SpouseBuzz

Caring for children of our wounded heroes

Sesame Workshop brought military families a wonderful resource when they launched the Talk, Listen, Connect DVD.  The DVD can be obtained at no charge to military families via Military OneSource and many installation family centers also carry the DVD.

Sesame Street also aired a special "When Parents are Deployed" and they re-broadcast it from time to time.

Soon, families of our wounded heroes will be able to obtain a new DVD designed to help veterans talk to their children.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces the hit kids' show, is working on a DVD that will be distributed to military families. It's designed to help injured veterans talk about their disabilities with their children.

Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, said some of those veterans and their families are looking for help from Sesame Street because the workshop produced a popular DVD last year aimed at helping military families discuss the strain of deployments.

I have not been able to locate information that gives a firm release date of the new DVD, however I feel sure that Military OneSource will put the information up as soon as it is available.  I will keep an eye out.

Many thanks to Sesame Workshop for supporting military families.

**UPDATE**

This article states:

Elmo's dad has deployed and come home. Now he's deploying again.

His fluffy blue friend Rosita is having trouble adjusting to her own father's injury.

Elmo will use his own experience - and the research conducted by Sesame Workshop - to help military children and their parents cope with the stresses of multiple deployments, in a new Sesame Street DVD available for military families in January. The Muppets also address the difficulties children face when a parent returns changed as a result of traumatic brain injury and other war wounds, said Jeanette Betancourt, vice president of outreach and educational practices for Sesame Workshop, at a family forum Oct. 9 at the annual convention of the Association of the United States Army.

Sesame Workshop will produce more than 400,000 of the new DVD. It builds on the "Talk, Listen, Connect" DVD starring Elmo and his deploying dad, which debuted in August 2006. Like its predecessor, the new DVD will also be offered in Spanish, and will be free. When it is launched in January, it also will be available for download at the Sesame Workshop site.

After Rosita expresses her frustration about her dad's injuries, Elmo encourages her to talk to her parents.

Rosita tells her father, "I wish your legs were OK, Papi, and I wish you didn't have to go to the doctor so much. And I just wish things could go back to the way they were."

"I may be a little different, but I'm still your dad. I will always be your Papi," he tells her. "Enough though some things have changed, my love for you did not."

Military families who are addressing these issues are part of the DVD, and they discuss their strategies, Betancourt said. Sesame Workshop also held focus groups with service members and spouses across all branches of service, to include Guard and Reserve members.

"We can't just stop at the stages of deployment," Betancourt said, noting that their research moved them to the next phase of "Talk, Listen, Connect."

The goal is to reduce the level of anxiety when families experience multiple deployments and to help find ways to cope, not just individually, but also in the context of the family and community, Betancourt said. The video is designed to help the children as well as their parents communicate.

"We know from the past that Muppets not only make you laugh, but also help you feel much safer. They enable you to communicate and allow you to talk about some difficult topics that sometimes you can't do otherwise," she said.

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