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!

One response to “The Astronaut Ballerina After Brain Injury – A Children’s Story”

  1. Holly wright says:

    Thank you! I am a preshool educator and am currently attending the UofA to continue my education. To save money I decided to ride my bicycle, and in the process suffered two brain injuries just four days apart from one another. The first fell off my bike because I missed the petals somehow, and then a couple days later I had a truck make a sharp right turn in front if me, I did my best to turn with him but ended up smashing into his truck. I have been having an amazingly hard time living the life I used to. I’m a single mother of two young children ages 4 and 6 and my 6 year old has begun to notice that I forget a lot of things, and my 4 year old is having a lot of issues at preschool right now where she wants more attention. I love stories that relate to real life situations, and I will be printing this one out to read to my children. Thank you very much!

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