AP level tutoring for H.S. junior with persistent concussion


Our high school junior has had a persistent concussion since July with the main symptom a sort of disequilibrium (the world moves while she stays still, sort of like when you get on land after being on the ocean for a while) with accompanying issues dealing with noise, motion, and computer screens, as well as sustaining focus for long periods. The school has allowed her to have a reduced schedule so she can heal, and she's showing slow but steady progress. She is in several AP classes, however, and the reduced schedule which is helping her heal, is also having the unfortunate effect of causing her to miss an uncertain amount of foundational material. She's doing her best to keep up through textbook reading, working with her teachers, etc., but we think we're at the point where she could effectively work with the right tutor to really get solid on the material. The three courses she's anxious about, in order, are: AP chemistry, honors math (I'm completely confused by the Albany High math curriculum so only know it's the one right before AP A/B Calc), and AP Spanish. Ideally, we'd love to find someone who: (a) she could start working with by the Thanksgiving break; and (b) who could work with her to minimize symptom onset, so probably in-person instead of online. I wish we could have started asking for recommendations sooner, but she just hasn't been ready before this. We'd really appreciate any advice you might have for us.


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I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter has persistent concussion, and during her junior year no less.

I'm going to encourage you to reconsider increasing your daughter's work load by introducing a tutor, and consider dropping or delaying some of her load while her symptoms, particularly around ability to focus, remain. I imagine this is hard to hear during her junior year, yet her long-term brain health is at stake. I highly recommend you speak with her doctor and possibly a neurologist before increasing her work load or stress.

In May, I was in a car accident from which I sustained a concussion. My doctor set the healing expectation of seeing significant improvement within six months (or do the next round of neurological tests) and at least a year before feeling fully like myself again. I'm almost six months in and was feeling much better. I have been slowly increasing my work load and it was going ok. Then, it wasn't. My symptoms have flared. I've had to cut back again. When my daughter had a severe concussion a number of years ago, this happened to her as well. She didn't tell me and kept going. Several years later, she continues to have headache flares that she believes are a result of the concussion. 

Concussion healing is not linear. It's takes time and rest to heal. It's a lot of adding on then scaling back. The symptoms are real and like trying to walk with a broken bone in your foot, it significantly slows healing and may never fully heal if it's pushed. It's a hard thing to hear when your daughter is in the critical junior year of high school, yet she has a lifetime ahead of her. Again, I encourage you to work with her doctor through the process.

BTW: acupuncture has been helpful to me in relieving persistent dizziness and disequilibrium. 

Deaar parent,

I don't have a suggestion about a tutor, but my heart goes out to your daughter dealing with her post-concussion symptoms. If your daughter hasn't yet had a vestibular oculator motor screening with a physical therapist, this might be helpful.  This looks at the systems in charge of integrating balance, vision, and movement. There are exercises that a PT can teach her to do at home.  

Best of luck in your daughter's recovery and her studies.