The Glen Ellyn Trib Local reported this week on a local community college professor who was honored by an Illinois brain injury group for his work helping head trauma victims in the classroom. As our brain injury attorneys consistently mention on this blog, victims of even minor brain injuries often have subtle but significant effects on their entire life. Those effects frequently involve challenges in retaining new knowledge. When these injuries affect children they often have learning difficulties for the rest of their lives, with untold impact on their future career plans and many other aspects of their life.
The learning challenges faced by these victims often require teachers and instructors to take special steps and engage in innovative techniques to help these individuals succeed educationally. The Illinois Brain Injury Association recently honors a College of DuPage instructor for his efforts in this very area. The professional taught heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration classes. He recently retired after thirty years on the job, and this award was in honor of his years of helping those with different learning styles.
One of the man’s students who himself suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) nominated the teacher for his work. The student was a former deputy sheriff patrolman was suffered his brain injury in a traffic accident while on duty. He had a long road to recovery and was unable to continue with the sheriff’s department after the accident. The student victim had to spend a year and a half at the hospital and in rehabilitation. As a result, he decided to pursue a career in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). However, following the TBI he faced many educational challenges, and was forced to relearn many basic skills-including walking and talking.
Many brain injury victims are faced with the daunting prospects of finding new careers after their injuries. The problems are made even worse when the victims have families who were counting on them to provide support. In this case the student’s family had a history in the trade industry, and so he decided to pursue an HVAC career. However, he was concerned that his learning challenges would be a problem. Fortunately, the student was fortunate to work with the college professional who was more than understanding.
The teacher understood his unique challenges, adapting certain learning protocols and working with the student hands on to ensure that lessons were carried out in ways that were most beneficial. Thanks to the professor’s help, the student completed his HVAC certificate, and is now working towards his associate’s degree. In fact the student continues work in the class as a lab assistant helping other students with their coursework.
The professor humbly accepted the praise by noting that he felt his adaption to help brain injury victims was part of his job. He noted that there is an increasing need for more innovative teaching methods, as more and more individuals are facing brain injury challenges. The teacher explained that many soldiers returning from active duty have suffered brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders which require teachers to account for their specific situations.
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