Return to School
Teens & Concussions
Teenagers can have more difficulty recovering from a concussion than adults, with some studies showing a recovery period as much as four times longer for adolescents. See one patient’s story in this video.
Returning to Normal Activity
The unique nature of concussion precludes us from giving advice that can apply to everyone in every situation. It is important that you work with your doctor and other health care professionals to determine the best plan for you and the most constructive advice to educators and employers. For example, a frequent suggestion is to take time off from school or work in order to recover from the concussion. We have found that it is best to take no more time away from work or school than is necessary, mostly because it then becomes much harder to readjust to return to activity once you have adjusted to a much slower life. How do we know how much time off is necessary? Cognitive activity is much like physical exercise, too much after a concussion can
cause symptom exacerbation. If attending school all day results in headaches and other symptoms then change to half days, with a plan to gradually expand the number of hours in the classroom until you either reach your threshold (and experience symptom exacerbation) or you return to full time attendance. Of course, it helps tremendously of the school officials are on board and helpful. We have a case example of a young man who returned to school after a very serious concussion. Because of his very low exercise threshold we knew he would take a long time (six months or more) to adjust so we held a meeting with his school officials. With everyone pitching in this young man had a very good outcome.