Child Life Specialists Helping Children at M. D. Anderson

From Children's Cancer Hospital
Date: Fall 2007
Duration: 01:47

Renee Hunte:
Sometimes the word cancer can be very scary and very frightening for you. It can be very frightening for your child. We can help you to break down the word to a child, to an adolescent, to a young adult to help explain what that really means.

Child Life Specialists are here to help your child feel comfortable while at the hospital.

Renee Hunte:
Often times children, especially toddler age, and pre-school age, their misconception is that they came here to this hospital because they did something wrong. So, it’s important for the parents to talk with them about, it’s not their fault why they are here in the hospital. That physicians, and nurses and other staff are here to help them, not to cause them harm but to really help them.

We treat each child as an individual when they come, utilizing the tools that we have, such as patient puppets, such as picture books that we have. With teenagers, it might be that we connect your teenager with another teenager. Because often times they want to know first hand what it’s really like to be treated here.

We also provide camps for children and their siblings, at no cost to you, that the children and siblings can be a part of, and just really to have a fun time away from the hospital environment.

Our vision here is to help that particular patient come through their treatment and be a successful young adult or be a successful survivor of the disease that they're being treated for.