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What would BR recommend for a brain damaged 6 year old?

08 Mar
A 6-year-old boy had a seizure and is now in the hospital with brain damage. He does not recognize his family. What will help his brain injury to respond. PLEASE help!!
I know Mehmet Oz at Columbia Presbyterian uses guided imagery tapes and CDs for patients undergoing heart surgery. I have a 6 year old who was a healthy boy until Thanksgiving Day, when he had a seizure and he is now in Blythedale Children''s hospital with brain damage. He does not recognize his family. Before he got sick, his mom had him to Peds twice for a cold. He was diagnosed with viral encephalitis. Do you have any tapes that would help his brain injury to respond. The cognitive part of his brain is not reacting. PLEASE help.

Dear Mary,
When the cognitive part of the brain isn’t accessible, then interventions like imagery, massage, music, movement and energy work, which reach the more primitive, sensory and emotion-based parts of the brain, can sometimes be a way back in. So I would encourage family members and staff to continue to talk to him, sing to him, tell him stories, talk about what is happening with various members of the family, play him his favorite music and remind him of his history. Rocking him, offering gentle touch, massage therapy and Reiki or other forms of energy work might be a big help as well. Of our materials, Betty Mehling’s Magic Island or Roxanne Daleo’s Healing Heart, Grain of Sand, Star Within or Magic Seed would be most appropriate.

In addition, there is a really terrific book by Amy Mindell called Coma: A Healing Journey, and in it are scores of superb suggestions and instructions for those caring for coma patients, that focus on awareness, touch and movement. There are beautiful illustrations that make everything easy to do. And every page is comforting, deeply spiritual and full of heart. She never loses sight of the fact that there is a person in there, and she reminds the reader that the deep relationship that comes from caring for someone in a coma matters hugely. It’s immeasurably reinforcing to the family caregiver or healthcare professional.

Finally, do take a look at this week’s inspiring story - it’s relevant!

I hope this helps.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award