“I was so lost and stressed about how to help my child before finding Shani. My 11-year-old’s shot phobia had grown to be so big that it was impossible to even get her inside the building for vaccine appointments. Shani worked with her in the most creative and thoughtful ways to face this fear. She built a strong, trusting relationship with my child (in the comfort of our home), and brought tools and toys to the table that were perfect for addressing the issue and building up her confidence. When the time came for a vaccine, Shani actually went with us to the appointment (I was so grateful for this) and worked for over an hour to support my child through the process. The first attempt wasn’t successful (this kid’s phobia was HUGE), but we tried again a few weeks later, and Shani was once more right by her side the whole time. The second attempt also took an hour of intense work, but we finally had success! The joy and pride in my child’s face right after getting the vaccine and facing her fears was the most wonderful thing a parent can see! Without Shani, it never would have happened. Her patience, support, and loving approach were everything we needed. I am so grateful for how she helped my child (and me), and how she taught her how to face fears and be strong. Her impact will be long-lasting on my child’s life. I cannot thank her enough – Shani is amazing!” Jennifer S., Parent of 11yo., California
“Shani’s assistance with my son’s fear of going to the doctor was crucial to our family. My son developed a fear of going to the doctor around the age of 2. When we learned he was going to need a medical procedure done, we worried about how he would cope. With Shani’s advice and the help of her book, our family found our way. Our son even enjoyed reading the book to us which help him overcome his fear. We can’t thank Shani Thornton enough. Tiffany and Mike G., Parent of 2yo., California
“Shani has presented in my Kindergarten classroom for the last 2 years. I cannot say enough nice things about her services! The children learn valuable tools that can be used when visiting the doctor. The activities are perfect for their grade level and are fun and educational. The children absolutely LOVE this hands-on learning. Ms. Shani presents the information in a caring and supportive way. It is obvious that she cares deeply about the well being of children. I will continue to invite Child Life Mommy to my classroom every year.” Amanda R., Kindergarten Teacher, Loomis School District
“Thank you for helping me not be scared of the doctor.” C.S. 6yo, Student, Loomis School District
“I had the privilege of a private phone conversation with Shani regarding my daughter’s anxieties about medical exams and procedures. Shani was compassionate, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. She listened thoroughly to my concerns and made suggestions that were age-appropriate and easy for me as a parent to implement. I would highly recommend her to any family looking for support in helping their child through the toughest of times.” Tamara H., Parent of a 4yo., California
“The child life services provided by Shani Thornton were a Godsend for us when we were at our most critical time with our son. Learning how to provide coping skills and advocate for our medically fragile son has armed us with the confidence we need to navigate the complicated world of medicine and special needs. Thank you, Shani Thornton!” Ken and Tonya G., New York, Parents of a 6yo.
“Shani Thornton was my hospital’s child’s life specialist. For those months, she was like a friend. She helped me decorate my room. She spoke to me, when I missed my family, friends and school. She helped me make friends at the hospital. Every Thursday night she hosted a “teen night”, where we would choose a restaurant to order food from, and ate it while watching a movie. Shani is always there for anyone who needs her.” Elizabeth M. 17yo, Rehab Patient, New York
“Shani has been a volunteer facilitator at the Center for HOPE (Healing, Opportunity, Perseverance, Enlightenment) at Cohen Children’s Medical Center for the past several years and has helped so many grieving children and their families. Shani is an amazing professional with excellent clinical skills as she works with children and adults in a compassionate and caring manner. She is kind, empathic and extremely dedicated as she engages with the children and helps them feel comfortable as they express feelings of loss. Shani is an amazing individual and we are so lucky to have her as a volunteer who goes above and beyond to help our families and our program thrive.” Susan Thomas, LCSW-R, FT, Bereavement Coordinator, Center for HOPE, New York