Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and families to help them cope with the challenges of illness and disability, whether their own or a loved one’s. Gilchrist’s child life specialist, Beth Kreyling, defines herself as, “a teacher, a playmate, an explorer, a support when it gets scary, and interpreter for when it’s confusing, and a friend when it’s lonely.”
Beth is certainly all that, and more, to her patients and their families. While she may be finger painting with a child to help them communicate their fears or helping them discover what they are searching to understand, she’s giving the child’s caregiver a moment to breathe. Giving them a moment to clear their minds from some of the internal chaos they may be experiencing. She even gives them a few moments to even go clean the house if that is what will help them decompress.
So during March, which is Child Life Month, we will not only hear more from our child life specialist and her role here at Gilchrist, but we will hear from some families she works with so they can share what Beth’s support means to them.