Brain Injury

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K-12 CAMS for Students with Brain Injury

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Individuals with a brain injury may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with a brain injury will need CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with a brain injury.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          



1. What limitations the student with a brain injury is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with a brain injury been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding brain injury?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.








        Reduce distractions in the work space area

        Provide space enclosures or a quiet work space area

        Allow for use of white noise or environmental sound machines

        Allow student to play soothing music using an audio player and headset

        Increase natural lighting or provide full spectrum lighting

        Assist student in reducing clutter in the student's work environment

        Plan for uninterrupted work time

        Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and steps

        Restructure tasks and activities to include mastery of only essential functions



        Make daily to-do lists and check items off as they are completed

        Use several calendars to mark tasks, activities, and deadlines

        Remind student of important deadlines via notes, e-mail, frequent personal contact

        Use a watch or pager with timer capability

        Use electronic organizers

        Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and steps

        Assign a coach or mentor to assist student with determining goals and provide daily guidance

        Schedule weekly sessions with staff, coach, or mentor to determine if goals are being met


Problem Solving:

        Provide picture diagrams of problem solving techniques such as flow charts

        Restructure the tasks or activity to include only mastery or completion of essential functions

        Assign a coach or mentor to be available when the student has questions



        Allow the student to record lectures, directions, and discussions

        Provide type written minutes of each lecture 2-3 days in advance

        Use notebooks, calendars, or sticky notes to record information for easy retrieval

        Provide written as well as verbal instructions

        Allow additional teaching and learning time

        Provide written checklists

        Provide environmental cues to assist in memory for locations of items and supplies such as labels, color coding, posters, or bulletin boards

        Post instructions over all frequently used areas



Gross Motor Impairment:

        Modify the work space area to make it accessible:

         Provide parking or drop off close to the entrance

         Provide an accessible entrance

         Consider automatic door openers

         Provide an accessible restroom

         Provide an accessible route of travel to other areas used by the student

        Modify the workstation to make it accessible:

         Adjust desk height if wheelchair or scooter is used

         Make sure materials and supplies are within reach range

         Move desk or work space close to other study areas, supplies, and doors


Vision Impairment:

        Provide written information in large print

        Change fluorescent lights to high intensity, white lights

        Increase natural lighting

        Provide a glare guard for computer monitors

        Consult with a vision specialist



        Reduce or eliminate physical exertion and stress

        Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the work space or classroom

        Allow a flexible schedule and flexible use of break time

        Allow work from home

        Implement ergonomic work space design

        Provide a scooter or other mobility aid if walking cannot be reduced


Work Effectively with Staff:

        Provide positive praise and reinforcement

        Provide written task and activity instructions

        Write clear expectations of responsibilities and the results

        Allow for open communication to peers and staff

        Establish written long term and short term goals

        Develop strategies to deal with problems before they arise

        Provide written work completion agreements

        Develop a procedure to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS



        Provide praise and positive reinforcement

        Refer to counseling and student assistance programs

        Allow telephone calls during school hours to doctors and others for needed support

        Provide sensitivity training to peers and staff

        Allow the student to take a break to use stress management techniques to deal with frustration


Attendance Issues:

        Provide flexible attendance for health problems

        Provide a self-paced study load and flexible hours

        Allow student to work from home

        Provide part-time school schedule


Issues of Change:

        Recognize that a change in the school environment or of staff may be difficult

        Maintain open channels of communication between the student and the new and old staff in order to ensure an effective transition

        Provide daily or weekly sessions  with the student to discuss school issues and production levels

2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu