Injury Classification and Resulting Challenges

A brain injury is classified into three categories, ranging from mild to severe.


Brain injury is not just an event.  It causes chronic physical, cognitive and mental health issues, and is not a “treat with meds and it will all get better” situation.

Physical Deficits

  • Walking and standing challenges due to muscle weakness, loss of sensation and/or balance.
  • Visual changes.
  • Inability to regulate biological systems such as sleep, temperature, respiration and swallowing.

Cognitive Deficits

  • Changes in thinking skills such as memory, attention and problem solving.
  • May not be aware of deficits or impact on ability to do daily tasks.
  • Difficulty with being impulsive and inhibiting response.

Communication Deficits

  • Speech may be difficult to understand (slurred, stuttering).
  • Challenges with understanding what is being said, and is easily confused.
  • May struggle with finding the right words or putting thoughts together correctly.

Psychosocial Deficits

  • Emotional dysregulation (poor anger management, overly sensitive).
  • Inappropriate verbal or physical interactions.
  • Difficulty relating to people in social settings.