A wealth of information…

Brain injury is unpredictable in its consequences. Brain injury affects who we are and the way we think, act, and feel. It can change everything about us in a matter of seconds. The most important things to remember are:

  • A person with a brain injury is a person first.
  • No two brain injuries are exactly the same.
  • The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary greatly from person to person.
  • The effects of a brain injury depend on such factors as cause, location, and severity.

The definitions of these terms, as adopted by the Brain Injury Association, are below.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Another definition is a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that interrupts the normal operation of the brain.

Examples of a TBI include:

  • falls
  • assaults
  • motor vehicle crashes
  • sports injuries

Acquired Brain Injury
An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth. Acquired brain injury is caused by internal changes and damage to the brain.

Examples of ABI include:

  • stroke
  • near drowning
  • aneurysm
  • tumor
  • infectious disease that affects the brain (i.e., meningitis)
  • lack of oxygen supply to the brain (i.e., heart attack)

Picture Source: Brain Injury Association of America website April 2018

Cognitive Changes/Disabilities

Short-Term Memory
Memory impairment is a common cognitive disability in persons with brain injury. It is helpful for the individual who has sustained a brain injury to be reminded of memories or certain experiences through pictures or conversations. Writing down the memory may help stimulate thinking for the person.

Short-term memory loss is one example that makes it difficult for persons with brain injury to learn new things. It often takes twice as long for survivors to grasp new ideas as it did before the brain injury. Short-term memory loss makes it difficult for the person to recall what he or she did throughout the day, so the person with brain injury may ask the same questions over and over.

Potential Accommodations:
Repetition of saying things five times is helpful for cognition and memory, especially with short-term memory loss.

Associations are another memory technique. Examples of association are remembering a name such as Fred who has red hair by rhyming “Fred” and “red”.

Attention and Concentration
Sometimes a person with brain injury may appear to not be paying attention or is lacking initiation. It may just take the person longer to organize his/her thoughts or the person’s physical movement is slower to complete the task.

If someone is having difficulty paying attention, it may be a challenge for him/her to follow directions or do two things at once, such as answering questions while completing paperwork.

Potential Accommodations:
Reduce distractions to help the person concentrate on the task at hand. Schedule appointments when the person is at their “peak” attention time, such as early in the morning or after a nap.

Sensory Overload
Sensory overload is another example of a cognitive impairment that can make it very difficult for the person with brain injury to learn and focus.

Examples include at the mall being distracted by all of the people, noises, and lights and not being able to focus. Or at work and not being able to filter or block-out the distractions of voices and movement around you and closing a door is not an option

Potential Accommodations:
Add a desk partition around the desk to block visual distractions or try soothing music using ear plugs to block-out voices, as long as the music is not a distraction.

Disorganized surroundings can lead to lost and misplaced items, and difficulty keeping track of things in general. For someone who has sustained a brain injury, this may be frustrating and lead to confusion and agitation.

Potential Accommodations:
Label drawers and cabinets frequently accessed by the person. The labeling can be with words and/or pictures.

Establish and maintain a routine for the person with brain injury. For example, get out of bed around the same time each day and do the morning routine of showering, dressing, then breakfast. Discuss changes to the routine prior to the change.

A written or picture timeline may be helpful for the person to follow tasks as well as may help encourage safety and productivity. Posting the steps of the morning routine on the bathroom mirror such as wash face, brush teeth, comb hair may be helpful too.

Use medicine organizing “boxes” to ensure proper medication dosing and timing.

Daily calendar and cell phone apps may help persons keep track of all appointments or activities. Using a notebook, journal, or phone app may help the person recall important activities such as birthdays or what to bring to social gatherings.

We all struggle with problem solving at times, especially since there is more than one correct way to do something. An example is folding a towel. There is no right or wrong way, just different preferences.

Potential Accommodations:
Understanding the person’s strengths and limitations is important to advance problem solving skills.

Encourage initiation of a task by the person with brain injury. Suggest tasks in small increments or steps to help the person achieve goals. It may help him/her gain confidence for problem solving and do things on their own.

Allow for error, and failure, which can help the person increase awareness of their deficits.

Communication and Language
When communication impairments are present for a person with brain injury, speech may be impaired due to damage to nerves and the inability for the person to move muscles in his/her mouth. A communication impairment may be due to the inability of the person to understand and interpret written or spoken words.

Language abilities may be altered due to brain injury, depending on which lobe or lobes of the brain are damaged. The person may be able to understand everything that is being said, but is unable to verbalize thoughts. Or the person is able to verbalize thoughts and speak clearly, but he/she is unable to comprehend what is being said.

Communication can either be verbal, gestural or written. If someone is having trouble understanding words, try using gestures or simple words and phrases to communicate with the person.

Potential Accommodations:
Speak in short direct sentences and along with gestures. For example, “time for dinner” and gesture eating by bringing your hand to your mouth.

Use directions one at a time such as “Write your first name” (wait for the person to complete the task, then…) next “Write your last name” (wait again), “Write the date.”

Allow time for reduced processing speed by the person.

Face the person and make eye contact when talking with him/her.

Slow your rate of speech or encourage the person to slow his/her rate of speech. You may need to increase the volume of your speaking and clearly  pronounce each word.

Make sure that when you are communicating with a person who has sustained a brain injury that you use the best form of communication for that person.

Use assistive technology and communication devices such as writing and/or a picture-communication board. Use of an iPad and phone apps are helpful too.

Physical Changes/Disabilities
When brain injury affects motor skills, the person may not be able to raise his/her hand, drive a car or conduct daily care such as dressing, showering or holding a toothbrush. Physical limitations may include muscle or movement dysfunction in any part of the body that limits mobility or self-care. A person with a brain injury may feel tired, even after a good night sleep.

Speech may be impaired due to damage to nerves and it may affect the person’s ability to move muscles in his/her mouth.

Seizures may occur. Some people have seizures the first few months post brain injury, some never have seizures, and others have them for the rest of their life. Continued seizures often require medication, and the person is restricted from driving.

Some persons with brain injury may have persistent headaches and be sensitive to light.

Potential Accommodations:
Place commonly used items within reach in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or other frequented rooms of the home.

Remove obstacles that could hinder mobility such as rugs, carpets or poorly placed furniture.

Make walkways well lit, and ensure the light is easy to access.

Encourage the person and his/her family to make sure a cane, walker or wheelchair is being used if recommended by a healthcare professional.

Encourage safe independence by suggesting the person try new tasks in your or a family member’s presence. Be supportive that failure may occur, but keep trying when it is safe to do so.

Perception or Sensory Changes/Disabilities
Perceptual impairments include a person’s senses and perceptions, such as hearing, vision, touch and balance. It also involves changes in time and space orientation.

Perception is the ability to perceive size, shape and color of objects and to differentiate things that might be somewhat similar such as a rectangle and a square.

For example, an individual with brain injury may be unable to determine where his/her hand ends and where the table is in front of them. Time disorientation is when minutes feel like hours and vice-versa. This happens to most people at some time, but due to brain injury the person may feel like this all the time.

A person with perceptual impairments may have trouble judging distances. Depth perception impairment may make a person appear clumsy as he/she reaches over or under an object due to the inability to judge depth and space. Have the person with brain injury reach for an object to help identify if the person may have a perceptual deficit.

Perceptual impairments put the person at risk of secondary injuries. They may fall when depth is not recognized. They may be burnt when they cannot sense hot temperatures.

Potential Accommodations:
Use alarm clocks or timers, phone or computer apps to stay on schedule.

Pictures and labels of caution may help reduce risks of secondary injuries.

Mental Health or Emotional Changes/Disabilities
Brain injury can include impairments in emotional control, mental health, social interactions and changes in personality or behavior for the person injured.

Psychological issues are common after a brain injury. They can include anxiety, depression, lack of emotional control, and awkward or inappropriate social interactions.

Psychological and emotional effects are usually caused by a combination of the physical injury to the brain and the lasting effects of the traumatic incident that led to the injury. Stress of being in the hospital, having to put their life on hold, learning how to walk or talk again can be contributing factors to emotional control and behavior issues.

The road to recovery of psychological effects from a brain injury begin with the individual seeking or being provided help from a trained mental health professional.

  • A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury.
  • The term “mild” refers to the severity of the trauma, not the consequences.
  • It is common for MRI or CT scans to come back as “normal” with a concussion. This does not mean there is no injury.
  • Symptoms are not always present right after the injury. They can become apparent hours or even days after the injury.
  • The recovery period for each person is different, and it is important to create the best possible environment to heal.
  • People who try to “tough it out” only prolong recovery time.
  • The recovery process is uneven. You can have a day where you feel almost 100% better, then have a day where you feel like you did right after the injury.


Common Symptoms that can occur include:

  1. Physical: Headache, Nausea/Vomiting, Tinnitus (ringing in ears), Blurred Vision, Sensitivity to Light
  2. Behavioral/Emotional: Irritability, Depression/Anxiety, Impulsivity, Lack of Initiation, Impaired Awareness
  3. Cognitive: Attention, Word Finding, and Memory Problems, Difficulty Filtering Noise, Trouble Focusing
  4. Sleep/Rest: Drowsiness, Excessive Sleep, Insomnia, Altered Sleep Patterns


The most common symptoms following a concussion are headaches and “cognitive delay,” which is when the brain cannot process information as efficiently as it did before the injury. The person feels like they can’t “keep up” and it is harder to maintain attention. It can feel like being in a fog all the time. This requires the person to spend more cognitive energy to complete tasks that were simple before the injury.

Towards the end of the day, a person can feel exhausted physically and cognitively and may become more irritable and more easily frustrated. Other symptoms, like headache, may also appear or worsen.

As a person starts to feel better, they try to get as much done as possible when having a good day. A common consequence of that approach is the person will “hit the wall” towards the end of the day, and for the next couple of days they will feel worse.

It is important to follow a gradual increase in activity levels when recovering from an injury. Most people will recover from a mild brain injury, and the recovery process is usually smoother when you listen to your body and give the brain time to heal.

Some things become more important during recovery:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Eat healthy
  • Take breaks
  • Do not drink alcohol while recovering from a brain injury
  • If you exercise, do so very lightly

The timetable for recovery varies. Younger children and older adults tend to take longer to recover. People who try to rush things and don’t manage their symptoms tend to take longer to recover.

If you are having symptoms that are not resolving or are getting worse, you should discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

For more information about concussion, visit the BIA-MO Concussions page.

Concussion Education in Missouri

Education for Youth Coaches and School Personnel

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri hosts Sports Concussions: Facts, Fallacies and New Frontiers Regional Seminars for youth coaches and school personnel.

It is important that coaches and school personnel can recognize the signs and symptoms of a possible concussion and are aware of concussion management protocols.

The in-person regional Seminars were held in early 2018. The videos of the St. Louis Seminars sessions are available below:

Concussions: Facts and Fallacies (54 minutes)

New Frontiers in Research (32 minutes)

International Consensus Concussion Guidelines (34 minutes)

How Does your Team School Compare? (34 minutes)

Changing Your Concussion Culture in Sports (54 minutes)

Concussion Case Studies (44 minutes)

Add me to the BIA-MO Sports Concussion Seminar List

Education for Parents and Student Athletes

It is important to have open communication about symptoms among school, team personnel, parents, friends and oneself to reduce the risk of prolonging concussion symptoms. When you try to “tough it out” symptoms last longer.

BIA-MO offers “Concussion Overview for Parents and Athletes” education that can be incorporated into a sports meeting or practice. This presentation lasts 15-minutes and is free to schools and community leagues.

Download a Request for Presentation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer exceptional educational material regarding concussions.

Watch CDC Concussion Culture video

Education for Youth – Save Your Brain

Save Your Brain classroom-based educational presentations are available for elementary, middle and high school students. Content topics include concussions, causes and effects of brain injury, ways to prevent brain injury and how to be accepting of persons with disabilities.

Request a Save Your Brain Presentation

Anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries are caused when the brain either gets no oxygen (anoxic) or not enough oxygen (hypoxic) for a period of time. Without adequate oxygen, brain cells begin to die and the ability of the brain to function properly is impaired. Common causes of anoxic and hypoxic brain injury include:

  • Near-drowning
  • Electrical shock
  • Heart attack
  • Brain tumor
  • Choking
  • Poisoning, including carbon monoxide
  • Suffocation
  • Drug overdose

Many of the life-altering effects from an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury are similar to those of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). And are also traumatic for the individual and family.

Services of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri are available for individuals of all brain injury causes. For information, contact BIA-MO at 1-800-444-6443, email info@biamo.org or Contact Us now.

Most students need financial assistance to pay for college. The federal government and most states offer scholarships, loans, grants, and other programs. The Brain Injury Association of Missouri offers scholarships for post-secondary education.

Government Programs

The Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation Program may fund tuition, books and supplies, and services for eligible students. Ask prospective schools about tuition waiver and discount programs. Certain professions with workforce shortages, such as nursing, offer incentives for students to consider entering the profession.

Most colleges and universities have staff with experience in helping students with disabilities identify and access accommodations needed to be successful. This resource is often called the “Access Office” but the name may be different for each school. The school administration or Financial Aid Office will have the contact information to assist with academic accommodations.

Exploring sources of financial aid and accommodations take time. A high school guidance counselor, transition specialist, or the college financial aid office can help point the student and family in the right direction. Public librarians can often suggest good places to look, both in print and online. Read the suggested resources below. They offer specific websites and publications that other students have found to be useful resources.

  • College Opportunities On-Line (COOL) provides links to nearly 7,000 universities, liberal arts colleges, specialized colleges, community colleges, career or technical colleges, and trade schools. COOL is a service of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The U.S. Department of Education offers information about federal student aid programs including grants, loans, and programs such as Federal Work Study. Schools are not required to participate in any of these federal financial aid programs. Be sure to check with each school that you are considering.
  • The Federal Student Aid website offers information about federal, state, and private sources of financial aid. It also offers information about preparing for and selecting colleges.

BIA-MO Educational Scholarships

Educational Scholarships
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) is pleased to offer educational scholarships for survivors of brain injury to pursue post-secondary education. Qualified educational institutions include two-year colleges, four-year colleges or universities, and vocational and trade school programs.

Scholarship funding may be used for expenses directly related to post-secondary education. Allowable expenses include tuition, room and board, books, required class material such as workbooks, specialized tools, etc.

21-14 Concussion Awareness Foundation Educational Scholarship
Memorial scholarship of the 21-14 Concussion Awareness Foundation to honor the giving of time and talent by John Stefan Gaal, Jr. The 21-14 Concussion Awareness Foundation Scholarship offers one (1) $750 post-secondary educational scholarship for survivors of brain injury to pursue post-secondary education.

Griggs Injury Law Educational Scholarship
Corporate scholarship of Griggs Injury Law, LLC to assist survivors of brain injury in Western Missouri and Kansas counties of Johnson and Wyandotte. The Griggs Injury Law Educational Scholarships will provide two (2) $750 scholarships to support post-secondary education.

Jim and Lori Winter Educational Scholarship
Honors the long-time volunteer leadership of Jim and Lori Winter for strengthening the Brain Injury Association of Missouri. Lori continues her volunteer service as a Support Group Facilitator for two groups. Donations to
BIA-MO support the Jim and Lori Winter Scholarship Fund to provide two (2) $750 scholarships for survivors of brain injury to pursue post-secondary education.

SSM Health Rehabilitation Network Educational Scholarship
Corporate scholarship of SSM Health Rehabilitation Network-Select Medical Partnership to assist survivors of brain injury on their road of recovery through encouragement and support for post-secondary education. The SSM Health Rehabilitation Network Scholarship program offers two (2) $750 post-secondary educational scholarships for survivors of brain injury.

Applications for the BIA-MO Educational Scholarships will be ACCEPTED THROUGH January 15, 2021. The same application is considered for each Scholarship. Applicants should complete only one application.

Required Material for Scholarship Application

  • Application Cover Sheet
  • Application Essay: Up to 500 words by the survivor of brain injury sharing how and when his or her brain injury occurred, challenges that have resulted, and education status, successes and goals. This essay should include the applicant’s educational plans and how the BIA-MO Scholarship program will assist in reaching the goals.
  • Two letters of reference: From individuals familiar with applicant’s abilities and educational/training goals such as a teacher, rehabilitation therapist, counselor, or employer.
  • Acceptance Verification: Documentation showing acceptance to participate in educational/training program on Scholarship Application.

Submit application to:
Mail: Brain Injury Association of Missouri, Inc.
2265 Schuetz Road
Saint Louis, MO 63146-3409

Fax: 314.426.3290    Email: info@biamo.org


Download Scholarship Application

Selection Process
The same application is used for consideration for each scholarship. There is no need to submit separate applications.

The Scholarship Committee reviews all applications. From these applications the Committee selects recipients. Decisions by the Scholarship Committee are final. All applicants are notified of the decision regarding their scholarship following the Selection Committee Meeting.

The scholarship payment is sent directly to the educational institution.

The Application Deadline is September 15 each year.
**Note: The deadline to submit a BIA-MO Educational Scholarship application has been extended to January 15, 2021. 

Add me to Scholarship Application Mailing List

The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two distinct disability programs: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Participants may be eligible for one program or both, depending on the circumstances. SSD is funded through Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) deductions from employee paychecks. To qualify for SSD, participants must have worked long enough to be “insured” for disability. Upon being found disabled, participants may also be eligible for Medicare after approximately 29 months.

SSI is generally for people who have not worked long enough to qualify for SSD, or who qualify for only minimal benefits. It is a federal welfare program and participants must meet financial eligibility criteria to qualify. Under SSI, participants are eligible for Medicaid immediately upon being found disabled.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can seem confusing and frustrating at first. However, applying for SSD is a reasonable easy process by:

  • Going to a local Social Security office.
  • Filing online at ssa.gov. The website is designed to be user-friendly and SSA prefers applications to be filed online.

To evaluate a claim, SSA will pull medical records and send the applicant forms to fill out regarding work history, medical condition, and activities of daily living. The forms have deadlines that must be met for consideration by the SSA.

Appealing a Denial

There are three levels of appeal within SSA if the application is denied: reconsideration, hearing, and appeals council review. Under some circumstances, further appeals can be filed in the Federal Judicial system.

All appeals must be filed within 60 days of the date of the last denial. Failure to file an appeal within 60 days may result in loss of the ability to appeal or decrease the amount of retroactive benefit to which the applicant would otherwise be entitled.

The hearing is designed to be non-adversarial, but the judge is not there to advocate for the claimant. Claimants have the burden of proving four of the five steps of the analysis used to determine whether they are in fact disabled. Visit www.ssa.gov to review the disability analysis. Providing the proof necessary to persuade a judge that a disability exists can be difficult. It is critical to have all relevant evidence in the record by the hearing, including appropriate testimonial evidence, to provide the best chance of winning any future appeal.

The judge will almost always call one or two expert witnesses to testify at the hearing. Claimants have a right to cross-examine those witnesses, but knowing what to ask to help – not hurt – the case can be complicated. A loss at the hearing results in all future appeals being dependent on the hearing judge’s analysis of the evidence.

Statistically speaking, claimants have the best chance of winning at the hearing level. Nationwide, the statistics show about 35 percent of claimants win at the application stage, 12 percent win at reconsideration, and nearly 50 percent win at the hearing.

It is very important to retain an attorney who specializes in SSD law. All Social Security attorneys must take cases on a contingency basis — no attorney fee is owed unless the claimant wins benefits. Attorneys are allowed to charge 25 percent of past due benefits or $6,000, whichever is less.

There are also non-attorney representatives who will represent claimants. However, they may not be as knowledgeable about the law and cannot represent claimants in federal court.

Financial assistance may be available from a range of federal government programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), state and local government programs, not-for-profit organizations and foundations, community groups, religious organizations, and fundraising events. Help with medical costs, low-cost housing, bills, transportation, education, nutrition, and job training may also be available. There are often eligibility requirements for financial assistance from such sources.

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri does not provide financial assistance, but through our Information & Referral Service details about potential resources in your community may be available.

Federal Benefits & Programs

SSI or Supplemental Security Income helps people with disabilities who have little or no income. It provides cash to help pay for food, clothing and a place to live. It is a federal government program, and you can find out if you are eligible for SSI by completing an online screening tool  in just a few minutes. To apply for SSI benefits, call the Social Security Administration (SSA)  at 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment for help applying for benefits, either on the phone or at a local Social Security office. Without an appointment, you may have a long wait to be helped. Find your local SSA office

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to people who worked and paid into Social Security before a disabling injury, or to the person’s spouse or children. SSDI pays cash to those who meet the eligibility requirements and who are unable to work for a year or longer because of a disability.

You can apply for SSDI benefits online or call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213. Schedule an appointment for help with applying for benefits. Without an appointment, you may have a long wait to be helped. Be sure to get a list of the information you will need to complete the SSDI application so your application can be submitted within one visit.

The Government Benefits website offers a totally free, easy-to-use and completely confidential way to find out more about government benefit programs.

Community Organizations

United Way provides referrals for emergency needs such as food, housing, utilities, medical costs and more. Simply dial 2-1-1 to reach a community specialist.

Service and civic organizations such as Elk, Lions and Rotary Clubs as well as churches may provide financial assistance for local, community residents.

Alcohol consumption following a brain injury is known to reduce brain injury recovery and, consequently, is not recommended. After sustaining a brain injury, many find they are much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol – specifically its negative impact on cognition and increase in symptoms of depression.

For these reasons, staying away from alcohol is strongly recommended to avoid further injury to the brain and to promote as much healing as possible. Please consult your physician prior to drinking any amount of alcohol after a brain injury. Additional information about the risks associated with drinking, how to get help with problems with alcohol and other drug use and abuse may be found at the links below.

It is often not entirely clear what type of professional can help with needs or how to find a professional who truly understands brain injury.

First, start by knowing your needs. Create a list of said needs in order of priority. Refer to this list when contacting an agency in order to keep the call focused to get the information that can help you.

Who to Contact

Contact the Brain Injury Association of Missouri as a resource. We will have information about brain injury resources plus support groups, educational seminars, recreation opportunities and more. We can be reached at 1-800-444-6443, info@biamo.org or Contact Us.

Seek information from local brain injury rehabilitation providers and programs. If they do not provide a service that will help you, they will likely have information about other professionals/clinicians in the community that understand brain injury.

Search CARF Providers in your area. CARF is an organization that accredits a range of rehabilitation programs. Visit their website, select your state and the Program Focus Area of Brain Injury Specialty Program to identify accredited programs.

Check the registry of local professional organizations and associations, such as

Download the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Greenbook for information about brain injury and community resources.

Download the BIA-MO Step by Step Resource

Employment/vocational options include agriculture, self-employment and working for others.

Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Helps individuals with disabilities meet their employment goals. The Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation office is part of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Several of the Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation offices have a Counselor specifically for persons with brain injury. Request that Vocational Counselor during your first call to the local office.

Find your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office

Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation recognizes the importance of farming, ranching, agribusiness and other employment opportunities in rural Missouri. Vocational Counselor Ray Drake specializes in agriculture-related employment. Ray Drake can be reached at raymond.drake@vr.dese.mo.gov.

Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP)

The Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP) is a resource for persons with brain injury to return to or initiate farming as a sustainable agriculture and employment following a brain injury. For more information about the Missouri AgrAbility Project, contact Project Director Karen Funkenbusch at FunkenbuschK@missouri.edu or 1-800-995-8503.

Visit the Missouri AgrAbility Project website

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are considered the signature wound of recent wars and conflicts. It should also be noted that TBIs and acquired brain injuries can occur during training exercises and daily living.

Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) services are open to military personnel, veterans, and family members. Authorization from the VA is not needed to participate in BIA-MO Support Groups, Information & Referral Service, Seminars, Recreations activities and other BIA-MO programs. We can complement VA and other veteran specific services to help veterans and family members understand brain injury, adjust to life with brain injury and access eligible VA services.

US Department of Veterans Affairs

Missouri Veterans Commission – Resources and contact information to help personnel, their dependents and survivors to obtain all entitlements available under state and federal laws.

VA Facilities Locator and Directory

Missouri AgrAbility Project – AgrAbility cultivates success for rural veterans who are returning to their farms, ranches, and rural communities with disabilities such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Department of Mental Health Veterans Provider Map – A map to locate a mental health provider.
Missouri Heroes to Hives Program – Missouri has the first state chapter of Heroes to Hives, a program that supports veterans who want to learn beekeeping.

The following Spanish language resources have been found by other families to offer useful, user friendly information. This is not a comprehensive list of information available online. Readers are encouraged to “take what they need” from a publication. As is the case with many brain injury publications, the information offered may not match completely with what the person with a brain injury is experiencing.

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center offers information about a range of issues about brain injury in both English and Spanish. Spanish fact sheets include:

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) offer the following information in Spanish. (El Departamento de Salud y Servicios para Personas Mayores de Missouri (DHSS) ofrece la siguiente información en español)

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri offers some print material in Spanish. Current information includes: (La Asociación de Lesiones Cerebrales de Missouri ofrece algunos materiales impresos en español. La información actual incluye)

o     American Brain Tumor Association Spanish Publications

  • What everyone should know about brain injuries: Missouri guide to head injuries for those interested in traumatic brain injuries
  • Prevention of traumatic brain injuries (for older adults): Information for relatives and other caregivers
  • Information about Mild Brain Injury: A blow or jolt/shake to the head can cause a particular type of mild brain injury called a concussion

If you would like a printed copy, contact the Brain Injury Association of Missouri at 314-426-4024 or info@biamo.org.

The question to really ask is “what is the best rehabilitation program that will meet the needs of my loved one?”

Brain injury can result in a wide range of issues post injury. Some programs may specialize in motor and swallowing issues post injury, while others offer expertise in behavioral and psychiatric issues post injury.

Keep in mind that family members are the only ones in the rehabilitation process that knew the person with a brain injury before the injury. This insight can be valuable in deciding the best match for rehabilitation services.

Contact BIA-MO Information & Referral Service at 1-800-444-6443, email info@biamo.org or Contact Us.

The Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) provides the opportunity to learn important information about brain injury, to demonstrate learning in a written examination, and to earn a nationally recognized credential. There are three certification options representing distinct levels of experience and supervisory skills: Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST), and Provisional Certified Brain Injury Specialist (PCBIS).

Learn more about ACBIS

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri has a variety of prevention and awareness information available on our website, by calling our office at 1-800-444-6443 or Request for Presentation.

The Brain Injury Association of America offers information about brain injury research studies, research articles, and more.

Learn more about brain injury research.

Has traumatic brain injury changed what’s inside you or a loved one? 

If you or someone you care about has experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is showing symptoms of aggression, agitation, or irritability, learn more about this research study of an investigational drug for behavioral problems due to TBI.

To pre-qualify for this study, patients must:

·     Be between 18 and 75 years old

·     Have been diagnosed with TBI for 6 months or more

·     Have a history of aggression, agitation, or irritability that was not present before the injury

·     Have a reliable caregiver who interacts with the patient at least 2 hours a day for at least 3 days a week

Additional criteria will be assessed by the study doctor.

All study-related visits, tests, and drugs will be provided at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for study-related travel may be provided.

For more information, please visit www.TBIBehaviorStudy.com.

There is a need for both injured and healthy brains in research. The National Institute of Health Neuro BioBank coordinates with Brain Banks around the country to collect brain tissue to support important brain research. You can find more information on the BioBank website.

If you are interested in registering to become a brain donor, contact The Brain Donor Project. The Brain Donor Project works with the NIH Neuro BioBank. They can answer questions and assist in registering to participate in donations.

  1. Military/Veterans: Department of Veterans Affairs Biorepository Brain Bank
  2. Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Tissue
  3. Nationwide List of Brain Banks

Missouri-based Brain Banks:

  1. SLU Care Physician Group Brain Bank
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center— Washington University
  3. Contact BIA-MO

Contact the Brain Injury Association of Missouri at 1-800-444-6443 or email us.

Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP)

The Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP) is a resource for persons with brain injury to return to or initiate farming as a sustainable agriculture and employment following a brain injury. For more information about the Missouri AgrAbility Project, contact Project Director Karen Funkenbusch at FunkenbuschK@missouri.edu or 1-800-995-8503 or visit the Missouri AgrAbility Project website.

Missouri AgrAbility Project Brochure
Lincoln University Brochure

Missouri Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Project 

The Missouri Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Project is a new pilot of training workshops, educational classes, and customized one-on-one technical assistance with various activities. For more information about the Missouri Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program, contact Debi Kelly, Horticulture Field Specialist, at kellyd@missouri.edu, or 636-797-5691 or visit the Beginning Farmer website.

The Grow Your Farm program is an eight-week training course for beginning farmers and others who want to evaluate and plan their farm. Contact Debi Kelly about the 2021 Program.

BIA-MO Yearly Overview
  • 7,000 persons with brain injury, family members and professionals served

  • 2,500 survivors of brain injury and family members receive support, gain knowledge, and know they are not alone

  • 118,000 Missourians are living with a long-term disability due to brain injury

  • 300,000 student athletes have their concussion-risk lowered by sports and school personnel attending training

  • 14,000 people admitted to hospital for stroke in Missouri


Survivors of brain injury and family members will come together for an in-person event, depending on the Seminar that best fits your
Support Groups, Resource Services, and Family Seminars through the Brain Injury Association of Missouri help survivors and families know they are not alone. Support and education answer questions about brain injury, identify resources within the community, and provide information about farming with [...]
Changes in personality may result from brain injury. After a bump or blow to the head or body that may have caused a brain injury, someone you love may be more anxious, dependent, angry, shy, or even more outgoing and friendly. Despite a lack of visible injury to the head, there could be damage to [...]


St. Louis (South/Southwest) Support Group – In-Person and Online

SSM Health St. Clare Hospital 1015 Bowles Avenue, Fenton, MO

St. Louis (South/Southwest) – Fourth Tuesday of Month at 7:00 pm. Contact BIA-MO at (314) 426-4024 for online login information. SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, Conference Center (Downstairs), Meeting Room F, 1015 Bowles Ave, Fenton, MO 63026 Contact: BIA-MO Office, (314) 426-4024 for online login information. *Please take the stairs/elevator to the lover level and [...]