Fabulous Find Friday: Hopper the Cancer Crusher

Hopper the Cancer Crusher is another friend for our oncology patients. Hopper is a froggy friend with a mediport like many patients have. He comes in hospital pajamas and wears a bandanna. Similar to Chemo Duck, Hopper is another great tool for preparation for procedures and general support during a patient’s hospital stay. Visit his website to learn more; Hopper the Cancer Crusher

hopper

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Fabulous Find Friday: Worry Eaters

worry eater

Today’s Fabulous Find is Worry Eaters! These fun little monsters can eat a child’s worries away. Their mouth unzips so that children can place their worries in a safe place and their friend will eat it up so they don’t have to worry about it anymore. Visit their site to learn more about these little super heros; http://sorgenfresser.com/en/howto/

Fabulous Find Friday: Owl Babies Book

Owl Babies is a great book for helping young children understand separation, especially as a reminder that mommys and daddys come back. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell tells the story of three owl babies in the nest who awaken to find that their mommy is gone. They worry and wonder where she has gone with the youngest one really wanting mommy. When she returns at the end, she is greeted with excitement and joy. It is a great story to help children express their feelings about separation which is common during a child’s hospital stay.

owl babies

Fabulous Find: Gabe’s Chemo Duck

Cancer treatment can be scary for kids. As Child Life Specialists, we know the importance of preparation. Chemo Duck is a great tool to help prepare kids for a port, central line, or really any procedures they may encounter during their treatment. Chemo Duck comes with a port or a central line and he can be a child’s companion throughout treatment or just during medical play sessions.

 

Visit their website to learn more;  http://chemoduck.org/for-kids/meet-chemo-duck/

 

 

 

Fabulous Find Friday: Monkey in My Chair

When kids are in the hospital, they are forced to miss many days of school, sometimes even months. Although kids tend to complain about going to school, it is a part of their normal routine. When children are hospitalized, school is an important part of the normalization process. Doing weekly assignments, the children can maintain a schedule similar to their classmates and the homework also serves as a conversation starter for medical staff.

Although hospital teachers do a great job of bringing school into the hospital, they can’t bring the classroom experience and often that is what children miss the most. While their classmates are having fun together at recess or going on field trips, the patient is stuck in a hospital room. This is where Monkey in My Chair comes in. Monkey in My Chair is a program that sends a monkey to the child’s school to sit in their chair. This monkey serves to remind the members of the class that although their classmate is sick and missing school, they are still a part of the class. Teachers take pictures of what the monkey is up to at school and send them to the patient so that the patient can feel included in the class’s activities.

Visit this link to learn more about Monkey in My Chair; http://www.monkeyinmychair.org/program

Fabulous Find Friday: Got Transition

In one of my classes this past summer, we talked about transitioning pediatric patients to adult care facilities. This transition requires the involvement of the pediatric care team, the adult care team and also the family. Got Transition offers a variety of resources to both health care professionals and also the youth and their families.

As Child Life Specialists, we are trained to assess developmental levels and provide developmentally appropriate education and support. This means that we are well equipped to support families during their transition to adult care. I encourage you all to explore Got Transition to learn more about the transition and resources and support that you can offer these families.

Fabulous Find Friday: Playmakers

For those of you in the New England area, I’m sure you know of the Life is Good clothing company. For those of you that have not heard of Life is Good, they are a clothing company that is focused on sharing optimism and giving back to the community. One of the ways that they give back is through their Playmaker Initiative.

Child Life Specialists are Playmakers! Life is Good defines a playmaker as “someone who provides the power of optimism to children who desperately need it.” Check out their site to learn more about becoming a playmaker; http://content.lifeisgood.com/kidsfoundation/what-we-do/become-a-playmaker/

 

 

Fabulous Find Friday: CPS Certification

I want to start by saying that while I have not completed this training yet, I have heard good things and it is on my list of future certifications that I would like to get. Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is National Child Passenger Safety Certification.

CPS certification is a training focused on teaching parents and professionals how to safely install and use a child’s car seat. With the CPS training, you will learn how to install seats, provide community presentations and safety check already installed car seats.

As Child Life Specialists, this is a helpful training to attend. We often are in a position where we work with parents and children who are driving in car. And many times, parents have gotten new car seats for their child to use on the way home from the hospital, so what better support to offer than to help the parent install the child’s car seat?

Fabulous Find Friday: Sibling Support Project

I came across The Sibling Support Project while researching for a paper on supporting siblings of kids with special needs. The Sibling Support Project is a national program “dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns.” This organization presents workshops for siblings, facilitates online groups for siblings and publishes books for siblings. The books include Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs and The Sibling Slam Book: What It’s Really Like To Have a Brother or Sister with Special Needs. 

Visit their website to learn more about starting your own Sibshop; https://www.siblingsupport.org/about-sibshops/want-to-start-a-sibshop.

 

 

Fabulous Find Friday: STAR Institute

The STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder is based in Colorado but their website offers research and resources for people everywhere.

STAR’s website offers educationresearch and a variety of resources for professionals and families who want to learn more about SPD. As Child Life Specialists, we often encounter kids in the hospital with Sensory Processing Disorder. Especially with all the varying stimuli that are present in the hospital, it’s important for professionals to understand SPD and learn how to best support their patients. The STAR Institute is a great place to get started.