The Brain Injury Team serves as a contact and resource for helping districts serving a student who has suffered a brain injury. The Brain Injury Team facilitates communication and provides educational consultation for these students.
Brain Injury Resource Team (BIRT) Mission:
The Brain Injury Resource Team (BIRT) provides services to students who have suffered a brain injury due to trauma, childhood cancer & subsequent treatment, infections, concussion, stroke, seizure, or non-accidental brain trauma. Services may begin with the transition back to school following an injury or illness. Other services may include onsite observation and provision of strategies to assist learning, memory, and behavior.
Meet Our Brain Injury Resource Team
Physical Therapist, Brain Injury Resource Team Supervisor
Council Bluffs Office | firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Education Consultant
Creston Office | email@example.com
Special Education Consultant
Osceola Office | firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenwood Office | email@example.com
Council Bluffs Office | firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Bluffs Office | email@example.com
Iowa Concussion Management Protocol – REAP
REAP stands for Reduce/Remove, Educate, Adjust/Accommodate, Pace. It is a program developed by Karen McAvoy, PsyD as the result of a Colorado high school student athlete’s death from Second Impact Syndrome (a second concussion before complete recovery from the first). It is a nationally recognized, systematic approach to concussion management for the time of injury through return to learn and play. Family team, medical team, school academic team, and school physical team roles are clearly defined. Work is currently underway for Iowa to adopt this program for concussion management.
Resources are available to educators through the GHAEA Medianet or by contacting the BIRT.
- Academic and Symptom Monitoring
- Concussions in Elementary vs. High School
- Concussion Symptom Wheel
- Extra-Curricular Participation After Concussion
- Fading Academic Post-Concussion Supports
- Handling Finals & Semester Grades for Students with Concussions
- How A Concussion Feels
- Inefficient Brain Cells – The Tree Analogy
- Post-Concussion Mental Fatigue in the Classroom
- Processing Speed Empathy Exercise
- Red Flags for School Nurses
- Response to Management (RTM) & Response to Intervention (RTI)
- Rest & Sleep Hygiene After Concussions
- Teenage Drivers & Concussions
- What to Do About Missed Instruction
- What to Do About Tests
- What to Do About Work Output – In-Class & Homework
Concussions & 504 Plans
For more information about 504 plans, please visit our Section 504 page.
- How to Write a 504 Plan
- What a 504 Plan is NOT
- When to Write a 504 Plan (Part 1)
- When to Write a 504 Plan (Part 2)
Strategies and Interventions
- Acquired Brain Injury – Ontario Teachers’ Federation
- Instructional Strategy For Elementary Students with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Instructional Strategy for Secondary Students with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Interventions for students with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
- Strategies & Interventions for Executive Function Dysfunction in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Traumatic Brain Injury Meets Response To Intervention (RTI)
Making A Referral
When Should You Make a Referral to the Brain Injury Resource Team (BIRT)?
A student should be referred to the BIRT when any of the following events occur:
- Trauma that causes either an open or closed head injury
- Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) or stroke
- Brain tumor or other childhood cancer
- Infection such as encephalitis or meningitis
- Non-accidental brain trauma
- A concussion that does not resolve in the expected amount of time
How to Make a Referral:
- Work with the Special Education Rep (SER) to complete the referral form below
- Medical documentation of the brain injury is required and the school team is responsible for obtaining this and parent permission as part of the referral process
- If a student has been hospitalized due to a brain injury, the school team should contact the BIRT as soon as possible so that we can assist with the return to school planning. For students who have been recently injured, whether hospitalized or not, it is important to find out about any activity restrictions, precautions such as seizures, limited weight-bearing due to orthopedic injuries, etc.
- The completed referral form should be sent to Julie Stessman at the Halverson Center for Education.
- Sometimes school teams find out about a brain injury that occurred in the child’s past. A referral can be made to the BIRT if the school team feels that this injury is interfering with the student’s education.
- Occasionally students who have conditions such as hydrocephalus and seizure disorders are referred to the BIRT. These can be appropriate referrals if the school team is needing assistance to meet the educational needs of the student.
In all cases, medical documentation of injury, illness, or condition is required, as well as parent permission for the BIRT to be involved with a student.
- Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa
- Brain Injury Association of America
- CDC Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury
- Centre for Neuro Skills
- Colorado Kids Brain Injury Resource Network
- Get a Heads Up on Concussion – CDC Site for Parents
- Get Schooled on Concussions
- Recovering from Mild to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury