The MLO Minute: “Traumatic Brain Injury, Transition Planning, and Special Education” —
By, Dennis McAndrews, Esq., Founder and Managing Partner Emeritus, and Caitlin McAndrews, Esq., Senior Partner Delaware/D.C. Metro —
Less than 1% of school aged students with disabilities are identified with traumatic brain injury according to a recent survey of the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The OSEP survey looked at data from across the nation, including those collected through child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections with a lens on students identified with traumatic brain injury.
Highlights from OSEP survey included the following:
Students with traumatic brain injury are statistically less likely to be served in the age range 5–11, but more likely to be served in the age range 12–17 when compared to all students with disabilities.
In school year (SY) 2021–22, White students were more likely to be identified with traumatic brain injury and Hispanic/Latino students were less likely to be identified with traumatic brain injury when statistically compared to all students with disabilities.
In SY 2020–21, children with traumatic brain injury, ages 14–21, when exiting their school career were statistically more likely to graduate and less likely to drop out when compared to all students with disabilities.
In SY 2021–22, students with traumatic brain injury were statistically less likely to be extensively included inside a regular class (i. e. 80% or more of the day) when compared to all students with disabilities.
At our firm, we have found that careful transition planning in the last several years of high school for students with traumatic brain injury is essential. For many of these students, transition to competitive work is both realistic and appropriate, while others will require extensive habilitation services through Medicaid and state-funded programs. Without adequate transition planning, major opportunities to provide meaningful movement into post-secondary life will be lost forever. It is critical to remember that extensive community services and community interaction are critical touchstones of proper transition planning through the uses of measured introductions to competitive employment, vocational services, and the use of job coaches. We regularly assist families in developing robust transition plans. Our initial special education consultations are free and most cases are handled on behalf of families without retainer or payment of hourly fees and on a contingency basis. Families should not hesitate to reach out to us by CLICKING HERE or by calling any of our numbers on our website.