Friday Fun: All Are Welcome To Agrabah!

Have you heard of “autism friendly” performances on Broadway? Individuals who are on the autism spectrum can be easily overwhelmed by loud noises, flashing lights, and lots of people. Unfortunately, Broadway musicals are often heavily laden with these and other effects. This means that it can be difficult for someone who has autism to participate in the fun. So in the spirit of including everyone, many theaters have offered “autism friendly” performances so those who may become stressed from the noise, lights, and crowds can still enjoy a musical.

I think this is so awesome because many people don’t realize how much of an impact a diagnosis can make on things other people take for granted. A boy who becomes overwhelmed with large crowds doesn’t get to enjoy a live performance of his favorite story. A girl with seizures isn’t able to watch a concert of her favorite band because of the strobe lights. We have subtitles for people with hearing impairments or descriptive audio for people with visual impairments. It is very easy to also have a set performance that includes less noise, flashing lights, and a place to get away from the crowd if needed.

The most recent Disney musical Aladdin has joined in on the fun and the West End production in London will offer it’s first autism friendly performance this summer. Disney on Broadway recently posted a video discussing the changes to the show so everyone can enjoy the spectacle of the stage. Check it out!

Staving Off Compassion Fatigue

If you are working in any helping profession you know that it is very important to guard against compassion fatigue. Those who are in the child life field know that it’s incredibly important. The reality is that the job of a child life specialist can be very emotionally difficult. You are often asked to come into a situation that is emotionally charged (for whatever reason) and figure out a way to defuse the ticking time bomb, contain and disperse the already exploding bomb, or put the pieces back together of the bomb aftermath. I have to keep in mind that the burn-out rate in child life is high and find ways to prevent compassion fatigue. Sometimes this can be hard when life today is about going non-stop. I wanted to share this article I read about how to maintain your supplies of compassion. You can read it by clicking here or pasting the URL in your address bar!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201209/preventing-compassion-fatigue

Thank you for Easter Baskets, Chocolate, and Everyone!!!

Happy Easter everyone!!! I hope that you all have had some wonderful sweet or even savory treat, surrounded by people who love you. I personally enjoyed some chocolate and sweet potatoes while hanging out with my roommate and her family, along with my sister, since my own family is far away. (I had other food of course, but the chocolate and sweet potatoes were my favorite!)

I know that I haven’t posted an activity lately, but things have been super busy with work. I do have an activity today, though I can’t claim to have made it myself. Even so, I thought it would be nice to share it with you! My mother decided that she would sew Easter baskets for me and my sister during her spring break to de-stress. They were so cute and it reminded me that sewing is a great therapeutic activity for some people. I personally made a pillow a few years ago as a way to de-stress during grad school. And sewing can be part of legacy building as well. (Just like the pillow reminds me I made it through grad school!)

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Isn’t it so cute!!!! Thanks mom!!!

Since this is Easter I know many people are off. But we often forget that there are many more people that have to work on Easter. Of course, there are patients in the hospitals and someone must take care of them. But then there are many establishments that are open on holidays to make life easier for those people who are off, like restaurants and stores. I was walking this morning around our neighborhood and it was interesting to see who was open and who was closed. I think it’s important to thank those people who gave up their holiday to provide service to others. And thank the establishments that decided to be closed and allow all employees the day off. So I want to publicly thank the places I passed today.

Honey Baked Ham
Zoe’s Kitchen
Pet Works
Lash Studio
Palm Beach Tan
HEB
Stein Mart
Nadeau
Massage Heights
Waxing the City
Trinicakes
Blo
The Crescent
Thank you for allowing your employees the day off!!!

DaVi Nails
Stoneworks
Torchie Tacos
H&R Block
Thank you to the employees who gave up their Easter to work!!!

Friday Fun: A Dancing Wish

Hi there! I wanted to share with you all a wonderful uplifting video I saw about a little girl who dreamed of being a ballerina. Since I myself love to dance ballet and know it’s magical draw, I totally understand where she is coming from. But until this group came in, she had never gotten the chance to perform onstage. I hope this video brightens up your Friday!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FRandomActsTelevision%2Fvideos%2F711389965701376%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Job titles

As Child Life Month comes to a close, I wanted to share this wonderful post from “A Little Bit Of Coffee and A Whole Lot Of Jesus”. It’s true that I am mistaken for many different things and often have to explain my job, but I still love it! And yes, it’s sometimes fun to have 5 minutes of being the “doctor”!

Coffee. Jesus. Ramble. Repeat.

I’m told by your nurse that you need child life in your room ASAP. I pull back the curtain to see you’re bounding with excitement as you hand me the heart bracelet you spent time crafting for me on your bedside table.

“You are the coolest kind of nurse I’ve EVER met!!!!!”

We’d spent a lot of time together so far tonight in the ER, but you clearly still hadn’t quite grasped the “child life specialist” concept. I accepted the compliments, but patiently explained again how my job is different from the nurses and doctors. Your reply?
“Oh… well then THAT’S what I’m going to be when I grow up” I couldn’t help but smile at the lack of hesitancy on that one!

Later that night, in a different room:

“You are such a silly doctor… I LOVE YOU!” We’d only spent 10 minutes together while we waited for your…

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Do You Want To Use Some Cold Spray?

As we continue to celebrate Child Life Month, I wanted to share with you a bulletin board I made to teach staff about reasons to use topical numbing spray during procedures like blood draws, IV starts, and injections. I had quite a bit of fun making the bulletin board and it worked out pretty good, so I took a picture to share. I decided to go with a Frozen theme because we often tell the kids that we have Elsa’s magic in a can. Cute right? Anyways, I hope you get a kick out of this board! (If you’re having trouble reading the board, click on it to see a larger version on Flickr)

Frozen Spray Bulletin Board

Happy Child Life Month V-Log!!!

Happy Child Life Month everyone!!! Did you know that March is when child life specialists around the world celebrate and spread the word about the awesomeness that is child life? But even with a whole month, there are still many people who ask me “A child life what? Come again?” So in celebration of child life month I made a little video talking about the main points of child life. It’s so difficult to explain everything a child life specialist does, but this is one way of categorizing our work. I hope you enjoy!!! Let me know what you think in the comments below!