What is an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

An acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to damage to the brain that occurs after birth and may be caused by a Traumatic Event or Non-Traumatic event.

An ABI is not related to:

  • a genetic disorder
  • a developmental disability (e.g. Down's Syndrome), or
  • a process which progressively damages the brain (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's), although there is evidence of neurodegeneration following a ABI/ TBI.

What is a Traumatic Event that can cause an acquired brain injury?

A Traumatic Brain Injury is a form of acquired brain injury caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently, or when an object pierces the skull and damages brain tissue. This may be as a result of a motor vehicle collision, a fall, assault or a sports related injury.

What are examples of a Non-Traumatic Event that can cause an acquired brain injury?

A non-traumatic event can include a medical problem or disease which causes damage to the brain, such as stroke, aneurysm, infection to the brain, brain tumour, etc.

What are some consequences or effects of a brain injury?

Some consequences or effects can include:

  • Cognitive issues (memory/thinking skills)
  • Emotional changes (behaviour/personality)
  • Language/Communication changes
  • Physical/Sensory changes (vision/hearing/taste/smell/balance/mobility)
  • Changes in perceptions

Note: There is overlap and interconnections between these effects. The specific effects will be unique to each individual and their injury.

What are the symptoms of a brain injury?

Symptoms of a brain injury can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. Some common symptoms can include the following:

Physical Changes

  • Mobility issues (weak muscles, poor balance, poor co-ordination)
  • Chronic headaches or neck pain
  • Changes in speech (e.g. slurred)
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance
  • Fatigue (lack of energy or motivation)
  • Sleep dysfunction (difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much)
  • Nausea (urge to vomit)

Cognitive Changes

  • Difficulty with memory, concentration or making judgements/decisions
  • Problems planning, organizing and beginning tasks
  • Problems understanding conversations, finding the right word or forming sentences
  • Confusion – may not know the date, year, time of day, where they are
  • Problems with vision (e.g. blurred vision)
  • Changes in smell, hearing and taste
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
  • Distractibility, difficulties with multi-tasking or sequencing
  • Disinhibition – no "social filter" to tell you what is inappropriate
  • Getting lost or easily confused
  • Perseveration – getting "stuck" on a topic or activity
  • Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions

Emotional Changes

  • Irritability – easily agitated, short "fuse"
  • Emotional or behavioural outbursts
  • Mood disorders (depression/anxiety/anger management problems)
  • Emotional lability – crying for no apparent reason
  • Lack of emotional response (flat affect)

Social Changes

  • Awkwardness or inappropriate behaviours (e.g. inability to read social cues)
  • Isolating yourself from family, friends, etc. because you feel different/awkward

What is Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services?

Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services is a not-for-profit, charitable Agency funded by the Mississauga Halton and Central West Local Health Integration Networks, and by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term. All PHD ABIS programming is based on a neurocognitive behavioural empirical model and benefits from the clinical oversight of a Consulting Psychologist (Clinical Director) and Consulting Neuropsychiatrist.

What services does Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services provide?

We provide the following services:

Assisted Living (Residential) Services (including treatment and rehabilitation), Clinical Services, Day Programs, Supported Independent Living Services (SIL), Community Services (outreach and community supports), Seniors Services, and Family and Caregiver Support.

See a complete list of our services and service descriptions

What are the general eligibility requirements for receiving services from Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services PHD ABIS?

To be eligible for services with PHD ABIS, an individual must:

  • Have a primary diagnosis of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
  • Be 16 years of age and over
  • Live or choose to live in the region of Peel, Halton, or Dufferin County
  • Be an active participant in achieving mutually agreed upon goals
  • Be medically stable

How can I contact Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services for information on how to become involved?

You can contact us by:

PHONE: # 905-949-4411, extension 223 or Toll Free at 1-877-654-1137
EMAIL: intake@phabis.com
WEBSITE: Complete the application form found on the contact page.

Where is PHD ABIS located?

PHD ABIS provides two office locations in our regions:
Head Offices (including Administration) in Mississauga, and Central West in Orangeville.
Jump to our maps on the contact page.

176 Robert Speck Parkway.
Mississauga, Ontario.
L4Z 3G1

695 Riddell Road. Unit #3.
Orangeville, Ontario.
L9W 4Z5