Phone: 1-800-226-2379

Child Life Services for patients with cancer or blood disorders

Talking to children about their cancer or blood disorder can be difficult, especially if your child is scared or afraid of the doctors office. Our child life specialists know how to speak to our patients at an age-appropriate level so they know what to expect.

There is more to cancer treatment than just medicine

Child life programs in healthcare aim to minimize the impact that cancer and blood disorders have on a family. Our child life specialists believe that there is more to cancer treatment than just medicine. The impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a child can be very upsetting and frightening. Therefore, it is very important that families seek to maintain their normal lifestyle as much as possible, which helps to minimize emotional trauma in a family. Child life specialists help patients at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers by reducing the stress and anxiety that many children and adolescents experience in hospital and healthcare settings. Children often get upset when undergoing treatment, but there are ways to reduce stress on a child during these times.

Reduce stress during a difficult time

Childhood development theories show that child life programs can reduce the stress experienced by children and families, while enhancing their ability to cope with potentially stressful situations. Development, play, stress, coping, and family structure are the basis for child life practice. In addition, child life specialists collaborate with members of the child's treatment team, including doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, and other representatives from pediatric healthcare.

Services

  • Developmentally appropriate preparation for tests, surgeries, and other procedures
  • Diagnosis education
  • Medical play using teaching dolls, stuffed animals and medical equipment
  • Support to siblings who are affected by a child’s illness or trauma
  • Support for grief and bereavement concerns
  • School re-entry program
  • Our Child Life professionals:
    1. supervise therapeutic medical and diversional play;
    2. prepare children for and assist children during medical tests and procedures through education, rehearsal, and coping skill development; and
    3. support families during hospitalization or challenging events. Child life professionals support a philosophy of family centered care in healthcare facilities.

Videos

  • Embedded thumbnail for Medically Speaking: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding & Bleeding Disorders
    Medically Speaking: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding & Bleeding Disorders
  • Embedded thumbnail for Medically Speaking: Treatment Advances in Sickle Cell Disease, Amber M. Yates, MD
    Medically Speaking: Treatment Advances in Sickle Cell Disease, Amber M. Yates, MD
  • Embedded thumbnail for Celebration of Champions
    Celebration of Champions
  • Embedded thumbnail for Texas Children’s Goes Gold
    Texas Children’s Goes Gold
  • Embedded thumbnail for Kaylee’s Journey: Overcoming Ovarian Cancer
    Kaylee’s Journey: Overcoming Ovarian Cancer
  • Embedded thumbnail for Tucker’s Journey: Fighting Back Against Wilms’ Tumor
    Tucker’s Journey: Fighting Back Against Wilms’ Tumor
  • Embedded thumbnail for Medically Speaking: Precision Medicine, Will Parsons, MD
    Medically Speaking: Precision Medicine, Will Parsons, MD
  • Embedded thumbnail for Medically Speaking: Iron Deficiency, Jacquelyn M. Powers, MD, MS
    Medically Speaking: Iron Deficiency, Jacquelyn M. Powers, MD, MS
  • Embedded thumbnail for Medically Speaking: Cancer Clinical Trials, Stacey L. Berg, MD
    Medically Speaking: Cancer Clinical Trials, Stacey L. Berg, MD
  • Embedded thumbnail for Liver Tumor Program at Texas Children's Cancer Center
    Liver Tumor Program at Texas Children's Cancer Center
  • Embedded thumbnail for Shauntelle’s Story: Traveling Across the Globe for Histiocytosis Treatment at Texas Children’s
    Shauntelle’s Story: Traveling Across the Globe for Histiocytosis Treatment at Texas Children’s
  • Embedded thumbnail for The Future of Osteosarcoma and Other Pediatric Bone Tumors
    The Future of Osteosarcoma and Other Pediatric Bone Tumors
  • Embedded thumbnail for Conrad’s Story: Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Hospital
    Conrad’s Story: Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Embedded thumbnail for TARE procedure available for pediatric liver cancer patients at Texas Children's Hospital
    TARE procedure available for pediatric liver cancer patients at Texas Children's Hospital
  • Embedded thumbnail for The Vannie Cook Clinic, Texas Children’s Cancer Center® in the Rio Grande Valley
    The Vannie Cook Clinic, Texas Children’s Cancer Center® in the Rio Grande Valley
  • Embedded thumbnail for  Vannie Cook Children’s Clinic: Hear from our patients
    Vannie Cook Children’s Clinic: Hear from our patients
  • Embedded thumbnail for Not all superheroes wear capes. This month, they do.
    Not all superheroes wear capes. This month, they do.
  • Embedded thumbnail for A glimpse into Texas Children’s Cancer Center®
    A glimpse into Texas Children’s Cancer Center®
  • Embedded thumbnail for Texas Children's Global HOPE
    Texas Children's Global HOPE
  • Embedded thumbnail for MIBG Treatment at Texas Children’s Cancer Center
    MIBG Treatment at Texas Children’s Cancer Center
  • Embedded thumbnail for World Sickle Cell Day event
    World Sickle Cell Day event
  • Embedded thumbnail for Going Gold at Texas Children's Cancer Center
    Going Gold at Texas Children's Cancer Center
  • Embedded thumbnail for Conrad’s Story: Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Hospital
    Conrad’s Story: Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Embedded thumbnail for Eden’s Journey: Surviving and Thriving After Battling a Rare Tumor
    Eden’s Journey: Surviving and Thriving After Battling a Rare Tumor
  • Embedded thumbnail for  Creating Global HOPE: Addressing Pediatric Cancer in Africa
    Creating Global HOPE: Addressing Pediatric Cancer in Africa
  • Embedded thumbnail for Surgical Oncology at Texas Children’s Hospital
    Surgical Oncology at Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Embedded thumbnail for Texas Children's Cancer Center: The Largest Pediatric Cancer And Blood Disorders Center In The U.S.
    Texas Children's Cancer Center: The Largest Pediatric Cancer And Blood Disorders Center In The U.S.
  • Embedded thumbnail for Behind the U.S.News & World Report Rankings: Cancer Center
    Behind the U.S.News & World Report Rankings: Cancer Center
  • Embedded thumbnail for  Asa’s Liver Cancer Survival Story: Beating Hepatoblastoma at Texas Children’s
    Asa’s Liver Cancer Survival Story: Beating Hepatoblastoma at Texas Children’s
  • Embedded thumbnail for Histiocytosis: A Comprehensive Overview with Texas Children’s Cancer Center
    Histiocytosis: A Comprehensive Overview with Texas Children’s Cancer Center
  • Embedded thumbnail for Texas Children's Cancer Center: Jacob's Story
    Texas Children's Cancer Center: Jacob's Story
  • Embedded thumbnail for Precision Oncology: Changing the Future of Pediatric Cancer Treatment
    Precision Oncology: Changing the Future of Pediatric Cancer Treatment