Brain injury can occur in utero, at birth, during early infancy, or later in childhood/adolescence due to various events, including:
- traumatic brain injury – TBI (e.g., head strikes an object)
- illness (e.g., seizures, degenerative disorders, infections such as meningitis, …)
- exposure to toxins, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Brain injuries can significantly affect many cognitive and physical skills. Physical deficits can include ambulation, balance, coordination, fine motor skills, strength, and endurance. Deficits of language and communication, affect, information processing, executive functioning (judgement, planning, decision making, insight …), and perceptual skills are common. Issues regarding adjustment to disability are frequently encountered by people with brain injury.
Students diagnosed with a brain injury by a medical professional may require a range of school based services depending on programming need and level of functioning. A comprehensive assessment is required to inform program planning. Programming decisions are made by the student’s program planning team and may include accommodations, modified or alternate programs and courses.
Caution must be exercised with curricular alterations (modified or alternate courses) since these changes may negatively impact graduation and post-secondary options.