U of O
The Center on Brain Injury
Research & Training

Back To School


Funded by:

US Department of Education—Office of Special Education Programs

Project Period:

October 1, 2001 – September 30, 2010

Project Director/Principal Investigator:

Ann Glang, Ph.D.




Bonnie Todis, Ph.D.



Research Team:

Debbie Ettel, Ph.D.




Long-term follow-up studies of children conducted during the K–12 school years suggest that problems associated with TBI tend to persist or worsen as children progress through school. A critical issue in service delivery for students with TBI is the significant discrepancy between the incidence of TBI and the identification of children with TBI for special education services. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence identification and service practices for students with TBI.

Analysis of initial data suggests the most important external, modifiable factor contributing to identification of students with TBI for formal services is the link between the hospitals that treat these students following injury and the schools that educate them. While informing educators that a student has TBI does not guarantee that appropriate services will follow, our findings indicate that not being informed by hospital personnel or parents decreases the likelihood that educational services will be tailored to the student’s specific needs. Fortunately, findings of this study appear to indicate that school personnel are open to recommendations not only from hospital staff but also from parents with whom they have a positive relationship, particularly when parent requests are reinforced by hospital recommendations.

Data collection was concluded in December 2009 and both quantitative and qualitative data from this five-year longitudinal study are now being analyzed.


Glang, A., Todis, B., Thomas, C., Hood, D., Bedell, G., & Cockrell, J. (2008). Return to school following childhood TBI: who gets services?NeuroRehabilitation; 23(6), 477–86.

Glang, A., Dise-Lewis, J., Tyler, J., & Denslow, P. (2006). Identification and appropriate service delivery for children who have TBI. Abstracts from the 2nd Federal Interagency Conference on Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 21(5), 408-436.