Federal and State Regulations

Federal Definition

Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a student’s education performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) 2004
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
§300.8 Student with a Disability

State (Texas) Definition

Traumatic Brain injury: A student with a traumatic brain injury is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for traumatic brain injury as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(C)(12). The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student’s eligibility based on a traumatic brain injury must include a licensed physician, in addition to a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP), an educational diagnostician, or other appropriately certified or licensed practitioner with experience and training in the area of the disability.

Texas Commissioner’s Rules
19 Texas Administrative Code
§89.1040 Eligibility Criteria

The Texas Legislature passed HB 2038, and it was signed into law in 2011. HB 2038 defines a concussion as “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused by a traumatic physical force or impact to the head or body, which may: a) include temporary or prolonged altered brain function resulting in physical, cognitive, or emotional symptoms or altered sleep patterns and b) involve loss of consciousness.” It mandates that each school district have a concussion oversight team that designs and implements the protocol for the diagnosis, treatment, and return to play of any student athlete who sustains a concussion.