Child Life and Creative Art Therapy Services
Coming to the hospital for surgery or an illness can be a very stressful time for any young patient and their family. The Child Life and Creative Art Therapy Program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center is designed to help children and families to cope socially, psychologically and emotionally during unfamiliar, frightening or painful experiences of hospitalization and illness.
With developmentally appropriate guidance of Certified Child Life Specialists and Licensed Creative Art Therapists, children are provided with various activities to help them learn about their illness, injury, medical/surgical procedures, hospital routines, and the medical team they will encounter during their stay. Children are given the opportunity to explore medical equipment, photo preparation books, and teaching dolls to help relieve any fears and concerns they may have. The Child Life staff members are available to provide comfort, support and accompany children during medical procedures and exams.
What do Child Life Specialists and Creative Art Therapists do?
Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events. They promote effective coping through preparation, education, procedural accompaniment, relaxation, therapeutic and recreational play and self expression activities.
Certified Child Life Specialists are trained in child development and in the specific issues of the medically ill child. They provide emotional support and a variety of play experiences to decrease fear and enhance understanding for pediatric patients. Child Life Specialists recognize that children rely on their families for support, thus, parents, siblings, and extended family members are also provided services for education and successful coping.
The Child Life Program offers a broad array of services to pediatric patients and their families. Core activities include developmentally appropriate play, medical play and preparation, procedural support, art and music therapy, and a resource center. We also maintain a full agenda of special events for our young patients, including Pet Therapy, movies, arts and crafts, a hospital patient art gallery and a horticulture program.
Often, a Child Life Specialist will be introduced to you when you come to the hospital. If you need to contact a Child Life Specialist, you can call the Child Life Department at (516 or 718) 470-3005.
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