As the parent or guardian, you have a central role in supporting your child’s return to school. You are the advocate for your child between any medical professionals, your child’s school and any other organization your child is involved in.
It is your responsibility to report a non-school related concussion or suspected concussion to your child’s school. For concussions that occur at school, you are responsible for responding to the school and for ensuring your child is assessed as soon as possible by a medical professional.
Your child’s school may or may not have a concussion management plan or policy. Inform the administration that your child has sustained a concussion. You may want to set up a meeting with the principal, your child’s teacher(s), resource teachers, and counsellors to discuss the best return to school plan for your child. Read our article on returning to school to help you identify your child’s support system in their recovery.
You should ensure that the school identifies a school contact. It is your responsibility to maintain communication with the school contact to discuss how your child is coping with returning to school, such as coping with homework, workload, etc. In addition, you should provide the school with any directions from your child’s medical professional that might be important for the school to know, such as restrictions on your child’s physical activity.
You have an important role to play in the development and implementation of your child’s Return to School Plan. You and your child should work collaboratively with the school to create a plan that includes:
- How your child’s needs will be met at school
- The learning accommodations needed to support your child
- What school work can be done at home
Your child’s Return to School Plan should include how to monitor the plan’s effectiveness, including:
- Mode and frequency of communication between you and the school contact—this could be using school agendas, email, and phone calls
- Mode and frequency of communication between the school contact and the teachers
- Timing and scheduling of regular meetings to discuss your child’s progress and make adjustments as needed
- How your child’s academic progress will be monitored
- How your child’s emotional adjustment is monitored, by whom, and what actions to take should there be concerns
- Any issues that develop and what strategies will be implemented to address those issues
Once the plan is created, you should help support your child’s progress by following the Return to School plan at home, and communicating with the school contact about how your child is tolerating the plan.
You are responsible for completing any paperwork the school requests you to complete. This can include getting a medical assessment and the required written medical clearance from your child’s medical professional to participate in physical activity as outlined in the Return to School and Return to Sport protocols.
Once your child is progressing along the Return to School protocol, the Return to Sport protocol may also be started. However, you child must have successfully returned to a full day of school before completing the Return to Sport protocol.
Each child’s recovery is unique. Most will make academic progress independently, but some children may benefit from temporary learning support or tutoring to guide their progress.
If your child does not progress within a 4- to 6-week period or if you are concerned about their mental health, you should seek further medical advice. In addition, other professional resources can be consulted such as the school counsellor, learning support teacher, or school psychologist for further recommendations.
For more information:
- Review the Return to School tool and Learning Plan
- Complete the Learning Accommodations Following Concussion resource
- Take the CATT online educational module for School Professionals
Review other Resources that can help guide your child’s return to learn