Peyton has been hospitalized 4 times since being diagnosed. American Family Children's Hospital in Madison specializes in treating those with SMA. We are so blessed that we are so close to Madison. Many families travel from surrounding states when their children are ill, to get to AFCH. Each hospital stay for a SMA child will be different. Some will only require 2-3 days, while others could be in for weeks or even months at a time.
A hospitalization of a child is tough for a family, and that includes the siblings. The Child Life program at AFCH is a wonderful tool that is used to help those siblings cope with what is going on.
The Child Life program at American Family Children's Hospital is made up of trained professionals with backgrounds in child development. Certified Child Life Specialists help children, adolescents and families cope with the fear and anxiety associated with the medical environment and hospitalization. The goal of the Child Life program is to promote positive experiences for children and families throughout hospitalization.
Play with a Purpose: How Child Life Uses Play
Create a friendly, familiar environment
Teach about procedures, surgeries, or new diagnosis
Distraction during procedures or times of discomfort
Allow children to master their healthcare experience
Encourage peer interactions
Support emotional and psychosocial needs
Provide opportunities for self-expression
Introduce medical supplies to encourage learning and reduce fears
Involve siblings throughout medical experience
Kylie- Peyton's sister has had a great deal of fun, in a with the Child Life program. In December of 2012 when Peyton was hospitalized, the Unite 4 Peyton board gave an IPAD to the program. This is a great tool for both siblings and SMA children to use, during their time at American Family Children's Hospital.