special (Ginter, 2010b). It is a time where their son’s tendency to act inappropriately is more than just a normal hormonal teenager figuring out his identity. It is a time of relearning how to act, relearning how to be organized, relearning how to be himself.
It is unrealistic to surmise what this child would have been like without the brain injury. What is important is that all educators being diligent to understand how a brain injury can affect a student’s learning and realizing that each student requires a unique educational plan that plans for success. The educational plan must be conscious of the student’s abilities, talents, and capabilities. Students that have brain injuries require educators to educate them, despite their differences.       
CBC News. (2009). In depth health: Head injuries. Retrieved on December 5, 2010, from
Ginter, J. (2010a). Brain injuries [Presentation]. Neepawa, MB.
Ginter, J. (2010b). Brain injuries [Interview]. Neepawa, MB.
Hardman, M. L., Drew, C. J., Egan, M. W. (2011). Human Exceptionality: School,
Community, and Family (10th Ed.). Toronto, ON, CAN: Allyn & Bacon.
Manitoba Brain Injury Association. (n.d.). About brain injury. Retrieved December 5, 2010,

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