LEARNING CHALLENGES: 
acquired brain injury

Acquired Brain Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury may be due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, drowning, asphyxia and/or sport/leisure and schoolaccidents. Behaviour exhibited by individuals who have suffered an acquired brain injury may occur in any of the following three domains:

PHYSICAL DOMAIN

  • Reduced motor speed
  • Visual, auditory and tactile deficits
  • Quadriplegia, hemiplegia, spasticity, ataxia
  • Reduced hand-eye co-ordination
  • Spatial disorientation

SOCIAL/AFFECTIVE DOMAIN

  • Lack of goal-directed behaviour and initiative
  • Reduced self worth
  • Impulsivity
  • Social withdrawal
  • Self-centredness
  • Indifference; poor grooming; denial of disability
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour
  • Aggressive and/or childlike behaviour

COGNITIVE DOMAIN

  • Communication and language difficulties
  • Memory problems especially for new learning
  • Perceptual deficits, including spatial orientation Poor judgement, inability to make decisions, decreased ability to think abstractly, illogical thoughts
  • Decreased learning abilities
  • Inflexibility and rigidity; perseveration; and/or an inability to adjust to changing contingencies

School psychologists work closely with parents, community support agencies and medical staff to design individualized programs to meet the unique needs of individuals with acquired brain injury. School psychologists are trained to design specific behaviour modification programs and cognitive retraining programs that support improved attention skills, memory strategies and problem solving skills for those with an acquired brain injury.

Useful Resources:

  1. Educating Educators about ABI
  2. Ontario Brain Injury Association
  3. Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury Resources