Information for Families & Educators

As a Parent

As a parent, you are an invaluable resource in reintegration of the student who has experienced an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Myth: Special Education resource personnel at the system level are generally well-informed about brain injury.

Fact: Until very recently, there has been almost no mention of ABI in education training courses. ABI is still not recognized as a distinct disability by the Ministry of Education.

Why is brain injury different than a learning disability?

While many strategies and teaching methods used with students who have learning disabilities may be also effective when used with students who have experienced an ABI; these methods can also cause frustration for these students.
ABI is different from a learning disability and this must be realized by our educators. For most students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability, the difficulties in learning and socialization have been present from a very early age. For studnets with an ABI, the onset may be sudden and dramatic. These students were most liely previously successfully socially, and academically, and now have the suddenexperience of new challenges. These new challenges not only hamper educational progress, but also erode the student's self-image.

Students with ABI

Students with ABI may also have to deal with a number of factors that can present at any time, and therefore affect learning and proper socialization; particularly in the post-injury stage.

Factors can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mood Swings
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Pain
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Hearing and Vision Difficulties
  • Vertigo and Balance Difficulties
  • Seizures and Headaches
For this reason, it is important to develop strategies that encompass the demands of a student with an ABI; rather than coping with educational strategies developed for students with learning disabilities.

General Strategies for Educators

  • Learn about ABI, and how it differs from a learning disability
  • Develop home and school partnerships
  • Assist the student to devise an effective methid for homework completion
  • Use repetition to review and aid in learning and memory
  • Allow for frequent breaks during teaching sessions
  • Offer a wide range of opportunities to learn new skills using different modalities
  • Provide constant routines and structure
  • Control environmental stimulation
  • Prepare ahead for transitions
  • Teach organizational strategies
  • Chunk information into manageable bits
  • Accompany verbal instruction with written directions
  • Do not assume the student has, or is able to use the necessary prerequisite skill for a new task
  • Frequently evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy anf=d modify as necessary
  • Understand that cognitive impairments are different for EVERY student

More Information

Be sure to keep visiting this site for new information on our project:
And please direct any questions or comments to us. You can get in touch with us many ways, please see our contact page.

Please contact us for further information.
(905) 688-5550 ext. 3556 or ext. 5523

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
Brock University