Hey guys, it's Adam.
Today I wanted to talk to you about bringing children
into the vicinity of individuals with severe and moderate traumatic brain injury.
A lot of times individuals who have suffered
some of the more serious cases of traumatic brain injury
also have undergone pretty serious physical injuries as well.
Maybe it involves deformity of the head or the body.
Sometimes it involves missing limbs or scars, burns, things like that
that are really traumatic.
And sometimes children don't know how to respond to that.
Sometimes children aren't aware that that's happened,
and then when they are introduced or when they see a veteran
or a servicemember who has sustained those types of injuries for the first time,
they can become scared, they might have questions,
they might have a lack of understanding of kind of what happened.
So today I want to talk basically about how we talk to the children
and how to discuss with--maybe it's the younger cousin, the sibling,
or family friends' children--
Before they come in contact with that individual that maybe you're providing care for,
it's important to talk to them and say, "Hey look, here's some of the things that you may see."
Explain without any kind of gory details or combat-related jargon.
Talk to them about, "Hey, these are some of the things you may see."
"This person may talk a little bit differently."
"This person may have a drooling problem or perhaps a bladder control issue."
So just be aware of that and talk to the children.
Even if they are younger, let them know,
"You may see somebody with a lot of burns that you've never seen before."
"And there's nothing wrong with them."
"They've had different experiences, and they've been through a really hard time."
And break it down very simply to the children
because I think you'll find that having that awareness and that understanding
is a great opportunity for those children not to overreact,
which is going to reduce the stress on the veteran
who might already be self-conscious about sharing their physical appearance with others.
Another thing that I wanted to share is the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center,
or DVBIC, actually produced a children's book that talks about
how to introduce a child into this environment
specifically for servicemembers who may have gone through medical evacuation
or other kind of severe physical injuries while serving overseas
or in an accident stateside.
And so that's a good resource as well that can kind of help acclimate the children
to this new reality that they're facing with their loved one.
So thanks, and I hope that information is helpful.
Show transcript | Print transcript
When preparing children to see a loved one with a severe or moderate brain injury — one that may include significant changes physically and emotionally — it's best to be honest and upfront. Adam shares some good idease about how to help kids face the new reality of their loved one.
See an excerpt from Big Boss Brain.