Preparation and Support | Child Life Program | UC Davis MIND Institute

Preparation and Support

MIND Institute Staff Helping a Child with a Procedure

How We Can Help

Child Life Specialists have special training to help kids prepare for medical visits and procedures. We focus on reducing stress and anxiety and making sure children cope well with their medical care. Our team uses approaches based on child development to educate kids of different ages and abilities about upcoming medical visits or procedures. We do this in a truthful and meaningful way, giving them the information they need to handle everything successfully.

Our child life team will work directly with your family to assess coping and preparation needs and individualize teachings through methods such as visual books, social stories, play and verbal preparation.

  • Medical Play

    We offer one on one medical play sessions to build familiarity with medical tools and settings to support children in coping with upcoming medical visits or to support the emotional processing of recent medical experiences.

  • Play

    We offer developmentally appropriate, inclusive, and sensory friendly play opportunities and tools for self-expression to support children during assessments, clinic appointments and family-provider feedback sessions. We offer an outdoor play space on site at our clinic for patients and their families in addition to a variety of toys, sensory tools, activities and interactive play options.

  • Emotional Support

    We accompany children and families during new diagnosis conversations, provide reassurance, education, and emotional support.