The Dispatch

AISD treatment of sport injuries

Jake Brien, Commentary Editor

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A concussion is just like a toxic relationship. Hold on now, I’m not finished – hear me out. Much like a toxic relationship, a concussion can come out of nowhere, feel horrible, and leave anyone sitting a dark room staring at nothing in particular while the person wonders how it all happened. The likelihood of the it happening again increases quite a bit, and the dangers of this are far more severe. Now, a concussion is one of the most dangerous injuries an individual can suffer because, as they say, it’s all in the head.

I feel that concussions don’t get the attention that they should from students and the district has failed in this regard. This can be done through greater teacher-student communication regarding the injury, better attendance leeways, and offering more awareness in regards to the medical 504.

A concussion can take up to two weeks or a month. It really depends on the symptoms and how well the recovery process is handled. For an student athlete, this can be difficult because one’s academic environment is centered around participating in the given sport. Most people are uneducated when it comes to concussions because there isn’t too noticeable of a difference to most of one’s friends.

However, this is far from true. It goes beyond a few headaches. It can affect one’s learning development and given that high school is literally nothing but four years of intense learning, I think it’s safe to say that we should all be a bit worried. For one thing, the handwriting of the person with a concussion gets worse. Learning gaps can start to form during the recovery period.

Think of a student’s average learning growthing like a diagonal line. The line represents the average person’s academic learning level. After a concussion, there’s a minute gap that begins to form wherein a new line for that individual starts to veer off, ever so slightly, a little below the line. Over time, if the recovery period isn’t taken seriously, that gap will get bigger and bigger.

The brain is the most important part of the human body. It’s important for all of us to understand that we as teenagers are going through an important development period for the brain during our high school years. The activities we partake in develop learning habits as well as set precedent for how we respond and react to issues later in college and going on into our adult lives. Now, let’s think about the four main groups of people at Bowie. During a school day, some freshman is off vaping in the school bathroom, a senior is freaking about college and the universe, some junior is unironically Googling Roblox to see if it’s still a thing, and a sophomore is… you know, I don’t really know what sophomores do.

That’s besides the point. Each of these examples show us mental stimulation. The screen from the computer is a sensory input which stimulates the brain, the senior is stressing which releases adrenaline that puts the body into a state of a heightened heart rate and higher blood pressure, the vape is changing the chemistry within the frontal cortex. Each of these very unrelated examples are activities ten times harder when someone is recovering from a concussion. This can be alleviated through proper intervention from AISD.

What the district needs to do is to educate most students, whether an athlete or not, on the medical 504 plan. A medical 504 is essentially where a student has a medical hindrance to his/her own academic success. By showing the school documentation that a doctor has confirmed this, then the school can pull out a medical 504 plan tailored to the student. This means not taking certain tests, getting extended time on homeworks, etc.

But teachers are the ones who need to be at the forefront of all of this. Each student that falls behind in class because of a concussion, the teachers should be meeting with a teacher and discussing the issue while the medical 504 is getting processed.

The worst case scenario is second-impact syndrome. During the recovery period, any other blow to the head, even if it’s less hard-hitting than before, could cause a second concussion. This could forever increase the person’s susceptibility for concussions for the rest of the person’s life and even result in death in some cases.

Concussions are a serious threat to anyone regardless of the activity they partake in at school. A head injury can set someone back quite a bit and even result in permanent brain damage. They should be handled with special care and be taken seriously. Medical 504s are the way to go for any student with a concussion, so the district needs to be more on top of educating people about it before the concussion even occurs so that the student will know what to do. Say that a student could have a concussion and not play in school sports so no trainer can do an examination and then recommend the medical 504. AISD needs to remedy this issue by educating people before the head injury – plain and simple.

Above all, for those in recovery: get some rest, take it easy, and try not to think too hard about life, the universe, and Roblox.

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AISD treatment of sport injuries