The Brain Game
An animation to explain brain development, attachment and trauma to children
Imagine you’re playing a computer game. You have to fight your way to the first level. At the start you choose a character with lots of armour to keep you safe.
But then later in the game your armour gets in the way and stops you moving forward. What do you do?
This innovative animation is designed as a psychoeducation tool for children and young people. It uses the metaphor of a computer game to help children understand how their brain works and how it can be affected by stress and trauma in infancy. It explains in a clear, accessible way how the brain can be changed and achieve healthy development.
The animation is divided into five sections, with each one designed to stand alone as a basis for discussion with children, parents, or both children and parents together. It explains:
- what the brain does, how it works and the effect of neglect and abuse on the development of the brain in infancy.
- how the brain develops in the womb and is affected by environmental influences such as alcohol and drug abuse as well as domestic violence. The animation compares an ‘easy’ start in life with a ‘hard’ one.
- how the brain develops after birth, again looking at ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ starts in life and how they have a different impact on the baby’s developing brain.
- how the Triune brain is constructed and how trauma in infancy predisposes the primitive brain to respond with ‘fight, flight or freeze’ survival mode.
- how the brain is ‘plastic’ and can be changed, and what you can do to help it change for the better.
This DVD is designed not only to educate but to eradicate any stigma, blame or pathologising of the child. It helps to normalise the impact of adverse experiences in childhood on the brain’s development. It also remains optimistic about the possibility of a change, and for the child or young person to have some agency in this process.
We don’t choose the brains we have to live with but we can change the way they work.
Duration: 19 minutes.
© Family Futures. This download is for use by the organisation that purchased it only and should not be re-distributed or reproduced.
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“I am so impressed with this video. Something for children is much needed. I showed it to my 16 year old adopted daughter who has a trauma history and to my 12 year old birth son. They both really liked it and understood the information. My daughter even came back to me a few hours later to discuss some of it. So, as a parent, thank you so much for creating this resource!” Adoptive parent