Child Life Theory Assignment
Kira, a young five year old girl is experiencing worry and is scared over her upcoming X-ray. We as future certified child life specialists can help alleviate her stress and teach her about this X-ray. First, I would explain it to her in simple terms and on eye level with her. Describing at how it is like taking a good picture and it shows the doctors amazing things. Preparing her mental and emotional state is just as important as prepping her physically for the X-ray. We want “to ease a child’s fear and anxiety with therapeutic and recreational play activities.” (Child Life Council 2010). By incorporating easy games and activities that are appropriate for Kira’s age and developmental level, we can calm and relax her prior, during, and post X-ray. Letting her “roll play” taking a photograph herself would allow her to feel less discomfort and see that it will not hurt after all. Using creative sound features and artistic objects can help alleviate some apprehensions about the X-ray. We want to ensure that we are building trust and opening lines of communication with Kira so she can ask about the X-ray and feel more laid back. Since she is frightened, I might even ask her about her “favorites”. For example, singing her favorite song quietly and softy might help. Letting her use her imagination through play can be helpful as well. A doll she loves, a stuffed animal that she sleeps with each night, etc. could be beneficial. These toys and games will allow her to enjoy symbolic and fantasy play, which is ideal for her age range (Thompson 2009).
On a personal note, when I was in first grade, I broke my wrist and had to have an X-ray. I remember how much I loved roll playing at that age so demonstrating the entire technique of what an X-ray entails would be of great assistance to Kira. Making her feel like a small part of the procedure itself would show her that it will be fast and easy. It’s a great way to allow her to see what the X-ray and involves so she can better understand.
Child Life Council. (2010). Empowering Children and Families to Child Life: Cope with Life’s Challenges. Rockville, MD: Child Life Council, Inc.
Thompson, R.H. (2009). The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide For Pediatric Psychosocial Care. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd.