Educators learn to spot symptoms of brain injuries

Published: Sep. 28, 2018 at 4:46 PM CDT
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Lasting damage from brain injuries and concussions are just beginning to be understood, and the symptoms of these invisible injuries can be hard to spot.

Advocates in the metro are working to train school staff members on those symptoms, and prevent long-term effects.

"It can be years. It can be the rest of your life," said Sharon Royers.

Nearly four years ago, Royers suffered a concussion and was forced to retire from being an Omaha Public School principal. Now, she's a board member for Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska.

"I still have some memory issues, four years later," Royers said.

On Friday, she was in La Vista with a panel of speakers sharing her knowledge and experience.

"The whole psyche thing, when you have a concussion, is difficult," Royers said.

They discussed the importance of proper treatment for brain injuries, especially concussions.

"I really think that it's important for us as educators and as parents to realize how difficult it is for students as they're recovering from an injury like a concussion," said Kristi Bryant.

Bryant is a teacher and student assistance team coordinator at Burke High School. She was surprised to learn about neuro-fatigue, and often overlooked symptom for concussions.

"A student's brain can just get so tired and they can't deal anymore," she said.

When that happens, educators are learning to accommodate students by allowing them to rest until they are feeling better.

"My experience is something that shouldn't happen to anyone, and I think, we can't prevent all concussions, but we can prevent prolonged concussions and long recovery time by managing them," Royers said.

The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska also hosts a state conference in Kearney in March.

For more information on concussions, you can visit their