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

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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: 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.

Fabulous Find Friday: ACCO

ACCO stands for American Childhood Cancer Organization and they are our Fabulous Find today!

I learned about ACCO at the Child Life Conference this past summer. They not only work to create awareness about childhood cancer, encourage research and offer support, but they also provide education resources to parents/teacher/doctors and can provide resources for you!

To find their free educational resources, visit http://www.acco.org/books/ and scroll down to the section under Books for Parents. You will see “Professionals and Educators: Request a Desk Set of Our Informational Resources” This  desk set includes a medical play kit, books for patients and their families, general education books about cancer and more. I highly recommend you check out the ACCO!

 

Julia is coming to Sesame Street

Meet Julia! Julia has autism and she is the newest Muppet on Sesame Street.

Julia was introduced to better prepare children when they meet playmates and friends who have autism. In March 2014, it was believed that about 1 in 68 children have autism spectrum disorder. By bringing Julia to Sesame Street, the writers aren’t teaching children everything there is to learn about autism but they are exposing children to a Muppet with autism. As Child Life Specialists, we know the importance of preparation and education. What a great form of preparation for children preparing to enter school, or even any environment in which they will meet other children. 60 Minutes has a great article about Julia and the show which you can find here.

Sesame Street is a great show for kids. What are some of you favorite kids shows and why?

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Fabulous Find Friday: Dandle*LION Medical

I love webinars! As much as I enjoy my college classes, there’s something to be said about learning things and not having to worry about related papers or tests.

Dandle*LION Medical has some great webinars about life in the NICU. Child Life Specialists are a growing presence in the NICU, yet I’ve noticed that much of the conversation focuses on school aged children in the hospital setting. Although these webinars are not Child Life specific, they provide insight into the experience of a NICU baby. Visit this link to learn more about their webinars.

Babies are so adorable and I think that everyone probably has a favorite baby story. In order to spread some joy and positivity this week, I would love to hear your stories. What’s your favorite baby story?

 

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Fabulous Find Friday: NCTSN

NCTSN is The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. We all know that the hospital can be a stressful time for a child, but there are many other times that children are exposed to stressful experiences in their lives. The NCTSN has a variety of great FREE continuing education credits that cover a broad range of topics related to children and trauma. College classes are great but they also cost money. These podcasts and webinars are a great way to learn more about children.

Where are your favorite sites for continuing education?

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