Frequently asked questions

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 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.

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.

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

Mind Forward 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 Care. All Mind Forward programming is based on a neurocognitive behavioural empirical model and benefits from the Clinical oversight of a Consulting Psychologist (Clinical Director) and Consulting Neuro-Psychiatrist.

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.

We may be able to help you if you meet the following eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for general services, the individual must:

  • Have a primary diagnosis of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)*
  • Be 16 years of age and over
  • Reside in the region of Peel, Halton, or Dufferin County (may waive this criterion should an individual be able to travel to Mind Forward locations)
  • Be an active participant in achieving mutually agreed-upon goals
  • Be medically stable
  • Be free of psychiatric or behavioural symptoms of an order that would preclude the individual from being able to participate in mutually agreed-upon goals

* The agency has adopted the World Health Organization’s definition of A BI: “Damage to the brain, which occurs after birth and is not related to a congenital or a degenerative disease. These impairments may be temporary or permanent and cause partial or functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment” (Geneva 1996)

No.  Mind Forward Brain Injury Services is for clients who are funded by the public health care system, and who do not have private insurance.  However, there may be a Day Services program fee to cover the cost of materials required (i.e. woodworking supplies).

You can contact us by:

PHONE: # 905-949-4411, extension 221 or Toll Free at 1-877-654-1137 
WEBSITE: Complete the Application Form found on the Apply for Services page.

Mind Forward Head Office in Mississauga:

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