A Collaborative Model for Return to Academics After Concussion: Athletic Training and Speech-Language Pathology Purpose In this article, we describe an academic concussion management protocol designed for grades Pre-K to 12, called Cognitive Return to Exertion (CoRTEx). Collaboration between the speech-language pathologist (SLP) and athletic trainer (AT) is highlighted. Method A description of CoRTEx is provided, and the need for collaboration is ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   August 15, 2017
A Collaborative Model for Return to Academics After Concussion: Athletic Training and Speech-Language Pathology
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sarah A. Dachtyl
    Sahuarita Unified School District, Arizona
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
  • Pedro Morales
    Sahuarita Unified School District, Arizona
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Sarah Dachtyl: Sarah.Dachtyl@nau.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer
    Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer×
Article Information
Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   August 15, 2017
A Collaborative Model for Return to Academics After Concussion: Athletic Training and Speech-Language Pathology
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 716-728. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0138
History: Received August 22, 2016 , Revised January 30, 2017 , Accepted March 17, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 716-728. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0138
History: Received August 22, 2016; Revised January 30, 2017; Accepted March 17, 2017

Purpose In this article, we describe an academic concussion management protocol designed for grades Pre-K to 12, called Cognitive Return to Exertion (CoRTEx). Collaboration between the speech-language pathologist (SLP) and athletic trainer (AT) is highlighted.

Method A description of CoRTEx is provided, and the need for collaboration is emphasized. A case study illustrates an example of how CoRTEx can be implemented at the individual student level.

Results A total of 165 students went through CoRTEx from the pilot in April 2014 through December 2016. Referrals to CoRTEx were highest for football, blows to the head, and soccer. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CoRTEx provided necessary support for students and their families, although research is needed to provide objective data.

Conclusions CoRTEx and other similar protocols can be used as models for SLPs to create their own academic concussion management protocols. For cases in which the injured student is an athlete, the SLP–AT collaboration is critical to carefully coordinate return to academics and return to play so that students are successful in school, as well as ready to safely return to sport. Suggestions are made for designing research studies that can provide empirical evidence for the efficacy of such academic concussion management protocols.

Acknowledgments
Thank you to the supportive administration in Sahuarita Unified School District #30, the students and families who were and are part of the protocol, the teachers who have made adjustments for these students, and the multiple professionals throughout our community who gave helpful feedback. Thank you also to Laurel Harris and Louis Dachtyl, CoRTEx team leaders at the elementary and middle school levels.
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