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Explaining Stroke & Traumatic Brain Injury to Kids : Books to Help Move the Conversation

Topics & Tips to Explain Stroke & TBI to Kids

It’s not just the individual who is directly affected by a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). The family and even the community as a whole are also impacted. And most families and communities have kids of some age, whether that’s kids, cousins, grandkids, or even children in the neighborhood. 
Kids are very observant and often ask questions about the changes or differences they observe in the world. Depending on their age and understanding of physical and mental health, stroke and TBI can be a challenging topic to explain in a way that young minds can fully comprehend. Here are a few helpful tips and topics to address when explaining stroke and TBI


  • What the brain is and what it does
    • Try to use language they understand and avoid 
    • It can be helpful to compare the brain to something they’re familiar with like a computer
  • Specific changes that have occurred from the stroke or TBI
  • Fatigue – both physical and mental
  • Ways the can help or better interact with the person

Books to Help Kids Understand 

Books are a great resource to helping explain situations around mental health and brain injuries. Here are some books that can help you explain stroke and TBI to young minds:

  • My Grandpa Had a Stroke
    • Ryan loves fishing with his grandpa. When his grandpa has a stroke and can no longer walk for feed himself, Ryan is scared and wants things to return to normal. A loving story of Ryan and his grandpa. 
  • Love After Stroke
    • This story explores a young child’s relationship with his Gram and how love and connection can transcend verbal communication. 
  • Mama Just Shake It
    • You can follow along with this book on YouTube as it tells the story of Aidan’s mom and how she helps him understand what happened when she had a stroke after he was born. 
  • Nana’s Stroke
    • This storybook helps children understand both the physical and emotional changes experienced when an adult has a stroke. It’s told through the eyes of a young girl named Libby.
  • Amanda’s Fall
    • This book tells the story of a young girl, Amanda, who falls and has a brain injury. 

Interested in adaptive practices that can help manage stress and anxiety as well as move your body? Check out on online chair yoga classes which cater to stroke survivors and individuals who have had a traumatic brain injury. 

References: Stroke Association