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Helpful Tips for Making the Return to School or College Easier Post-TBI

Helpful Tips for Making the Return to School or College Easier Post-TBI

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Hey guys, it's Adam. Like many of you, when I got back from Iraq, I went back to school. And going back to school with a brain injury is a little bit different than going back to school after a deployment like every other student. And I started to find myself having troubles with memory and reading comprehension and the time it took to write a paper, the time it took to find references, and kind of go back and fact check my paper. So one thing that I found helpful, which quite honestly took a lot of courage, it's not something that you would normally do, but I went ahead and approached the school's disability accommodation office, and kind of explained my situation, explained that when I was in Iraq I got hit by a mortar, and essentially I'm a little slow on the draw. I'm running a little bit slower than some other people. And so they asked me very politely to bring them back some documentation from the doctor, which I did, it's really no problem. But what they did once I brought that back was they tailored an individualized accommodation plan for me, and then they notified the professors, both my current professor and my future professors so that they were aware this person has an accommodation, and for me it was your authorized double time on tests and papers. And so what that allowed me to do was to take the extra time I needed to fill out the paperwork, find the citations, thinks like that. I definitely recommend that you do that as well. To get started all you need to do is approach your disability accommodation office at the school and let them know kind of what's going on with you, and they will kind of guide you from there. They'll also notify your teacher, which helps. It helped with me, but I think it will help with you as well because it's never fun to have that awkward conversation with your professor and say hey, I need more time on a paper. I mean you're going to look like a slacker. And so this offers an alternative where they send a letter first, they notify the teacher through the administration, and then what I do is I go afterwards and connect with the teacher and say hey, I just wanted to let you know about this, and so that kind of has a duel affect. And it has the effect of one, the administrative piece from the school saying this person is authorized an accommodation, but it also has the personal piece from you the student saying although this accommodation came from through, here is kind of what happened, here's my story, I'm definitely not trying to play the system, and I'm going to try to do my best so I may not use double time on tests and I'm always going to try my best, but if I have to, you already know about the administration piece. So having that awkward conversation I found is really helpful, and I think it really helps you focus and not stress so much about the assignment and really focas on the work. I hope it's equally helpful for you, thanks.

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No one wants to feel like a slacker or be perceived as one. Adam shares some excellent advice about how to get necessary accommodations with the help of the school's administration and professors.

 
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Hi, I’m Adam Anicich

I’m a former Army Sergeant, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, a service-disabled vet, and someone with a brain injury. I’m here to share my story with you — along with some practical tips — and I hope that I can help you in your own journey of recovery.

Learn more about Adam >

 

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