Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Occupational Science and Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Floyd Slabaugh

Academic Year



Background: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), also known as concussion, is the most common head injury in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to develop evidence about teachers’ knowledge of mTBI, their experiences with mTBI, and return-to-learn protocols.

Methods: A mixed-methods survey was emailed to 567 Michigan Public School superintendents. Employing snowball sampling, superintendents were requested to distribute the electronic survey within their school districts.

Results: Fifty-three participants responded to the survey and met the inclusion criteria (N=53). Respondents were not confident with recognizing signs and symptoms of mTBI, but knowledgeable, particularly with recognizing physical symptoms more so than cognitive or emotional symptoms. Although teachers did provide some classroom accommodations, there are deficits with mTBI return-to-learn protocols including teacher notification, training, and resources. This information supports the collaborative practice between teachers and occupational therapists in the care of pediatric mTBI.

Conclusions: Teachers could benefit from the development of return-to-learn protocols and additional training. Occupational therapists working in school systems are formally trained in restoring function and determining ways to compensate for barriers, which could become an essential component in the collaboration with teachers for the pediatric mTBI population.

Available for download on Friday, July 11, 2025