Traumatized Child Comforted By Television

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After Birth

Parents Of Crying Child Must Not Be Any Good

WOODBURY, MN—Noting how the pair’s failure to promptly resolve the situation was a clear indication of their inability to raise or care for another human being, sources confirmed Friday that the parents of a crying infant must not be any good.

How To Adopt A Child

Adoption is a beautiful way to provide a loving home for a child, though it is a logistically complex process that might take months or even years to complete. Here are the steps involved in adopting a child:

The Pros And Cons Of Helicopter Parenting

The rising trend of “helicopter parenting,” or hovering over a child’s educational, social, extracurricular, and home life, has been praised by some as true dedication to one’s kids and decried by others for potentially smothering a child’s independent development. Here are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting

Conductor Fatigue Blamed In Massive Model Train Crash

BLOOMINGTON, IN—After surveying the dozen railcars and cargo of Lincoln Logs strewn haphazardly across the grass mat, investigators concluded Friday that a massive model train derailment was the result of conductor fatigue.

The Pros And Cons Of Co-Sleeping

The act of co-sleeping, where babies and toddlers share a “family bed” with their parents, is a rising trend in the United States, though the practice is contested by those who doubt its purported benefits. Here are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your child

The Onion’s Guide To Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween gives revelers a chance to receive candy all over the neighborhood. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your experience and take home a big haul.

How To Talk To Your Child About Sex

It’s not easy to decide when and how to have a discussion with children about sex, and many parents wonder how explicit they should be or where to establish boundaries. Here are The Onion’s tips for having “the talk” with your kids:

Child’s Loose Grasp On Balloon Only Thing Between Peace And Anarchy At Restaurant

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Eating their meals and conversing pleasantly without paying any heed to how loosely the string was wrapped around the young child’s finger, diners at a local Panera Bread reportedly went about their lunch Wednesday completely unaware that 2-year-old Nate Pollen’s tenuous grasp on a red helium balloon was the only thing standing between peace and total anarchy.

Childish 12-Year-Old Still Believes In Father

HARTFORD, CT—Saying she just assumed he would have figured it out by now, local mother Kathleen Rivers expressed concern to reporters Tuesday that her 12-year-old son, Dylan, still believes in his father.

How U.S. Schools Can Improve Math Education

With U.S. students regularly placing behind 20 to 25 other nations in mathematics test scores, many education experts are wondering what the sources of the problem are and how we can take steps to fix them. Here’s a look at how American schools can improve their math curricula and help struggling students:

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

How To Talk To Your Child About Death

When your family has experienced a loss, it can be a difficult concept for young children to process. The Onion breaks down the best ways to converse with your child about the realities of death

Single, Unemployed Mother Leeching Off Government

WASHINGTON—Taking advantage of the system and giving nothing back in return, local unemployed, single mother Mei Xiang reportedly gave birth to two more children out of wedlock this week and continued to pathetically leech off the government.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

How New Parents Can Stay Healthy

Having a baby changes everything, and the resulting lack of sleep and general stress can contribute to a decline in overall wellness. Here are some ways new parents can prevent bad habits and maintain good health

Single Woman With 3 Young Children Unaware She Subject Of 984 Judgments Today

LINCOLN, NE—Oblivious to the thoughts and looks directed toward her as she shopped for groceries, stopped by the post office, and ran several other errands with her three young children, single mother Karen Nichols, 29, was reportedly completely unaware that she was the focus of 984 separate judgments by strangers this afternoon.

Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Family vacations can be a time for bonding and building lasting memories, but when young children are involved, trips can also be stressful to plan and execute. Here are The Onion’s tips for traveling with kids

Good News Kept From Parents Out Of Fear Of Proving Them Right

DANBURY, CT—Saying she wants no part of the conversation that would inevitably result if she broke the good news, local medical billing technician Jenny Comers reported Friday that she’s keeping word of her recent pay raise from her parents out of fear of proving them right.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

North American Children Begin Summer Migration To Dad’s

NEW YORK—With the increasingly warm weather signaling the commencement of their age-old journey, millions of children across the North American continent began their annual summer migration to their fathers’ homes this week, sources confirmed.

Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

FORT WORTH, TX—Saying they get their hopes up anytime they notice her looking particularly downhearted, siblings Paulo and Marisa Hernandez told reporters Wednesday they love it when their mother is sad enough to just order pizza.

Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms

Mothershould’s Grace Manning-Devlin breaks down some of the hottest baby names of the year, such as Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, and Serf.

Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to students’ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Blog Post Read By Mother To Shape Child’s Next 18 Years

PAOLI, PA—Poised to inform future parenting decisions on medical care, dietary restrictions, and everyday well-being, the blog post “Fluoride Drops For Kids—Good Idea?” which was read by local mother Laurie Miller earlier today, will reportedly shape the next 18 years of her young child’s life.

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 
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Special Coverage


Traumatized Child Comforted By Television

MASON CITY, IA—In an inspiring story that has warmed hearts throughout this tight-knit northern Iowa community, a luminescent cathode-ray tube provided much-needed emotional nurturing and support for a traumatized child this week, comforting him in his time of need.

Stevie Burke, well into his fourth tearless hour of television viewing.

Emotionally devastated by an auto accident that claimed the lives of his parents, 4-year-old Stevie Burke was feared "permanently psychologically damaged" by doctors. Yet tragedy became triumph when the orphaned child turned to television and, in the process, began the long road to healing.

"It's miraculous. When little Stevie was first admitted, he would alternate between a near-catatonic stupor and long bouts of uncontrollable crying. He was overwhelmed by the sheer mental shock," said Floor Nurse Susan Michelson of St. Barnabas Children's Hospital. "By the end of his stay, however, he'd improved 110 percent, watching television all day long with a contented, blank expression on his little face, gently rocking back and forth."

"As a matter of fact," she added, "practically the only time he ever cried at all was when we'd try to turn it off."

Young Stevie's ordeal began two weeks ago, when his parents, Duane and Francine Burke, lost control of their vehicle while driving their son to daycare. According to police investigators who later reconstructed the accident, the Burkes swerved wildly when a fuel truck failed to negotiate a tight curve, jackknifing into their lane and hitting the Burkes' Honda Civic. The Burkes' car, it is believed, drove off the highway after sliding under the truck's chassis, rupturing the tanker as sparks from the collision ignited the spilling fuel. Engulfed in flames, the twisted wreckage of both vehicles plunged down a steep embankment, rolling several times and coming to a stop moments before exploding.

Emergency-response teams arriving on the scene initially assumed there were no survivors. Several hours later, Stevie, in a severe state of shock, was found hiding behind a nearby log. Authorities theorize that he either was thrown from the car or somehow crawled away from the accident before the rising flames caused the secondary series of explosions.

"The worst part is, forensic evidence indicated that both parents were still conscious for several minutes before they died, meaning that Stevie could probably hear their screams of agony during the final moments. That's a hell of a lot for a small boy to bear," said Charles Laine, the paramedic who discovered the terrified child. "But, thanks to TV, he's really adjusting great."

Those close to the recently orphaned boy say his favorite shows appear to be CHiPs, The Dukes Of Hazzard and Knight Rider, although he chooses ER and Chicago Hope with great regularity, as well.

"The boy was completely nonverbal. We feared the worst," said St. Barnabas pediatric psychologist Dr. Jameson Davies. "Yet he has responded greatly to the television screen. The first real breakthrough occurred when he pointed at the set in his hospital room. They were showing Terminator 2: Judgment Day on the afternoon movie, I think, and he said, just out of the blue, 'Big truck go boom.' It was the first words he'd spoken in days. I knew right then that this kid was going to be okay."

Confident that Stevie was showing marked signs of improvement, doctors released him into the custody of his closest living relative, great-aunt Maureen Knabholz, with whom he has continued to find solace in television's therapeutic effects.

"Steven is only four, so normally I'd say, 'Only two hours a day, and no HBO.' But after all he's been through, I figured I'd forget the rules and just let him watch what he wants," Knabholz said. "Yesterday, I even let him stay up late to watch The Road Warrior on Cinemax. When he sees something he likes, his little eyes get so big and wide... I just don't have the heart to say no. Considering that I have to work at the supermarket all day and don't have much time to spend time with him, that TV has really been a godsend for the boy."

"It is so wonderful to see something like this come along and really make a difference in a child's life," Knabholz added. "On my limited income, I can only afford to keep him here until a suitable foster home can be found, but I'm really going to miss him once he's gone. He's something special."

Citizens throughout the Mason City area agree that Burke is a remarkable boy, and they're making every effort to show it. Touched by Burke's recovery, local businesses have donated more than $3,300 in goods and services to Stevie's cause. Blauvelt Electronics donated a state-of-the-art wide-screen projection television in an effort to help meet Stevie's TV-watching needs, and Global Tetrahedron Cable has offered a year of free cable, including premium channels and pay-per-view.

"It's a sad story, but luckily for Stevie, it has a happy ending," said Geoff Jarman, vice-president of Mason City NBC affiliate KMSC. "We all need someone to lean on. Television has opened its heart to this young child, and it's really made an impact. He'll never be the same."

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