Each year approximately 700,000 U.S. children aged 0–19 years sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) placing them at risk for academic, cognitive, and behavioural challenges. Although TBI has been a special education disability category for 25 years, prevalence studies show that of the 145,000 students each year who sustain long-term injury from TBI, less than 18% are identified for special education services. With few students with TBI identified for special education, TBI is mistakenly viewed as a low-incidence disability, and is covered minimally in educator preparation. We surveyed educators and found that they lacked knowledge, applied skills, and self-efficacy in working with students with TBI. While those with special education credentials and/or additional training scored significantly higher than general educators, all demonstrated inadequate skills in working with students with TBI. This finding suggests that teachers, especially those in general education, have misconceptions and knowledge gaps about TBI and its effects on students. Misconceptions have led to the misidentification and under-identification of students with TBI, leaving this group of students with disabilities potentially underserved. To meet the academic and behavioural needs of students with TBI, all educators need effective training in working with students with TBI.
Ettel, PhD, NCSP, D., Glang, A. E., Todis, B., & Davies, S. C. (2016) Traumatic Brain Injury: Persistent Misconceptions and Knowledge Gaps Among Educators. Exceptionality Education International, 26, 1-18. Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/eei/vol26/iss1/1