Concussion in Children and Adolescents: Application of Return to Learning Policies, Best Practices, and Special Education Law

  • Melissa Sutcliffe
Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation (A Wagner, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation


Purpose of Review

The goal of this review article is to examine policies for return to learning (RTL), and how RTL intersects with best practices and special education laws and regulations.

Recent Findings

Concussion is a well-documented public health concern. Much research has been dedicated to return to play. However, recent focus has been geared towards RTL, as some evidence suggests that cognitive difficulties may linger somewhat longer than physical symptoms. While most concussions resolve quickly, some children are at higher risk for persistent symptoms (usually those with some additional concern such as depression or anxiety). The intersection of concussion and special education law is discussed.


Many children and adolescents who suffer from a concussion will have a relatively quick recovery, though there are educational needs even in the first week. Having an RTL plan, and understanding the legal rights of a child, is key to a successful reintegration back into school and cognitive demands.


Concussion IDEA Return to learning 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation MedicineChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMCPittsburghUSA

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