The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has classified “brain fog” as a symptom of COVID-19. Brain fog is actually also a symptom of concussion (usually called “mental fogginess” when it occurs with a concussion); it can be a symptom following the flu, mono, after a seizure, after chemotherapy, during a “low” with diabetes and is common when a student suffers a significant mental health crisis like trauma. Brain fog refers to difficulty with thinking, concentrating, focusing, remembering, learning new material and processing quickly. Whenever there is a medical or psychological condition that causes “cognitive inefficiency” (aka brain fog), learning can be hard for that student.
That is why all of the evidence-based interventions that have come out of 20+ years of research post-concussion, can now be applied to Return to Learn post-COVID. The symptoms are the same so the interventions are similar as well!
Get Schooled On Concussions (GSOC) provides return -to-learn resources FOR educators, BY educators. Since the majority of students with concussion have difficulty learning due to “mental fogginess”, GSOC feels that classroom teachers play a pivotal role in welcoming students back into the classroom, helping them to manage symptoms so they can learn and adjusting the workload immediately, to promote the best chance for a smooth and seamless recovery.
Schools, districts or states can purchase a subscription to GSOC which includes:
Tier 1 (classroom teacher) and Tier 2 (related service provider) educational resources via:
Web-based access to video tutorials on the academic support of cognitive inefficiency (from a concussion, COVID, trauma or any other medical/psychological condition that affects the student’s ability to learn) in elementary, middle and high schools.
Web-based access to 20+ Lessons/Curriculum for the classroom teacher on how to support students with cognitive inefficiency (due to any number of reasons) in the general education classroom.
Web-based access to 11+ Lessons/Curriculum for the Related Service Provider (school nurses, counselors, school mental health, administrators) on how to support students with protracted cognitive inefficiency (due to any number of reasons).
Highlights a web-based access to the Teacher Acute Concussion Tool (TACT) delivering Return to Learn curriculum in 1.) school-wide teacher training and/or 2.) in “real-time” (when the student returns to the classroom) customized for each teacher based upon what, when and how they teach.
The TACT requires no advanced training of school professionals, yet a 15 minute video + on-the-spot TACT training can train an entire teaching staff on “cognitive inefficiency” (from a concussion/COVID) in just 20 minutes.
The TACT builds capacity of educator’s knowledge, confidence and competence around how to provide immediate, relevant and flexible academic supports in “real- time” (just as the student with a concussion/COVID is imminently ready to return to the classroom).
The TACT is a tool used for teacher training, either in advance (in 20 minutes), OR at the time they get a student with a concussion/COVID. It customizes how the teacher should adjust the classroom environment for the student with cognitive inefficiency (from concussion , COVID, trauma or other conditions) based upon HOW the teacher teaches, WHAT they teach, WHEN they teach and AMOUNT of technology and reading. Email supports continue for 3 subsequent weeks.
The TACT does not need, use or keep any student-specific information.
The TACT is intended for use in the first 4 weeks post-concussion/COVID – to maximize prompt support for the student and optimize recovery.
GSOC has the ability to support schools to pivot quickly with web-based Return to Learn educational materials for families and students in the event of distance learning again during the 2022-2023 academic year
No, actually the TACT only requires the teacher to answer only 7 (for elementary students) or 8 questions (for middle/high school students); it will take a teacher less than 5 minutes to answer the questions and they will receive a customized email in their inbox within minutes.
No, the TACT is purely a tool to teach teachers how to support students with cognitive inefficiency in the classroom. A teacher is informed of a student with a concussion/COVID via your standard school process (usually an email from the school nurse, counselor or a call from the parent). Once the teacher is informed of the student, they are encouraged to go to the school’s/district’s GSOC subscription link and put in their specific password. The teacher answers the 7 or 8 questions about how they teach, what they teach, and answer when in the day they have this student and when in the semester it currently is. The customized email is delivered. The TACT does not need or ask for student identifying information. The TACT never has any information about a student so it is not a HIPAA or FERPA compliance issue.
No, while the concepts of good Return-to Learn in the TACT have come from 20+ years of concussion research and experience, the TACT was really developed to help ALL students returning to school after a concussion (not just athletes). Now schools are struggling to stay on top of students returning to school after a concussion because the COVID-19 virus has caused so much havoc in schools. However, as schools are now settling back into in-person learning, but with the potential for new COVID variants during the Fall/Winter months, schools are finding they are having to support Return to Learn for students post-concussion and post-COVID. The good news is that the symptoms of “brain fog” in COVID are almost identical to symptoms of “mental fogginess” from a concussion. Therefore, the TACT has now been adjusted to provide immediate guidance to general education teachers for cognitive inefficiency that is coming from either from a concussion or from COVID. In fact, there are numerous other medical and psychological conditions that also cause temporary cognitive inefficiency (trauma, seizures, mono, the flu, uncontrolled diabetes), the TACT is applicable to cognitive inefficiency from all of those conditions as well.