Home  |   Tool Kit  |   Library   |  Sponsor   |   Help Us   |   Contact Us

Services & Resources on this site 
reflect the best practices in the field of 
Traumatic Brain Injury

get all you need & more:  experience higher standards in brain trauma services -- 206-621-8558 

Copyright © 1998 Brain Injury Resource Center
Little Red School House

If you've been helped by the information on this site help us to keep it here for you,

The Alex Center for Children
Life after brain injury 
Learn About Brain Injury
Getting Started
Essential Skills
Self Assessment
When I Grow up
Daily Journal
Time Management
Loss Self
Found Self
Memory Survey
Letters From The Edge
Life Events Inventory
Wellness Inventory

Support Groups
Family & Child Resources
Caregiver Resources
Disability Income
Self-Employment Funding
Disability Resources
Education Resources
Health Resources

Advocacy Skills
Advocacy Overview

D. Mortz Inspirational Award
est. 2002
Educational rights of children with Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI.  Thousands of parents each year face unexpected difficulties associated with their child's return to school following a traumatic brain injury. Even a mild brain injury such as a concussion or whiplash can cause serious learning and behavioral impairments.  Headaches, sleep, concentration, memory, vision, mood and irritability are but a few of the many continuing problems caused by head injury.  The combination of the many thinking and emotional disorders caused by brain injury seriously undermine the ability to learn and fit in. See TBI Checklist.

     Children tend to make what appears to be a "good" physical recovery from brain injuries, but parents, teachers and doctors are surprised by, and unprepared for the behavioral, learning and emotional problems that soon follow. Further complicating this situation is the fact that children are unable to speak for themselves in this regard and, therefore, their issues go largely unaddressed. Anger, alienation and fear are part and parcel of the landscape of tbi.  Learning to deal with such emotions are part of growing up, however, tbi impairments inhibit learning and emotional control. 

     Due to the nature of the persistent problems that typically follow tbi, (restlessness, disinhibition, and impulsivity) many children with tbi are misdiagnosed as ADD/HD. Recent studies have shown a
strong relationship between a history of tbi and violence in children. Too often child victims of tbi become victims of the mental health and prison, or should I say "Corrections" system, where they are maintained in chemical straight jackets and are denied the benefit of training and rehab to learn skills to effectively deal with such impairments. 

     The problems that these kids develop due to tbi easily overwhelm the families capacity to cope.  Such children make up a large portion of the homeless youth population. 

     It is likely that following such an injury it will be necessary to become your child's advocate. Your role in this regard takes on added importance when it comes to drafting an individualized education plan for your child.  Such a plan should  include the goals and objectives to be met  over the next year.    Remember you are the last word on your child's treatment and educational placement.  You do not have to agree to any plan that you do not feel is in your child's best interest.  The following is a listing of legally mandated educational services available to your child.

     The law allows you to request the school to provide individualized tutoring and remediation. However, the law only requires that remediation be provided for those students in acquisition of basic skills in reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic. If it is determined that your child needs more support than related services or consultation provides, then other placement options could be offered. Other placements generally include resource classes part-time, resource classes full-time, self-contained classroom, alternative school, or homebound tutoring and / or hospital tutoring. 

     Next, you can get a second or third opinion.  When your child's well-being is at stake, it is important to consider the advice from several professionals and choose the option that is best for you.  If you feel there is a need, you can take your problem up the chain of command.  Sometimes parents are reluctant to "go over a professional's head" in an organization, but that is why there are levels of authority.  You may find that your problems are easily solved at the second or third level above the one where you started. 

The following section reviews several important federal laws concerning educational rights children with disabilities.

Little Red School House
Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975:  Public Law 94-142
      This Act, Public Law 94-142, requires all public schools to provide a “free appropriate public education” to all students between the ages of 3 and 21 years, with disabilities regardless of disability.  It includes the following rights:
1. An appropriate education at public expense.
2. A program that is individualized to meet the needs of the student; this is described in the student's written individualized education plan, IEP.  The plan is developed by a committee that includes the parent(s) and the student, if 18 years of age or, otherwise, appropriate.
3. The education is to be provided in the least restrictive environment
4. Protection of the rights of the student, and parents, or guardians to due process, including the right to notification of changes in programs and /or location, the means of filing a complaint, and the way to request a hearing if in disagreement with the resulting IEP  (see 20 USC 1400 et seq. and 34 CFR 300.1 et seq.)
      Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973  prohibits discrimination against individuals with handicaps in employment, education,  and all aspects of service delivery and program access.  It requires program accessibility as well as the provision of reasonable accommodations needed to allow an individual to participate in programs provided by agencies receiving federal funds.  It also  requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations needed by a handicapped employee to do his / her job.  (see 29 USC 794, 34 CFR 104.1 et seq. (education), 45 CFR 84 etseq.)


The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, enacted in 1990
     The Office for Civil Rights considers this law, ADA, to be essentially identical to Section 504. Both share similar objectives and language when it comes to education.  The main difference is that Section 504 is for agencies that receive federal funding like public schools. The ADA is more global and includes the work place and the community at large. The purpose of Section 504 is to ensure that there is no discrimination, whether intentional, or unintentional, against persons with disabilities. Although this law is somewhat vague, its intent was to eliminate barriers that exclude persons with disabilities from attending public school.

     Section 504 protects all persons with a disability who have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; have a record of such an impairment; or are regarded as having such an impairment. 

     A physical or mental impairment is defined as any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:   neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin or endocrine: or any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.

     In addition, a person's physical or mental impairment must have a substantial limitation whether permanent or temporary on one or more major life activities. These life activities include caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning or working. As far as students are concerned, the main question is whether a student's impairment substantially limits the ability to learn.

     Don't let school administration get away with telling you that your child must have an impairment of a major life activity other than or in addition to learning. That simply is not true. Also, be watchful of how the school measures your child's limitations. There are no quantifiable standards to use to determine whether or not there is a substantial limitation of a major life activity.

     In fact, be sure that schools do not base decisions solely on your child's grades. Both academic and nonacademic activities need to be taken into consideration. Many schools do not identify all students who qualify for services under Section 504. The reason is because they take too narrow an interpretation of the law. As a result, many school districts are found to be out of compliance for failure to identify these students.

    You, as the parent, are the strongest advocate for you child. Mention compliance to schools and see how well their listening improves. Even students with temporary disabilities arising from accidents who may need short term hospitalization or homebound recovery are covered under Section 504 without being eligible under IDEA:

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, IDEA, Enacted 1997

     The Purpose of IDEA is much more specific than Section 504IDEA is for students who meet criteria for federal definitions of any of the following disabilities: mental retardation, hearing impairments, speech or language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities. IDEA is a Special Education  act.    Whereas, Section 504 of ADA is designed to eliminate barriers to learning; IDEA's intent is to remediate barriers to learning. 

View the IDEA page on the web site of the U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-0498 1-800-USA-LEARN,  email: CustomerService@inet.ed.gov url: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/IDEA/

     IDEA involves a lengthy process beginning with a referral and thorough evaluation, followed by the multidisciplinary conference where eligibility is determined. After that, the individualized education plan is developed which includes the goals and objectives to meet over the next year. Additionally, IDEA requires schools to provide regular report cards.

     Special education does not necessarily mean that your child will be placed in a classroom separate from “regular” students. Special education options range from least restrictive to most restrictive. The least restrictive setting provides for consultations with a special education teacher. This means that your child's progress is to be closely monitored, and it provides for appropriate, and timely  interventions . Interventions refer to any related service, supplementary aid or modification used to assist the student in class.
       IDEA defines a related service as transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services including:   speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children.
     IDEA defines supplementary aids and services as aids, services, and other supports that are provided in the regular education classes or other education related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with section 612(a)(5).See:  Public Law 105-17 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA
     The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act gives parents the right to see the educational records of their minor children.  Students 18 years old or older have the right to see their own educational records.  This law also guarantees the following:  http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/PPI/HOPE/ferpa.html
1. The right to request that the school correct any inaccurate information in the records and to have a hearing if the school refuses.
2. The right to confidentiality of records.  Records may not be released to outside parties without written permission (See 20 USC 1232 g and 34 CFR 99.1 et seq.)

     The above referenced legislation including the TBI Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-266) can be found at  http://thomas.loc.gov .  It's the web site for Congress including the Congressional Budget Office and General  Accounting Office, etc.  It was named after Thomas Jefferson.  The "loc"  stands for Library of Congress, so there's a lot of good stuff available  on it.  Pulling down the Committee Report to the Act (from the 104th Congress) is useful for gaining insights into Congress' intentions for the law.
also see our: Government Resources
Teaching Your Children To Be Their Own Advocate
    As your child reaches middle and high school years, you need to encourage them to learn to advocate for themselves.  Children with disabilities gain a great feeling of control over their lives when they learn to stand up for themselves.  Sometimes it is hard for the parent who has always intervened on behalf of their child to let go but it is an important step in helping your child become a self-reliant and independent individual. See our Advocacy Skills page

Education Resources
Access To Higher Education For Students With Disabilities  --
url: http://codi.buffalo.edu/
AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) -- AHEAD is a professional   organization founded "to address the need and concern for upgrading the quality of services and support available to persons with disabilities in higher education." Its web site includes "Guidelines for Documentation of a Learning Disability in Adolescents and Adults," as well as information about the organization.
url: http://www.ahead.org/relorg.htm
Alex Center - Private, non-profit organization certified by the California Department of Education-Special Education Division.  Dedicated to excellence in the provision of education, rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation, behavior management, and transition/school-re-integration for students ages 5-21 who are survivors of Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury. url:
Apple & Special Needs: Worldwide Disability Solutions  -- 
url: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/
Center on Human Development and Disability -- U of Washington -- PO Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195-7920 -- Telephone: 206-543-2832
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) -- 8181 Professional Place, Suite 201, Landover, MD 20785 -- Telephone: 301-306-7070, Toll free: 800-233-4050 --
url:  http://www.chadd.org/ -- Northwest CHADD --330 SW 43rd, K-151 -- Renton, WA 98055 
Telephone: 206-622-2127
Coastline Community College -- Offers a cognitive retraining program for individuals with neuro cognitive disorders such as Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Acquired Brain Injury. url:  http://coastline.cccd.edu/
Colleges, Universities and Scholarships Page is designed to offer college bound students, parents, and counselors easy access to information on colleges and universities throughout the United States, free scholarship and financial aid searches, SAT and ACT test preparation tips, and more. url:  http://www.college-scholarships.com/
Clearing House in Disability Information -- US Department of Education, 330 C Street SW, Room 3132 Washington, DC, 20202-2524 Telephone: 202-205-8241 
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)  -- 1920 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1589
Telephone: 703-620-3660 - TTY: 703-264-9446 - FAX: 703-264-9494 - url: http://www.cec.sped.org/
Disability Law : ABA (American Bar Assoc.) Searchable data base of  Disability Lawyers 
url: http://www.abanet.org/disability/home.html
Distance Learning Programs (Petersons) -- A searchable guide to college and graduate degree programs that are available through distance learning. url:  http://www.petersons.com/dlearn/dlsector.html
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) -- Based at the University of Washington, DO-IT helps people with disabilities pursue academics and careers, with an emphasis on the use of technology. Learn more about it here.  url:  http://www.washington.edu/doit
Early Intervention Directory -- If your child suffered a brain injury and is under the age of five, they may be eligible for early intervention services. To find the contact information  for the Early Intervention program in your area, click   here url: http://www.nichcy.org/
U.S. Department of Education --Demonstration Program to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education Links to Related Sites and Programs 
url: http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml
Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) -- The Directory is intended to help you identify and contact organizations that provide information and assistance on a broad range of education-related topics. The Directory includes information on more than 2,400 national, regional, and state organizations and is constantly being updated and expanded. In many cases you can link directly to the organization's home page. 
url: http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/
Electric SchoolHouse -- 201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd FL, Narberth, PA 19072 -- Telephone: 610-949-9200; Toll free:  888-373-7371 -- email: info@eschoolhouse.com - url: http://www.eschoolhouse.com/
FAPE: Family & Advocates Partnership for Education. Aims to inform and educate families and advocates about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 and promising practices. url:  http://www.fape.org/
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education --  url:   http://ericec.org/
Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) (at GSA) -- The CFDA is a comprehensive listing of all Federal government programs -- not just those from the Department -- that give out money or other forms of assistance. The CFDA is published every year in June by the General Services Administration (GSA), with an update published around December. url: http://www.cfda.gov/
Federal Interagency Coordinating Council (FICC) -- Promotes an interagency collaborative effort to meet the needs of children with disabilities, especially from birth through age 5. url: http://www.fed-icc.org
FinAid -- Financial aid for students -- Established in  1994 this free service offers links to and information on student financial aid on the web. url:  http://finaid.org/
Financial Aid - One of the main responsibilities of the Washington State Higher Education Coordination Board HECB -  is to oversee the distribution of financial aid to the qualified students of the state. Here you can find the information you need to budget costs and apply for the right kind of aid. -- 
url:   http://www.hecb.wa.gov/paying/index.html 
Financial Aid For Students -- U.S. Dept of Education  web site -- url: http://www.ed.gov/finaid.html
Funding Opportunities -- U.S. Dept of Education  web site -- url:  http://www.ed.gov/funding.html
Government Printing Office Access Page -- url: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html
HEATH Resource Center --  National Clearinghouse on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities American Council on Education -- url: http://www.acenet.edu 
The Helping Hands School, Clifton Park, New York, U.S.A., Serving Preschoolers With Special Needs url:  http://www.helpinghands.org/  - - Telephone: 518-664-5066
IBM Accessibility --  url:  http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/guidelines.htm 
International Dyslexia Association -- Puget Sound Branch (AK, ID, MT, SD, WA) -- P.O. Box 1054
Renton, WA 98057-1054 -- Telephone: 206-382-1020
Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) -- http://www.iser.com 
Job Seeking Skills for People with Disabilities: A Guide to Success 
A handbook for service providers to use as a counseling tool, or for individuals with disabilities to use on their own. Provides an overview of the career planning process, including considerations for the applicant with a disability. url: http://www.csun.edu/~sp20558/dis/sh.html
Kansas Department of Health and Environment  - Provides catalog of brain injury resources for Kansas - tricky to get to but very useful.  From the home page click on link to Injury and Disability, then scroll down to  Injury and Disability Program Resources.  Click on that link and you will find several directories.
url: http://www.kdhe.state.ks.us  - 
Learning Disabilities Association of WA -- 7819 159th Place N.E., Redmond, WA 98052-7301, Telephones: 206-882-0792, -- 800-536-2343 (Information and referral, in WA) -- 206-882-0820 (Business Line)  -- url:  http://www.ldawa.org/ 
The Least Restrictive Environment Coalition - This coalition promotes education in the least restrictive environment - to the greatest extent appropriate in the regular education setting with necessary services, supports and accommodations. Includes information on federal and state law, local policy and contacts and helpful resources and links. url:  http://www.lrecoalition.org
Manual for Managing Special Education for Students with Brain Injury
url: http://www.lapublishing.com/ 
Mental and Physical Disability Law : ABA (American Bar Assoc.) Campaign to Identify Disability Lawyers 
url:   http://www.abanet.org/disability/home.html
Microsoft's Accessibility and Disability - url: http://www.microsoft.com/enable/default.htm
The Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center -- url: www.mitbc.org/
National Adult Literacy & Learning Disabilities Center (NALLD) -- Academy for Educational Development, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009-1202, Telephone: 202-884-8185
Toll free: 800- 953-ALLD (953-2553), FAX: 202-884-8429, 202-884-8422,  url: http://www.aed.org 
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. 900 Second Street, NE, Ste 211 Washington, D.C. 20002,  Telephone:  202-408-9514, Fax:  202-408-9520,
url:  http://www.protectionandadvocacy.com/ email:  napas@vipmail.earthlink.net  -- Federally mandated system in each state and territory which provides protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through legally based advocacy. -- url:  http://www.napas.org/
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) -- 
url: http://www.narpa.org/ 
The National Association of State Boards of -Education (NASBE) -- 277 S. Washington St., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA. 22314 -- Telephone: 703-684-4000
Fax: 703-836-2313 -- email:  boards@nasbe.org -- url:  http://www.nasbe.org/
National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. (NCLD) --  url:  http://www.ncld.org 
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) -- P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013 --Telephone:  800-695-0285 -- Information and referral center serving the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories. Provide families, students, educators, and others with information on disability-related topics regarding children and youth, birth through 21. Anyone may contact NICHCY for information. Many materials are available in Spanish and are also available in alternative formats, such as on disk. url:   http://www.nichcy.org/ 
The National Parent Information Network --  (Co-sponsored by the ERIC) -- Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Urban Education, includes extensive articles on parenting, listservs, and links to more than 100 sites on education, health and safety, family issues and interests, and parenting and development of children from infancy to adolescence.  url:  http://npin.org
New Horizons for Learning -- A virtual Learning Community Supporting an Expanded Vision of Learning The focus of our work has been to identify, synthesize, communicate, and help to implement more effective ways of helping people to learn at every age and ability level in homes, schools, and communities. 
url: http://www.newhorizons.org
The Northwest Justice Project - has offices statewide which provide legal representation for free or on a sliding scale. For more information, contact the Seattle office at (206) 464-1519. url: http://www.nwjustice.org/
Office of Special Education Programs (OSERS) --  url: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/ 
Parents Helping Parents - A volunteer, nonprofit organization providing supports for parents of children with learning disabilities  Phone: 310-265-4578 url: http://www.php4ldkids.org/
Parent-to-Parent Support Programs -- 10550 Lake City Way N.E., Ste A, Seattle, WA 98125-7752 
Telephone: 206-364-4645, ext 121-- Toll free:  800-821-5927 (WA, OR and ID)
email: seattlep2p@aol.com
The National PTA -- Learn about PTA education programs and participate in a discussion group, chat room, or bulletin board. The site also includes links to sites of many organizations concerned with children.  url:  http://www.pta.org/
Pilot International -- 244 College Street, Macon, GA 31201, telephone: 912-743-7403, 
Fax: 912- 743-2173 -- Scholarship Programs support graduate and undergraduate students who will be working with those with disabilities.  The PIF Scholarship has supported hundreds of  students in their quest for higher education in the United States or Canada.
url: http://www.pilotinternational.org/ -- email: peggy@pilothq.org
PoinTIS -- Point of Care, Team-based Information System established by TBI professionals at the U of Miami (FL)
url:  http://calder.med.miami.edu/pointis/
Saddleback College - ABI Program - Special Services and Programs for students with TBI 
url: http://www.saddleback.cc.ca.us/serv/couns/dsps - Telephone:  949-582-4885
School Psychology Resources On-Line -- Resources for Psychologists, Parents and Educators.  Research learning disabilities, ADHD, functional behavioral assessment, autism, adolescence, parenting, psychological assessment, special education, mental retardation, mental health, and more  http://www.schoolpsychology.net
TBI Educational Considerations  url:  http://www.disserv.stu.umn.edu/
Transitioning from High School to College in Arizona -- This manual is intended to assist students as they transition from high school to college. It is designed for students who are looking at college as a way to help prepare them for independent living as adults. url: http://www.cybercil.com/skills/tranman/tranman.html
The University of Arizona's Disability Resource Center - Part of the University of Arizona since 1970. 
url:  http://w3.arizona.edu/~cedrr
The University of Michigan's Services for Students with Disabilities - an index of information assisting with
college selection and the transition from high school to college and beyond. 
url:  http://www.umich.edu/~sswd/ssd/shb.html

Brain Injury Resource Center: Providing Difficult to Find Information on Brain Injury Since 1985
up arrow
Back to Top

Bright Ideas from headinjury.com

Copyright © 1998 Brain Injury Resource Center