U of O
The Center on Brain Injury
Research & Training

Underidentification of Students with TBI for Special Education

Under-identification of students with TBI in special education has been a chronic problem since TBI was added to list of the available eligibilities. As of the 2009 special education census, fewer than 300 students were identified in Oregon with TBI as a primary eligibility, making it one of the least identified special education categories. The lack of identification should not be confused with a lack of incidence or need. It is estimated that 750-1000 students are hospitalized for brain injury each year in Oregon. If only 16% of those students need special education services, the number of students who need support in the form of either a 504 Plan or an IEP should be much higher, considering all the years a student is in school after a TBI along with annual incidence.


Kraus JF. (195) Epidemiological features of brain injury in children: Occurrence, children at risk, causes and manner of injury, severity, and outcomes. In Broman SH, Michel ME, eds.Traumatic head injury in children. (22-39). New York: Oxford University Press.

Zaloshnja, Miller, Langlois, Selassie. (2008). Prevalence of Long-Term Disability From TBI Among US Civilians, 2005.Journal of Head Trauma Research,23(6), 394-400.