Harmony Jackson, MS, CCLS

Currently as a certified child life specialist I work at a pediatric specialty clinic working with children who have chronic medical conditions. I help patients cope and understand their illness through education, therapeutic interventions for expression of emotions, and medical play. The child life profession exists to promote optimal development of infants, children, youth and family members and to minimize psychosocial trauma in children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly related to health care and hospitalization. The American Academy of Pediatrics affirms that child life is “an essential component of quality pediatric health care,” and as such, child life services have become a standard in most pediatric hospital settings.

The child life profession also exists because children process information from the world around them much differently than adults, they have distinct needs for managing the effects of stress and trauma. Without the assistance of a professional who understands their unique perspective, children of all ages may experience emotions such as fear, shame, confusion and loneliness, which can inhibit their natural development, and have lasting negative effects on their wellbeing.

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