Easing children’s fear and anxiety
Fostering healthy relationships at home
Therapeutic play and coping strategies
This is a book to familiarize children and their families with the initial procedures when hospitalization becomes necessary. Hospital personnel is introduced and their tasks are described. Procedures and the reasons for those procedures are discussed. The patient learns what he can do to help the doctors and nurses. The people wearing funny clothes are highly skilled in helping your child feel better, and the child-friendly illustrations serve to aid in understanding the process. And as you will see, there are also reasons for big smiles during your stay in the hospital. It is well-documented that when patients are partners in their treatment, anxiety is lessened and recuperation time is often more rapid.
The concept for much of my life started when I was four and I was poked 23 times for an IV start. That moment changed my perspective forever. That was my first open-heart surgery.
Years later I was around 13, having another surgery in the intensive care unit. Another young patient saw that I was in tears and came over to me. She told me a story of a prince on a hill and in the end, everything turned out just fine.
I still have the picture and I remember her name was Wanda. Wanda had cancer, And I learned soon after I left the hospital that Wanda did not survive. Fast forward a few years later and I was back in the hospital again for another heart surgery, and I coded. I remember waking up and seeing an angel up in the window behind me. I wasn’t scared, I just felt very comforted with the fact that they were there and watching out for me.
Later in my life, I started a child life program at a hospital in Santa Barbara, California. No one told me how difficult it was to start a program from scratch. I just put one foot in front of the other, wrote a grant, and started the program.
Helping children through their hospital experience has been my mission.
When I wrote the book I was both a Certified Child Life Specialist and a Pet Therapy Handler. The illustrator asked what character I wanted to be in the book because I couldn’t be both. I chose to be the character of the Certified Child Life Specialist. However, the pet therapy dog in the book needed to look exactly like my dog, a big giant lovable Leonberger.
And so, the book was born. It was a labor of love for myself, the editor, and the illustrator. My wish is that it could find the way into the hearts of those who need it most.
We will be giving away a copy of “Going to the Hospital. What Will I See?” to one lucky winner.
Choose one or more ways to enter:
Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 4/26/21. Open to U.S. residents.
I was honored to be featured as a podcast guest with Child Life on Call. This is my second appearance and the focus was on supporting my children through their learning differences of ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and coping with anxiety.
Like many, parenting through the pandemic and adapting to distance learning wasn’t easy. My youngest, Blake struggles with dyslexia and dysgraphia. He was doing really well in school and with outside support prior to the lockdown. As soon as he had to go online to finish his second-grade year, his confidence went down the tubes.
I also witnessed my oldest, Gavin who has dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and struggles with anxiety become overwhelmed with his middle school curriculum online.
As a parent, I have had to learn to navigate the special education road. Learning terms like Individual Educational Plan (IEP), baseline assessments, and understanding my children’s legal educational rights.
Take a listen to our story and share it with others who are coping with learning differences.