Monitor on Psychology - November 2011 - (Page 54)

PractIce ProfIle Giving a heads up on Through legislative advocacy and his practice, Gerard Gioia is overturning misconceptions about concussion among student athletes. B Y R E BE C C A A. C LAY concussion W hen student athletes and other kids take a hit on the head, coaches, parents and others often urge them to just shake it off — especially if they don’t get knocked out. “What we’re finding is that a lot of people say, ‘I was told if he didn’t lose consciousness, he must not have a concussion,’” says Gerard A. Gioia, PhD, chief of pediatric neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “I tell them that losing consciousness only happens one in 10 times.” Correcting that kind of misinformation and educating kids and everyone in their lives about the realities of concussion is Gioia’s mission: He wants kids off the playing field — and often out of the classroom as well — after even a minor concussion (see sidebar). “About a decade ago, I started seeing more kids with ‘mild’ traumatic brain injuries,” says Gioia, who directs the Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery and Education (SCORE) program at Children’s. “But for children and families going through this, concussion doesn’t feel mild; it can be a life-altering event they’re struggling through.” Since then, Gioia has taken a public health approach to helping those children and parents. He has conducted research on concussion’s impact on kids’ lives, including their academic performance. He has developed tools to help coaches, parents and others respond appropriately after an injury. And he has lobbied for state and federal legislation that would keep kids safe and help ensure their speedy recovery from concussion. Raising awareness Gioia spends much of his time seeing his young patients. But soon after he arrived at Children’s in 2002, he realized it didn’t matter how great a 54 M o n i to r o n p s yc h o l o g y • n ov e M b e r 2 0 1 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - November 2011

Monitor on Psychology - November 2011
President’s Column
Guest Column
‘Grand Challenges’ offers blueprint for mental health research
Documentary seeks to reach parents of LGBT kids
Treating veterans will cost at least $5 billion by 2020
Selfless volunteering might lengthen your life
Combat and stress up among U.S. military in Afghanistan
South Africa to host international psychology conference
Study uncovers a reason behind sex differences in mental illness
Navy psychologist gives a voice to combat trauma
In Brief
Psychologist suicide
On Your Behalf
Journey back to Heart Mountain
Psychology is key to pain management, report finds
ACT goes international
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Science Watch
Behavior change in 15-minute sessions?
Health-care reform 2.0
Perspective on Practice
Giving a heads up on concussion
Practice Profile
Searching for meaning
Inspiring young researchers
Aging, with grace
Public Interest
Thank you!
APA News
Division Spotlight
American Psychological Foundation
The man who gave Head Start a start

Monitor on Psychology - November 2011