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Traumatic Brain Injury

Definition in State Rule: Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas such as cognition; speech and language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; communication; judgement; problem solving; sensory; perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and executive functions, such as organizing, evaluating and carrying out goal-directed activities. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma. PI 11.36 (9)(a), Wis. Admin. Code

Incidence and Disproportionality

Incidence

For the 2020-2021 school year, 297 students (0.04%) of total public school enrollment (829,935 students) were identified as having a traumatic brain injury. These 297 students with a traumatic brain injury made up 0.25% (less than 1%) of all students with IEPs (117,969). In Wisconsin, IEP teams are not required to identify secondary or tertiary disability areas and thus the number of students identified as having a secondary or tertiary traumatic brain injury is not reflected in this data. To view additional data including district level information, go to the WI DPI public WISEdash portal.

Disproportionality

In Wisconsin, like many other states, we see district data demonstrating race-based patterns of identification for some criteria areas compared to others. Although districts rarely demonstrate these patterns in the area of traumatic brain injury, as an equity issue, we strongly encourage all districts to disaggregate their special education data to ensure evaluation practices and procedures are culturally responsive and address bias when conducting and analyzing assessments used to make eligibility decisions. Go to the DPI Culturally Responsive Problem Solving web page for more information.

Traumatic Brain Injury Criteria

Traumatic Brain Injury Criteria

§300.304 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) outlines two purposes of special education evaluations (i) Whether the child is a child with a disability; and (ii) The content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities). The disability category criteria worksheets only assist IEP teams with (i) and are not sufficient in completing an evaluation and developing a student’s IEP. To ensure compliance with implementing a full, individual, and comprehensive evaluation, go to the WI DPI Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation web page.

Worksheets and Guidelines

Other Special Education Resources


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