My name is Shani Thornton and I am a Certified Child Life Specialist and a full-time mom. I have two little boys that I absolutely adore and keep me on my toes. I am a California girl who moved to New York eleven years ago to pursue my career and start my life with my husband. We travel frequently to stay connected with family, so my kids have become veterans on a plane. I have three passions in life; family, child life and living a healthy lifestyle.
After I had my first son, I decided to stop working full-time in the hospital, but continued to pursue child life services in other ways. I have recently launched a private practice in the Long Island, New York area providing home visits, phone consultations, caregiver workshops and support to community programs and schools.
I recently published a children’s preparation book, “It’s Time For Your Checkup: What to expect when going to a doctor visit” and volunteer as bereavement facilitator at The Center For H.O.P.E. I’m a committee member for the ACLP Community-Based/Non-Traditional Role. I am also an adjunct faculty member for the Child Life Program at Bank Street College and an active member of the Bank Street Child Life Community Council.
This website is intended to help provide information about the child life field and how it can relate to caregivers. I hope that you find it helpful and inspiring. I encourage feedback and am always open to new ideas and/or questions from readers.
Feel free to email me at ChildLifeMommy@gmail.com
B.S., Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Systems Management, San Diego State University.
M.S., Child Life, Bank Street College of Education, New York
San Diego Children’s Convalescent Hospital, Recreation Therapist Assistant
The Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, Child Life Assistant
Home Therapist, One to one therapy for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
NYU Langone Rusk Rehabilitation, Certified Child Life Specialist
Center For HOPE, Volunteer Bereavement Facilitator
Bank Street College of Education, Co-Teacher for Therapeutic Play Techniques for Child Life Students
Child Life Mommy Private Practice, Individual sessions and community Workshops
Publications and Presentations
Thornton, S., (2013). It’s Time For Your Checkup: What to expect when going to a doctor visit. New York: CreateSpace.
Thornton, S. (2014). Medical Play. In A. Mackenzie, Everybody Stay Calm: How to support your young child through medical tests and procedures (pp. 72-74). Victoria, Australia: Global Publishing Group.
Thornton, S. (2014). Parenting through play. Presenter, Happy and Healthy Pediatrics Wellness Center, Mineola, New York.
Thornton, S. (2014). It’s time for our checkup: Medical play and creative arts to help kids cope with going to the doctor. Presenter, All Kids Fair, Melville, New York.
Thornton, S. (2014). Story time and medical play. Presenter, The Dolphin Book Shop, Port Washington, New York.
Thornton, S. (2014). Like, Tweet, Pin: Connecting your program through social media. Conference Presentation, The Child Life of Greater New York Building Bridges, New York, New York.
Thornton, S. (2015). Play in early childhood settings: An antidote to technology overload. Co-Presenter, Young Child Expo and Conference, New York, New York.
Thornton, S. (2015). The Power of Social Media in Child Life Programming. Co-Presenter, 33rd Annual Child Life Council Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Thornton, S. (2015). It’s time for our checkup: Medical play and discussion to help kids cope with going to the doctor. Presenter, Floral Park Public Library, Floral Park, New York.
Thornton, S. (2016). It’s time for our checkup: Presentation and discussion on child life services to better support parents and caregivers. The Wednesday Mothers’ Club, Floral Park, New York.
Thornton, S. (2016). Breaking the Mold: Child Life Specialists Working in Community Based Programs. Co-Presenter, Child Life Council Conference, Orlando, Florida.
Thornton, S. (2016). The Power of Child-Centered Play: Letting Kids Lead the Way. Co-Presenter, Child Life Council Conference, Orlando, Florida.
Thornton, S. (2016). Crossroads in Child Life: Transitioning from the Hospital to a Community-Based Setting. Co-Presenter, Child Life of Greater New York Conference, New York, New York.