Definitions and Eligibility

  • “Traumatic Brain Injury” means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as, cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychological behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech.

    The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

    Initial Eligibility Criteria for Traumatic Brain Injury

    A child has a Traumatic Brain Injury when:

    1. a traumatic brain injury/head injury has been diagnosed by a licensed physician or through a neuropsychological assessment
    2. the student's educational performance is adversely affected by deficits in acquisition, retention, and/or generalization of skills. Students with a brain injury may have rapidly changing profiles, therefore, educational assessment should include current documentation of the student's functional capabilities and indicate deficits in one or more of the following areas:
      1. building or maintaining social competence;
      2. performance of functional daily living skills across settings;
      3. the ability to acquire and retain new skills; and,
      4. the ability to retrieve prior information.

    Professional Judgment

    A child may also be deemed eligible if the child displays characteristics of TBI even though a medical diagnosis of head injury has not been made by a physician. In such cases, substantial data to document the medical basis for a head injury must be present in the evaluation report.