My children often accuse me of having very long answers to short questions.  I have heard more than a few mumbled grunts of exacerbation when they realize they asked a question that started a long drawn out response that they are now obligated to tolerate.  I will try to make this short because we are all capable of learning.

We are not all capable of learning all the time.

Maybe that’s not long winded and drawn out enough.

If you sprained your ankle, I would not expect you to run a marathon. If you sprained your brain I would not expect you to function normally with your school work. Concussions are a very common sports related injuries in our teenage children. Some sports boast a rate of almost 10% a year. Typically these athletes are also students. Because every concussion is different, and because the brain is responsible for academics and athletics, it is reasonable to conclude that concussed students might not be able to preform at their normal level at either.

Concussions can interfere with short term memory, conversion to long term memory, problem solving, concentration, reading, and note taking. Concussions can also be associated with light and sound sensitivity.  I took care of a soccer player recently whose grades had dropped suddenly. She did not have any headaches or light or sound sensitivities, or balance issues. For several weeks after head to head contact trying to head the ball, she could not concentrate, she could not pay attention during class, she could not complete her homework, and her test scores decreased precipitously.

Thankfully she had taken the concussion baseline test, so we were able compare  the before and after results. She clearly had changes that were consistent with concussion. We coordinated her academic accomidationis as well as her athletic accomidationis. She required some medications, and in about a month she was back to her normal pre-injured state. Her coaches understood the importance of resting an injured player, but it was not same with one of her teachers. In this case  a phone call from me with support from the  school nurse and counselor really helped that teacher to understand the student was unable to preform normally while injured. Ultimately she was not penalized by lower grades , and she was given the time and flexibility to get back to her normal academic standards.

So the short version is that even though concussions can be sports related injuries, they can affect non-sports i.e. academic performance as well.

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