The Fundación DACER presents Popi&Pepa, an audiovisual animated series aimed at children who are hospitalized as a result ofa brain injury. The series can be viewed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KghtgfcYeg. The audio is in Spanish but you can enable subtitles in English or other languages.
The series for kids with brain injury is based on the guidelines for intra-hospital care of pediatric patients formulated by the DACER rehabilitation team which can be consulted here.
This guide was created in response to the limited information available to families regarding what they can do after their child has suffered from brain injury and is confined to a hospital bed with motor, cognitive, sensory, language, etc. sequelae which can turn them into people their families can no longer recognize. Family members feel lost, feel that everything has suddenly changed and do not know what to do to regain a sense of control. Parents spend hours and hours sitting next to their child’s bed, often just watching, not daring to touch them or talk to them because they don’t know how to do it. They spend sleepless nights and hours of distress because their child does not receive the stimulation needed for their brain to reorganize itself and to regain their quality of life.
How to help my brain-injured child while in the hospital?
The guide explains in detail what families can do to help their children while they are in the hospital. It has been shown that the brain is plastic, that is, it has the ability to reorganize its synaptic connections, compensate for damaged regions and thus minimize sequelae. Therefore, intensive early intervention must be conducted to be effective, and the way families relate with their children is decisive. If done in an organized way by following simple guidelines, it can help lay the foundation for reorganization of sensory and motor functions, language, safe swallowing, and cognitive functions. The subsequent rehabilitation process, carried out by a specialized staff, will be better conducted and more effective.
The guide enjoys the social backing of the Sociedad Española de Neurología (SEN) (Spanish Society of Neurology) and the Fundación Española de enfermedades de neurológicas (FEEN) (Spanish Foundation for Neurological Diseases) and is included as agood practice manual for social and health care servicesin the Spanish Observatory on Integrated Care.
How to explain their condition to brain-injured children?
The manual is very useful for parents, however its printed format is not as attractive to children. Children learn through play and motivation, therefore, the Fundación DACER thought of creating a series for kids with brain injury, in which the guide’s content is shown in a fun and entertaining way for them.
The neurological sequelae have a great impact on children when first awakening. In many cases, children have half the body paralyzed, distorted facial expressions, trouble speaking or understanding what others say to them. Adults find these sequelae disturbing, but children are left frightened and disoriented because they do not understandwhathas happened to them, nor if it will be so for life. For these reasons, it is vitally important that we explain to children in a colloquial, loving and therapeutic way what is happening to them.
The series for kids with brain injury: Popi & Pepa
The series for kids with brain injury Popi&Pepa is the story of two children who are hospital roommates. One of them (Popi), because of his illness has been in the hospital for a long time and has seen his roommates come and go. Popi knows how they feel: frightened, lost and sad, and decides to help them based onhis own experience. With his advice, he makes their day-to-day life in the hospital enjoyable and productive. Popi’s motivation and support of Pepa make her understand what’s wrong with her and what she can do to improve.
The aim of this series is to entertain while providing information about the process they are going through byexplaining the condition and the rehabilitation process they will have to undergo, and that in many cases frightens them.
In the spirit of the creation of the Fundación DACER—to improve the quality of life of those affected by brain injuryand their families—we hope that this animated series will reach many people who will then help others in this difficult period of their lives and that, at the same time, they can receive a message of hope.