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Concussive injuries in sports have been a hot topic for a number of years. As of July 2011, a new Illinois State law requires that any athlete who exhibits the signs of a concussion must be removed from that practice or game, and cannot be returned to play until he or she has been cleared by an appropriately trained healthcare professional. However, the law makes no mention of academics and most youth athletes will attend school before they are cleared to return to the field of play. Our attention should then turn to addressing the issues of injured students. A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow or force to the head that results in changes in his or her mental status; this includes confusion, disorientation, memory or mental cloudiness. The individual may complain of headache, dizziness, nausea, visual changes or fatigue, and may experience problems with attention and memory. It is often difficult for a newly concussed student to manage the demands of school and their grades may suffer if their injury is not appropriately addressed. If a student athlete suffers from a concussion the following steps for an optimal recovery are recommended:
- Submitted by Elizabeth Pieroth, PsyD, ABPP