My name is Amy Staheli, I am a certified Child Life Specialist since 2012 and a full-time Mom to two amazing kiddos. I am proud to call Kelowna home and am happy to be a part of such a giving and tight-knit community.
My work experience with youth started as a coordinator of the Western Canada Summer Games where I was in a supportive role for the athletes and the event. My passion for helping others transitioned me to become an event coordinator with the Weekend to End Breast Cancer where I was intimately involved with people who were dealing with the disease. As I continued my education down in Portland Oregon my journey brought me to Legacy Emanuel Hospital where I was privileged enough to work alongside the child life program there. As I completed my education, I had the opportunity to move to Phoenix Arizona where I began an intensive internship with Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. As my training commenced and my certification began, I received a role as a child life specialist at Ryan House a pediatric hospice and respite facility. All my roles have proven to be rewarding and challenging and all these experiences have helped me develop the skills to help you and your family. I am honoured to be able to provide this valuable service to Kelowna.
• Committee volunteer with Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association 2018
• In home supportive role with a child and their family who were experiencing a cancer diagnosis in a parent which eventually led to end of life care
• Facilitator of Enduring Ties a bereavement support group for parents and siblings who have lost a child
• Committee Member of the 7th & 8th Annual Phoenix Area Child Life Conferences
• In home supportive role with an Autistic child developing new routines, mastering old ones and increasing responsibilities
• Volunteered as Teen Group facilitator for John C. Lincoln Hospital Cancer Coping Camp
• In home supportive role working with siblings and the family to understand and adapt to their newly diagnosed baby with kidney disease
• Volunteered over 400 hours at Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital doing various activities with the children
• Coordinator with Western Canada Summer Games
• Coordinator with the Weekend to End Breast Cancer event
• BA in Sport, Recreation and Tourism with a minor in Sociology from the University of Alberta
• BA in Child and Family Studies from Portland State University
• Child Life Internship – Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Phoenix Arizona
• Certified Child Life Specialist – certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals
• Bereavement Facilitator with the New Song Center in Phoenix Arizona
How I Can Help Your Family
Significant life events such as divorce, medical illness, grief and loss can create many issues in children of all ages. These can include a wide range of emotions, questions, uncertainties and frustrations that can lead to varying levels of stress. If left alone and not addressed these significant events can leave many lasting negative effects. These include things like increased anxiety, fears, stressors, and unrealistic understandings. However, if dealt with in a developmentally appropriate way through discussion, expression, and preparation we can help reduce the lasting negative effects and potentially build on your psychosocial care for future events.
I provide evidence based, developmentally appropriate interventions including things like therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and medical education to reduce these negative effects.
Areas I Can Help:
Children, youth and families experiencing:
Divorce or a family transition – can include things like welcoming a new baby, dealing with care giver illness, establishing new home routine, and blending of families
Anticipatory grief or bereavement support – support during the loss of a loved one whether it be a parent, sibling, grandparent and providing legacy building for end of life
Medical Illness – can include things like managing a new diagnosis or a pre-existing condition of a family member, providing sibling support, supporting children when a caregiver has a medical condition
Developmental Diagnosis – can include things like a understanding a new diagnosis and what this will look like at home, establishing new routines, and school transitions
Medical Procedural Support – can include things like vaccination preparation, needle phobia, surgery preparation
If you are experiencing one of these significant life events, then you stand to benefit tremendously from the support of a Child Life Specialist.
Initial Consultation – 30-minute free consultation
• Ideally in the family’s home, this time would be used to understand the family and the children’s needs
First session – $155
Provide a treatment plan with a projected amount of sessions required, goals from sessions, and the total rate for services.
Sessions begin at $125 for 1 hour and 15-minute session. Rates are on a sliding scale and are affected by things like travel, supplies needed and time
• Amount of sessions range from 2 – 10 depending on the significant life event
Book sessions and begin. Again sessions would ideally be in the family’s home, however alternative arrangements can be made if required
• Consistent communication throughout on-going sessions is provided
What Is a Certified Child Life Specialist?
Certified Child Life Specialists are educated and clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Their role helps improve patient and family care, satisfaction, and overall experience.
Infants, children and youth confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that can impact their ability to cope. These experiences related to healthcare can lead to feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control and isolation that can inhibit their development and have negative effects on their physical and emotional health and well-being.
In both healthcare and community settings, Certified Child Life Specialists help infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. They provide evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain.
The Case for Child Life
Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events, and the importance of their services has been well documented. The following are just a few resources highlighting the need for child life services in hospitals and a variety of other settings.
American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life
Evidence-Based Practice Statements on Child Life
How a Child Life Specialist Can Help You
*taken directly from the Association of Child Life Professionals website
Please refer to the Association of Child Life Professionals website for more information about Child Life or feel free to ask me any questions