My name is Shani Thornton and I am a Certified Child Life Specialist and a full-time mom. I have two boys that I absolutely adore and keep me on my toes. After living in New York for 12 years with my family, we recently relocated back to my hometown in Northern California. I have three passions in life; family, child life and living a healthy lifestyle.
I have recently launched my private practice in the Sacramento and Placer County area providing home visits, phone consultations, caregiver workshops and support to community programs and schools. I have published a children’s preparation book, “It’s Time For Your Checkup: What to expect when going to a doctor visit” and volunteer as a committee chair member for the ACLP Community-Based/Non-Traditional Role.
I work for the Standish Foundation for Children, an amazing non-profit that has a mission to train clinicians on the use of a family centered healthcare approach and provide resources to families. 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 provide information about the child life field and how it can relate to caregivers, educators, medical professionals and students. 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
Education Background and Training
B.S., Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Systems Management, San Diego State University. 2003
M.S., Child Life, Bank Street College of Education, New York. 2007
Certified Child Life Specialist 2007 – Present
Children’s Disaster Service Volunteer 2018-Present
Child Life Mommy Private Practice, Individual Sessions and Community Workshops (2015-Present)
Standish Foundation for Children, Social Media and Marketing Manager (2017- Present)
Bank Street College of Education, Co-Teacher for Therapeutic Play Techniques for Child Life Students (2015-Present)
Private Practice Sub-Committee Chair, Association for Child Life Professions Mega-Committee: Community-Based Non-Traditional Role (2015-Present)
NYU Langone Rusk Rehabilitation, Certified Child Life Specialist
Center For HOPE, Volunteer Bereavement Facilitator
The Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, Child Life Assistant
Home Therapist, One to one therapy for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
San Diego Children’s Convalescent Hospital, Recreation Therapist Assistant
Publications and Presentations
Thornton, S. (2018). Compassionate Care During Wellness Visits. Webinar Presenter. The Pediatric Nurse, Melbourne, Australia
Thornton, S. (2018). Filling gaps in service: What is the identity of a child life specialist in private practice? Co-Author. ACLP Bulletin. Summer 2018. 36 (3).
Thornton, S. (2017). The Continuum of Care: Providing Child Life Service in the Community. Co-Presenter, Association for Child Life Professions, Webinar.
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.
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). Breaking the Mold: Child Life Specialists Working in Community Based Programs. Co-Presenter, Child Life Council Conference, Orlando, Florida.
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. (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. (2015). The Power of Social Media in Child Life Programming. Co-Presenter, 33rd Annual Child Life Council Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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. (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. (2014). Story time and medical play. Presenter, The Dolphin Book Shop, Port Washington, 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). Parenting through play. Presenter, Happy and Healthy Pediatrics Wellness Center, Mineola, New York.
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., (2013). It’s Time For Your Checkup: What to expect when going to a doctor visit. New York: CreateSpace.