Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. TBI has become known as the ‘silent epidemic.'
Approximately 6,000 Texas children are hospitalized each year due to TBI with 1,300 resulting in long-term disability. The impact of TBI is devastating and costly: there is no cure and the effects may be lifelong.
The Division of IDEA Coordination of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working with the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Council on identification of students with TBI in the community and in schools in order to provide information regarding TBI and special education services in a timely manner.
TEA is also working with the Regional Education Service Centers (ESCs) and the Department of State Health Services to provide training related to TBI to teachers and other staff who work with these students.
The Office of Acquired Brain Injury was established in February 2008 as directed by the Texas Legislature, 80th session. The purpose of the Office of Acquired Brain Injury is to provide guidance and service coordination information to survivors of acquired brain injuries and their families, including returning combat veterans, and to ensure a comprehensive system of care through federal, state, and local resources.
The office also supports the Traumatic Brain Injury Council that educates and informs consumers, providers, and policy makers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year in the United States. Of those, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million are treated and released from an emergency department.
The number of individuals who sustain TBI and are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown. The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds. In fact, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults.
For additional information regarding special education services available to children who sustain TBI, contact the Regional Education Service Center (ESC) in your area.
The TEA collaborated with the Statewide Evaluation for Eligibility in Special Education Leadership, ESC 12, to develop an online resource document regarding TBI. This document includes information about TBI, guidelines for re-entry to the school setting, and teacher resources. The guidelines in this resource document are intended to promote a continuum of service delivery options for this growing population in the Texas education system. This resource document is aimed at sharing information to assist in promoting the importance and value of an integrated delivery of services.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) RESOURCE DOCUMENT: RE-ENTRY OF STUDENTS WITH A TBI TO THE SCHOOL SETTING (PDF 249.74 KB)
Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council
Office of Acquired Brain Injury
United States Office of Special Education Programs
Special Education Rules and Regulations
Department of State Health Services
Division of Federal and State Education Policy
1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Telephone: 512.463.9414 | Fax: 512.463.9560