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Special Needs

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Changes in behaviour may be related to a mild traumatic brain injury (e.g., falls, accidents, medical treatment, shaken baby syndrome).


If the child presents with one or more of the following behaviours that are different from the child’s norm, consider this a red flag:



 Headache, recurrent or chronic

 Bleeding from the scalp or nose

 Blurred vision or double vision

 Fatigue that is persistent

 Reduced endurance that is consistent

 Insomnia/severe problems falling asleep

 Poor coordination and poor balance

 Sensory impairment (change in ability to smell, hear, see, taste the same as before)

 Significantly decreased motor function

 Dramatic and consistent increase or decrease in appetite


 Persistent tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

 Retinal hemorrhages

 Bulging fontanel


Cognitive Impairments

 Decreased attention

 Gets mixed up about time and place

 Decreased concentration

 Reduced perception

 Memory or reduced learning speed

 Develops problems finding words or generating sentences consistently

 Problem solving (planning, organizing and initiating tasks)

 Learning new information (increased time required for new learning to occur)

 Abstract thinking

 Reduced motor speed

 Inflexible thinking; concrete thinking

 Decreased processing speed

 Not developing age-appropriately

 Difficulties with multi-tasking and sequencing

Behavioural/Emotional (Severe)

 Irritability, aggression

 Impulsivity, confusion, distractibility, mind gets stuck on one issue, emotional rollercoaster

 Loss of self esteem

 Poor social judgment or socially inappropriate behaviour

 Decreased initiative or motivation, difficulty handling transitions or routines

 Personality change, sleep disturbances

 Withdrawal, depression, frustration


 Decreased ability to empathize, egocentricism

  • Signs of possible head injury:

    • swelling and pain

    • nausea or vomiting

    • feeling dizzy

    • bleeding from the scalp or nose

Having concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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