Source: hickoryrecord.com | Re-Post Duerson Fund 3/29/2017 –
Starting at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, a new policy on concussions, “Return to Learn,” was enacted in North Carolina.
It’s meant to be a companion to the Gfeller Waller Concussion Awareness Act passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011.
While the path to “Return to Play” for middle and high school athletes was laid out with the 2011 act, it did not specifically address non-sports related injuries, injuries that occurred outside the school setting, injuries to younger children, or the needs of students as they returned to the learning environment, according to the “Return to Learn after Concussion: Implementation Guide” released by the state.
Travis Glass is a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Brain Injury Specialist at Crossroads Counseling Center in Hickory and has seen the importance of having this expanded concussion policy in place. His concern is making sure the public knows about it.
“I think for schools, it’s really important because without schools having some guidelines then sometimes (concussions) are not easily identified as a problem,” Glass said. “With any type of brain injury whether its moderate or severe brain injury…a lot of times it’s not evident.”
Policies for school systems are created or revised continuously.
“When a policy applies to a specific situation, we work with the student and his/her parents on the implementation of the policy,” Catawba County Schools (CCS) Director of Student Services Maria Ballard said.