The Parent to Parent program
This program is one in which parents who have gone through a training program then help other parents who have questions, for example, about an upcoming surgery. Our staff is often asked by parents how they can help others and give back. A parent new to Children’s might say to me that although I have answers to many questions, I am not the mother of a child with cerebral palsy. The request is to talk with another parent who has gone through a similar experience with a child needing surgery. A release form is signed, a match is done, and parents talk with each other on the phone. The feedback is positive.
Carol Nolan, RN, BSN, Registered Nurse
Child Life Specialists
We try to involve every patient with a Child Life specialist whenever they are admitted to the hospital. Each floor has a Child Life specialist, and they get to know the kids well. The Child Life specialists understand how the kids are functioning cognitively and developmentally so that they can bring appropriate toys to stimulate their continued development while they are in the hospital. For kids having longer hospitalizations the child life specialists can help arrange for in hospital tutoring. They also provide a fun break from all of the medical tests and interventions involved in a hospitalization.
Emily Davidson, MD, MPH, Pediatrician, Complex Care Services
I always recommend the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (UCP) website just as a good starting place to get oriented to what’s out there and resources. Another one is the Family Ties resource site. This is a family to family network and if you were to call them, someone who has a child with special needs will answer the phone. It services a wide population of kids with different types of special needs, but when you identify what the clinical issue is for your child, you can then get help in that area. They have phenomenal and far reaching resources just for parents too, whether it’s in regards to education, equipment, or information. There’s something really nice about that being done by and for parents.
Laurie Glader, MD, Pediatrician, Cerebral Palsy Program