Narrative-Based Research for Social Change
Edited By Ahmet Atay and Mary Z. Ashlock
Chapter Three: Should I Tell My Students I Am Brain-Injured?
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Should I Tell My Students I Am Brain-Injured?
KELLY COYNE, PAUL SIEGEL AND HEATHER WARNER
Most of the chapters in this volume offer descriptions or prescriptions for teachers faced with students who present various kinds of disabilities. The present chapter takes a different tack, as I relate my own experience as a teacher who has his own nonobvious disability, and has mused over the wisdom of disclosing it to my students.* Along the way I consulted the literature on self-disclosure, wondering if research in the area might provide me with guidance as to whether and how to disclose. Before reviewing that literature, I need to provide some details on the mishap that produced my disability.
Late one Saturday night a few years ago, an intense headache led me to call 911, which resulted initially in an ambulance ride to the University of Connecticut’s emergency room. There, after testing revealed a subdural hematoma (a deposit of blood on the brain), I was transported via helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital, where neurosurgeon Ketan Bulsara was on duty. I had packed only an overnight ← 45 | 46 → bag. As it turns out, I would be hospitalized for 10 days, followed by an equal time as an in-patient at a rehabilitation center closer to my home.
The exact cause of my subdural hematoma remains a bit of a mystery. There had been no...
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