Coping with illness, injury and treatment is often challenging and stressful for children, adolescents and their family

For children, hospitalization can lead to feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control, and isolation that can inhibit their natural development and have a negative effect on their physical and emotional health.

Parents Share their Story...



San Diego, CA



San Diego, CA



San Diego, CA

Certified Child Life Specialists® (CCLS) work with everyone who is part of your child's care team to reduce distress associated with care and treatment and create a more positive experience for your child and family. Ask for a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS)!

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In a Hospital/Clinical Setting


In the Community (Private Practice)


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In the News

  • Hospitals, teachers turn to play to help vulnerable kids build optimism, resilience

    Mar 22, 2017
  • Confessions of a child life specialist

    Mar 01, 2017
  • California family creates mobile play stations for hospitalized children

    Feb 04, 2017
  • Project Pinball lets kids be kids at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital

    Dec 08, 2016

Certified Child Life Specialists® are educated and trained...

to help your child and family better understand and cope with having an illness or injury. Their role helps to improve your child's care and treatment, increases satisfaction and leads to a better overall healthcare experience for your entire family.

Certified Child Life Specialists® provide interventions...

including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education that support and reduce fear, anxiety, pain, and suffering for children, siblings and families.

Certification by the Association of Child Life Professionals...

helps ensure a high level of competency in child life specialists to provide essential patient- and family-centered care.

Helpful Articles for Parents

  • Finding Voice: A Literature Review Of Narrative Interventions For Young Adults With HIV

    Oct 19, 2016
    ABSTRACT The ability to construct and openly share one’s illness story has been shown to support positive coping with a chronic diagnosis. Individuals diagnosed with a stigmatizing illness such as HIV are less likely to disclose their illness story to others due to fear of discrimination or rejection. As advances in HIV treatment result in a growing cohort of young adults with HIV learning to manage their chronic condition, stigma surrounding the diagnosis often hinders the ability to share illness narratives and construct illness stories. In an effort to support child life specialists and other clinicians caring for the mental health of young adults with HIV, this paper presents narrative interventions designed to assist young adults coping with HIV-related stigma.
    Full Story
  • "D" is for Disenfranchised Grief

    Oct 19, 2016
    “Bearing witness” and “holding space” for grieving parents after their child dies, providing an outlet of expression for siblings, and facilitating debriefings for staff have all allowed me glimpses into the manifold ways in which grief is experienced.
    Full Story


Useful information and fun activities Certified Child Life Specialists use to help their patients and families.


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