Traumatic Brain Injury / Acquired Brain Impairment Overview Classroom Issues

Common Barriers Experienced at the University Level

A student who has diagnosed with TBI/ABI as a disability may experience one or more of the following barriers to learning and inclusion. Please note this list provides only a sample of common barriers.

There are various characteristics that differentiate students with TBI from other disabilities, which educators need to be aware of. These characteristics include:

  • Emotional, behavioral and/or social problems
  • Difficulty with generalizing, integrating and structuring information
  • Lack of sufficient stimulation to allow for possible recovery of function
  • Varying levels of memory remaining intact
  • Varying ranges of impairment (for example, students who appear to have limited physical ability may still possess strong cognitive ability, while those who have no physical limitations may possess limited cognitive ability)
  • Unusual discrepancies in ability levels, inconsistent patterns of performance and uneven cognitive deficits
  • A combination of conditions which do not fall easily into categories of disability
  • A pre-morbid self-concept of being "normal"
  • A shifting neurological profile (improvements in the brain can happen throughout life: i.e., recovery of function)

For additional information on working with students with TBI/ABI