The Astronaut Ballerina After Brain Injury – A Children’s Story
Brain Injury Blog by Gracie Beaver
October 5, 2011
The Astronaut Ballerina
My story “The Astronaut Ballerina and the Do Not Forget List” is a story aimed at children who have a parent with Traumatic Brain Injury. The story was written for a class project where we had to create a children’s book describing trauma. I chose TBI because it affects so many people’s lives, and because, in my research, I discovered that there are not very many children’s stories discussing the issues that arise from having a parent with TBI.
In the story, I attempted to address several issues that a child may encounter:
- A parent does not look any different than he/she did before
- A parent may act differently
- A parent may suffer from memory impairment
- A child may question if the parent still cares for the child
With Keiko the cat and her dad, I focused on memory impairment, because that is an effect of TBI that is common, and can be disturbing to a child. In the story, Keiko’s dad forgets to attend her ballet recital.
So, why cats? By using animals to describe TBI, the tough subject matter will be hopefully softened a bit for young children. (Also, as a huge cat person and mom to two tabbies, I jump at the chance to write about and draw kitties.) Hopefully kids will enjoy a story about cats as well.
My hope for this story is that families will be able to discuss the effects of a parent with TBI on their daily lives.
To view The Astronaut Ballerina click here!