Thanks for visiting my blog Passion, Play and Possibilities. My name is Elise Huntley and I am a Certified Child Life Specialist. I did my volunteer hours at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Practicum at Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin and Internship at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. I took the certification exam in March and passed!

I am from Vermont and my heart lies with the East Coast. That being said, I have completed a lot of my Child Life experience in the Midwest and just accepted a job there too. I have a passion for working with survivors of trauma and I have spent countless hours working with survivors of sexual assault. My experience with survivors of trauma has given me many skills that are transferable to Child Life, in particular reflecting and validating. These are expressions of empathy that help survivors process both emotions and experiences.

A member of my extended family had a very positive experience with a Child Life Specialist and they are the reason that I found out about this field. After hearing how helpful the Child Life Specialist’s role was, I knew that I wanted to be that person to another child struggling with their hospital or other traumatic experience.

I started this blog so you can join me in my journey as a Child Life Specialist and also so that I can hopefully help you! I hope to share my experiences and knowledge that I have picked up along the way. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, I want to hear them! Just send me a message.

What are Child Life Specialists?

Great Question! The following is the definition according to the Association of Child Life Professionals. Check out their informational brochure about Child Life Specialists here.

Child life specialists are child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings and other challenging environments. They promote effective coping through play, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education. As advocates of family-centered care, child life specialists work in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers and others to meet the unique emotional, developmental and cultural needs of each child and family.

Child Life Specialists are passionate people who are focused on the welfare of children. They use play and other expressive therapies to help children during “challenging environments.” The possibilities for Child Life Specialists are limitless. Child Life Specialists are present in hospitals,  Child Advocacy Centers, dentists’ offices, schools and so many more places.

“Play is the answer to how anything new comes about.”

– Jean Piaget