• My child is eligible for special education services under the category of Traumatic Brain Injury. What does this mean?

    The Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008) defines Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by other medical conditions, including but not limited to stroke, anoxia, infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors and neurological insults resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The injury results in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries. The injuries result in impairments in one or more areas such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical function; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

    Because the eligibility team at your child’s school agreed that he/she meets the criteria of the Ohio Operating Standards, your child will have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that will address his/her unique needs and allow him/her to access the grade-level curriculum to the greatest extent possible. For those students who are unable to access the grade-level curriculum even with accommodations and supports, they will be taught a modified curriculum based on Ohio’s Extended Standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

    What specialized instruction and related services will my child receive?

    Students with TBI are served in Cleveland Metropolitan Schools in a variety of ways depending upon the degree of the injury and the needs of the child. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team makes an informed decision based on medical records, and the results of a multi-factored evaluation, as to where the student will receive services—an inclusive setting, general education, cross-categorical classroom, or a more specialized class. Teachers, assistants and related service providers (speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses) collaborate to provide support on an individual basis. School psychologists and social workers are often included in the planning to facilitate any social difficulties as a result of the injury.

    Can a student with Traumatic Brain Injury attend any CMSD school?

    CMSD is committed to providing quality school choices for all families. Every school in CMSD is staffed with Intervention Specialists to support students in all disability categories with access to the general education curriculum along with specially designed instruction in academic areas. All schools also have access to related services (speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and postsecondary transition services. Intervention specialists may teach separate academic classes that allow the student to receive grade-level instruction using specially designed instruction and enhanced accommodations. 

    In addition to these services in all schools, there are specialized single classrooms in every Cleveland neighborhood. ED classrooms focus on grade-level curriculum and intensive behavior intervention in a small group setting. Low incidence classrooms focus on a functional curriculum based on Ohio Extended Standards, and have the lowest student-teacher ratios. Medically Fragile classrooms are located in CMSD schools with at least one full-time nurse, and may be appropriate for students with ongoing and severe health needs. The least restrictive environment for each student is determined by his/her IEP team. 

    Additional Resources

    Center for Parent Information and Resources – Traumatic Brain Injury

    Ohio Coalition for Autism and Low Incidence