Explaining Brain Damage to Siblings

Mom, when is he going to eat with his hands?

Mom, when is he going to crawl on the floor?

Mom, when he gets bigger and starts walking is he going to play with me?

Mom, when can he go on the swings with me?


I am constantly trying to find ways to explain things to Diva in a way that her 6 year old mind can understand and not be completely overwhelmed by what Superman goes through. Extended hospital stays and constant doctors appointments already overwhelm what was supposed to be her typical childhood. And quite honestly, I am still overwhelmed most days. Its a lot to process for an adult. How do you explain to her that she didn’t quite get the brother she was expecting? We answer questions about him as they come up but have never really sat down and explained the ‘whole’ of the situation.

I was doing some work one night at the computer while she was eating dessert and watching Netflix – I was absolutely astounded at the in-depth explanation of the brain and what it controls. I went in to see what show she was watching and tried to start explaining some of his issues. Well, the timing must not have been right because she just wasn’t having it. But this show is a fantastic tool to use if you are trying to explain brain damaged areas to a younger school aged child that isn’t quite old enough to grasp the full blown explanation.

And the best part? Its available on YouTube in two parts! I highly suggest watching it with your child and pausing it to talk about the different parts of the brain – although its a game show type show – its incredibly informative!! And with the game show quality of the episode you can use their questions to see how much your child learned about the brain!

You can find the episodes here:

Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman part 1

Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman part 2

I hope this helps! Please post your thoughts or comments or other tools you have found in the comments!


SIBLING SUPPORT NETWORK: learn how to join here!

I introduced this idea on Facebook to our followers as well as most of my support groups and it was met with an overwhelming response. So I made an example video (with a very tired child who really wanted to go to bed) and I managed to forget to ask her some of the questions I wanted to.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Video your sibling talking about what its like to have a child in the family with xyz condition. It can be ANY special need – it is not limited to Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy or any condition we have. Just keep it clean – no foul language, no racist remarks, no derrogatory terms please. This is about support. And please don’t edit the videos with graphics, music, slideshows. Just a simple vlog type video so they can focus on what they want to say.  


If you have a younger child (like us) it might be better to prompt them with questions. I don’t know about you but if I let my daughter take over she will tell you about Power Rangers and Justice League right into My Little Pony and what she ate for lunch.

An older child can make their own video and even explain the conditions or what that condition means to their sibling since most conditions come in various severities. They need less prompting of course. And the videos don’t have to be happy sunshiny goodness. Being a sibling is hard and it sucks sometimes. Let them have a voice – just make sure they keep it clean.

Try not to make it incredibly long – you have to stick to YouTube guidelines. As long as it fits – its awesome!

I know for some that have many siblings it might be a lot but please try to do only one sibling per video so that they can have their voice.


2. Upload it to YouTube under your own account. (You might have to create one). When you upload it make sure you title it with the following:

Sibling Support Network: (**CONDITIONS**) 

see example video posted below.

Please put in the comments section something like Sister and Age so that if someone is looking for someone a similar age they can find it. If you would like you can put location but that is entirely up to you.

3. Save and share! Spread the word! And when your child wants to find someone that is going through what they are dealing with – the titles will allow you to search easily and find what you are looking for.

Any questions or comments please post in the comments section.