Pook the Hamster: a children’s brain injury resource
Pook the Hamster wants to know what’s wrong with Ben and Lucy’s Dad. This is a book designed to help children and families of a brain injured person understand the effects of a brain injury and to help support them both emotionally and practically by providing practical ways to manage the difficulties associated with different aspects of a brain injury.
This book was originally funded by a grant from the South London and Maudsley NHS Charitable Trust and was designed to help children and families of a brain injured person to understand the effects of a brain injury and to help support them both emotionally and practically by providing emotional support and practical ways of how to manage the difficulties associated with different aspects of a brain injury.
Acquired brain injury in adults results in a wide range of problems and difficulties including emotional, cognitive and behavioural problems.
Each chapter of the book illustrates a particular aspect of brain injury, its effects on children and family members and how to manage this.
The chapters cover the following topics: difficulties and problems with verbal aggression (shouting) poor memory, language and communication, insensitivity to social cues and poor social judgment, lack of motivation and apathy, poor problem-solving and organisation, disinhibition and impulsivity, depression and anxiety.
Each chapter can stand alone or the book can be read as a narrative.
The book is primarily for children aged up to 8 or 9 years old, but anecdotal feedback is that many adults enjoy the book and have gained significantly increased understanding and help from it. For young children a parent can read it to their child/children.
The unique feature of this book is that it is written in an anthropomorphic style. Thus a parent’s actions/behaviour are seen through the eyes of a pet hamster (Pook). Pook comments on what is happening and the children voice their worries to him.
The Pook book is part of an initiative of the RNRU Outreach team to expand our service to include and support children and families of brain injured patients, and to also serve the demographics of our population. We serve a large Asian and Urdu speaking population hence the decision to translate Pook into Urdu and we have also added Japanese, Turkish, Polish thanks to the very generous grant given by Irwin Mitchell solicitors.