100 episodes

Parents share their journeys and experiences related to having a child with an illness or medical condition. These powerful, and sometimes emotional, stories offer connection in what can typically feel like an isolating world. Visit www.childlifepodcast.com or email info@childlifepodcast.com to share your story.

Child Life On Call: Parents of children with an illness or medical condition share their stories with a child life specialist Katie Taylor, Certified Child Life Specialist

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 94 Ratings

Parents share their journeys and experiences related to having a child with an illness or medical condition. These powerful, and sometimes emotional, stories offer connection in what can typically feel like an isolating world. Visit www.childlifepodcast.com or email info@childlifepodcast.com to share your story.

    Episode 133 | Expert: A Hard of Hearing Child Becomes an Audiologist

    Episode 133 | Expert: A Hard of Hearing Child Becomes an Audiologist

    "I really feel like I'm paying forward with everything that I lived and everything I’ve experienced as a professional. My program is my heart in a basket for them."- Dr. Michelle Hu, Audiologist Dr. Michelle Hu shares how she was diagnosed as hard of hearing as a young child and what lead her to become an audiologist. This episode is packed full of wisdom. 
    [3:12] Michelle's teacher encourages her mom to get her hearing checked
    [3:49] Getting hearing aids after a mild hearing loss diagnosis
    [4:44] The hurricane feeling her parents felt after receiving her diagnosis
    [5;26] Struggling with the news of hearing loss
    [6:14] Seeking second opinions after struggling with the diagnosis
    [7:00] How Michelle's parents processed her diagnosis
    [9:15] The inspiration behind creating a community for parents
    [10:18] Through the community she has created, she feels like she is paying it forward 
    [13:00] Creating tools to helped newly diagnosed families 
    [16:00] Katie+ Michelle discuss how parenting is full circle
    [17:33] How Michelle decided to be an Audiologist
    [20:10] Providing the cliff notes to help each other and win is the goal
    CONNECT: 
    Instagram
    Website
    Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here. Parents, download our free parent starter kit.
    When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:
    Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.
    Child life specialists, get affordable PDUs on-demand here.
    Shop for your CLOC gear here.
    Catch up with CLOC on Instagram, Facebook and meet Katie for a Q+A every Monday at 10 AM CST.

    • 29 min
    Episode 132 | Tanisha’s Story - A son with Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction

    Episode 132 | Tanisha’s Story - A son with Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction

    Tanisha tells a story of strength and perseverance as her son Jaleel was born with a lower urinary tract obstruction. This story highlights the powerful ways Tanisha and her husband, Quentin work together as a team for Jaleel and their family. From her experiences in the NICU and beyond, Tanisha created a community to support NICU Medical Moms. 
    [3:52] The journey to motherhood for Tanisha 
    [6:13] Learning that Jaleel had a lower urinary tract obstruction at her 20 week anatomy scan
    [9:30] How Tanisha's husband helped her feel included in Jaleel's care
    [14:16] Healing is on-going for Tanisha and her family
    [18:39] She describes how she had the urge to walk one evening and the next morning learned she was in labor
    [20:35] Jaleel was born and was immediately rushed to the NICU for respiratory issues
    [22:57] Tanisha explains the emotional reunion in the NICU
    [24:51] Her husband advocated for Tanisha become involved in Jaleel's care to connect with him
    [26:49] Tanisha shares how she went into learning mode to not be stressed
    [28:42] Child Life specialists put up pictures of Jaleel's progress in the NICU and decorated his room the theme of his nursery
    [31:33] Getting a G-Tube was key to getting Jaleel ready for transplant
    [33:30] Moral support from Mom to Mom was key for Tanisha
    [37:43] Tanisha shares how she was enrolled in her Master's Degree program and how she was supported by faculty
    [42:00] Tanisha shares how she feels she is getting to live her dream in a new way
    [45:24] How Child Life Specialists shaped Jaleel's interest in music
    Connect with Tanisha: Medical Moms of NICU Facebook Group
    Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here. Parents, download our free parent starter kit.
    When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:
    Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.
    Child life specialists, get affordable PDUs on-demand here.
    Shop for your CLOC gear here.
    Catch up with CLOC on Instagram, Facebook and meet Katie for a Q+A every Monday at 10 AM CST.

    • 48 min
    Episode 131 | Paola’s Story - A son with ADA-SCID

    Episode 131 | Paola’s Story - A son with ADA-SCID

    Paola shares the shocking diagnosis her son received as a newborn of ADA-SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.) This powerful story a he shares how she navigated hospital life during the beginning of the pandemic and her journey with postpartum depression. She shares words of wisdom on how to deal with the feelings that come when your child gets a life altering diagnosis. 
    [5:22] Paola describes the grief she experienced with Jakob's diagnosis
    [7:10] She describes the shock and acceptance of the news that Jakob has ADA-SCID
    [9:12] Postpartum depression struggles during isolation
    [11:10] Sharing the importance of opening up about your struggles
    [13:44] Being a first time Mom and medical mom 
    [15:03] Paola describes how she fights the good fight
    [17:44] Her cervical cancer diagnosis after Jakob’s diagnosis 
    [19:29] Paola’s campaign to fight for Jakob’s treatment
    [20:21]She describes how her cancer diagnosis was her moment to pause
    [26:50] Coming up with a plan and leaning on community helped Paola cope with the diagnosis
    [30:12] She shares how Child Life specialists have helped reduced the trauma Jakob has had to endure
    [31:28] Jakob has taught Paola to be brave and to have courage
    [32:20] Paola has created an environment that helps Jakob have some normal day to day activities despite being isolation
    [33:45] She shares how her motherhood journey was so different than what she anticipated, she feels fierce and does not take no for an answer
    In My Magical Bubble Book
    Connect with Paola:
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Website
     
    Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here. Parents, download our free parent starter kit.
    When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:
    Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.
    Child life specialists,get affordable PDUs on-demand here.
    Shop for your CLOC gear here.
    Catch up with CLOC on Instagram, Facebook and meet Katie for a Q+A every Monday at 10 AM CST.

    • 38 min
    Episode 130 | Belinda’s Story - A son with autism, low tone and epilepsy [A BELOVED MENTOR]

    Episode 130 | Belinda’s Story - A son with autism, low tone and epilepsy [A BELOVED MENTOR]

    "Never listen when they tell you your child will not, encourage them to do the best they can do"- Belinda Hammond, CCLS Belinda shares her son's journey with low tone, epilepsy and autism and how her professional and personal experiences collided, giving her an invaluable perspective as a parent and professional. This episode is in our top 5 most downloaded episodes to date.
    [4:39] Belinda notices her son is not meeting some major developmental milestones
    [5:17] Receiving a low tone diagnosis as an infant
    [10:00]  Belinda shares a touching moment in her son’s journey to run a 5k
    [12:39] Finding activities your child likes to incorporate into therapy
    [13:34] She gets a phone call from Justins school, Belinda begins to search for answers
    [14:57] Additionally, she learns her son is having absent seizures and after a neurology referral learns he has Epilepsy
    [15:41] After hearing feedback from her son's school, Belinda decides to homeschool Justin
    [19:53] Getting her Masters degree helped her become a stronger advocate for her son and patients
    [22:45] In addition to low tone and seizures, Belinda shares about Justin’s mild autism spectrum diagnosis at age 5
    [24:50] Belinda describes how going back to school was self-care for her
    [28:54] Working on self-confidence
    [30:09] Justin’s amazing attitude and ability to push forward is inspiring to Belinda
    If you would like to connect with Belinda, you can email her, or connect through her website and Facebook pages.
    Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here.Parents, download our free parent starter kit.
    When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:
    Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.
    Child life specialists, get affordable PDUs on-demand here.
    Shop for your CLOC gear here.
    Catch up with CLOC on Instagram, Facebook and meet Katie for a Q+A every Monday at 10 AM CST.

    • 39 min
    Episode 129 | How to Explain Covid-19 to Kids [2nd MOST DOWNLOADS]

    Episode 129 | How to Explain Covid-19 to Kids [2nd MOST DOWNLOADS]

    This episode originally aired in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. This topic is so important and rightfully so, it is our 2nd most downloaded episode of all time. When it comes to COVID-19, how we inform our children is incredibly important. If you’re wondering how we can talk to our kids about COVID-19 when we as adults still don’t know exactly what’s happening, you’re not alone. This episode covers suggestions for age-appropriate language to use as well as general considerations to keep in mind as you talk to your children about COVID-19. Children are looking to adults for honest, easy-to-digest information. Give a listen to learn how to break it down into a way that they can understand.
    [3:20] Katie explains that children and adolescents crave a strong compassionate leader who establishes boundaries
    [6:00] It's important to remind children that a lot of the information they hear may not be factual
    [8:53] Katie explains to empower your children by validating what they are already doing 
    [9:19] She shares how hand-washing is an easy practical way fuel empowerment when discussing COVID-19
    [10:10] t is ok to admit that there are unknowns about COVID-19 and acknowledging that we don’t know the answers and that is ok
    [11:06] Katie shares the importance of setting a good example.You want to model behavior that your children will follow
    [12:00] Offer to have a check in with your child if they are feeling worried
    [12:22] Katie’s key to success is to be a strong and compassionate leader and exhibit the behavior you want your child to have. Be a buffer!
    Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here.
    Parents, download our free parent starter kit. 
    When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:
    Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.
    Child life specialists, get affordable PDUs on-demand here.
    Shop for your CLOC gear here.
    Catch up with CLOC on Instagram, Facebook and meet Katie for a Q+A every Monday at 10 AM CST.

    • 14 min
    Episode 128 | Maura’s Story - A son with Down syndrome [MOST SHARED]

    Episode 128 | Maura’s Story - A son with Down syndrome [MOST SHARED]

    On this episode of the podcast, you will hear an amazing story of resilience and hope.This episode originally aired back in August of 2020. This is the most shared of all of our podcast episodes; you will quickly learn why after listening to this inspiring story. Meet Maura Senneff, mom to sweet Ryan. Ryan is a thriving 8-year-old boy who has Down syndrome. The amazing advocate by his side, his momma Maura, describes that “zooming out” and looking at things from a wide lens helped them turn Ryan’s health around.She talks about small changes and the "no limits" attitude their family lives by.
    [1:39] Maura shares about her family and introduces us to Ryan and his journey with Down syndrome
    [2:40] Maura explains how resilient Ryan is despite his struggles with chronic illness for his first six years of life
    [3:27] Never giving up was key to their success at navigating Ryan’s diagnosis of Down syndrome
    [4:00] Maura shares how Ryan’s diagnosis with Down syndrome was not going define him and put limits on what he can and can’t do
    [4:56] Maura shares the deep meaning behind advocating for Ryan; it meant the idea of unlocking potential and removing barriers for generations to come
    [5:23] Maura explains how they came to learn of Ryan’s unexpected Down syndrome diagnosis at birth
    [7:12] Maura shares that during her prenatal care there were no markers on any of her ultrasounds for Down syndrome
    [8:04] Maura began to have what she thinks are braxton hicks contractions but learns she is in labor
    [9:07] Maura describes Ryan’s quick delivery and the time that lapsed before getting to see him
    [9:32] She describes how Ryan wasn’t latching and crying like her first baby and something felt wrong
    [10:45] Maura describes the moment she told her husband Jack that she thought Ryan may have Down syndrome
    [10:56] She explains through tears how she feels sad about the emotional roller coaster of emotions she went through the first few days and how there is immense joy despite the diagnosis
    [12:51] Ryan goes to the NICU for additional testing and Maura describes how she was mentally preparing for the diagnosis of Down syndrome
    [13:45] Maura shares how her husband saw their family pediatrician come in with his Saturday work clothes on and was how it was an indicator that something serious was happening
    [14:07] Maura explains the emotional moment they heard the official diagnosis of Down syndrome
    [15:30]  Maura explains how with Down syndrome, there is a variety of health complications and Ryan was fairly healthy despite the circumstances, but struggled with acute illness
    [18:26] Maura shares how she and her husband didn’t know much about Down syndrome and special needs before meeting their son
    [19:57] Ryan was reading before he learned to talk. Maura did not know if he was going to talk but ensured that he had access to as much therapy as possible 
    [22:37] Maura shares how she advocated for Ryan during one of his ICU stays
    [24:02] Ryan had a low white blood count at birth and had several emergent blood draws over the years and Maura shares her desperation for answers
    [26:09] Maura explains how an ABA therapist was a pivotal force for Ryan to potty train
    [28:00] Ryan did swimming lessons at 18 months old, could roll over and do things in the water before he could do them without his walker
    [29:46] Maura shares how other people have reached out to her after finding her on instagram and how his story has given them hope
    [31:00] Maura shares about the language surrounding Down syndrome and how it made her feel
    [33:50] When children have a diagnosis, it is important to not put what they can or can’t do in a box
    [35:40] Maura explains how the school called her about Ryan’s therapy, stating that he did not need it any longer. She had his therapists train the teachers on his behavior plan
    [37:25] She shares the one thing she wished she would have done in early Ryan’s diagnosis is to meditate and how many

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
94 Ratings

94 Ratings

Nsharp1 ,

My personal experience

My 4 yr old son. My only son was recently diagnosed with Wilms Tumor. I was devastated. I don’t know where our family would be our CLS. From the chemo duck she used to explain to our son what cancer is and what he could expect to just being there physically emotionally and mentally. I’d love to share my experience more in-depth. Thanks for starting this podcast.

hphilly:) ,

Hannah CCLS

Listening to this podcast over the years has helped fuel my passion to keep aiming towards being a child life specialist. I appreciate all the shares and the hard questions being asked. Thank you!

Alexandra Emory ,

Thank you!

Thank you for producing this podcast! As a medical mama it brings so much warmth to my heart to hear from others going through similar experiences. It’s given me new perspective many times. Thank you!

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