Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do you know how a Child Life Specialist can help you?

A Child life specialist works in both impatient and outpatient medical settings.  Often times parents go through the medical environment with their children not even knowing what a Child Life Specialist (CLS) can do for them.  Many times CLS's are referred to as the "Play lady" or someone who takes kids to the playroom or brings toys.  Did you know that a CLS uses toys as a modality to:
  • Ease a child’s fear and anxiety with both therapeutic and recreational play activities and toys
  • Foster an environment that incorporates emotional support and the individual child's development
  • Provide a means to escape from the realities of their medical situation and just act like a kid
Child Life Specialists also:
  • Encourage understanding and cooperation by providing non-medical preparation and support for children undergoing tests, surgeries, and other medical procedures
  • Advocate for family-centered care.  Meaning that the family is included in decision making, considered part of the team, and welcomed to stay with their children during procedures and tests.
  • Engage and energize children and families by planning and coordinating special events, entertainment, and fun activities.
  • Consider siblings or other children who may also affected by a child’s illness or trauma, work with them and address their needs as well as the patient's
  • Give pre-admission tours and provide resources, and consultations with outpatient families
  • Support children and families confronting grief and bereavement issues
  • Provide information and resources for parents and members of the interdisciplinary team  
* Adapted from the Child Life Council "How A Child Life Specialist Can Help You"  at

No comments:

Post a Comment