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Child life services

Hospitals can be a scary place for kids. Our child life specialists provide your child guidance, comfort and reassurance concerning their hospital stay. We are proud to offer autism and sensory-friendly services for children who need special care.

A hospital can be a scary place for a child. That’s why TriStar Centennial Children’s Hospital is proud to offer Child Life Services. Our Child Life Specialist is a child development expert who works to help comfort children and their families during hospitalization.

When your child needs medical or surgical care, we're here for you. A child life specialist will guide your child through the process of being in the hospital and help them understand what is happening and why.

Child Life Specialists provide coverage in the Pediatric Medical/Surgical Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, and also before, during, and after surgery and other procedures.

Autism and sensory friendly program

TriStar Centennial Children’s Hospital is proud to offer autism and sensory friendly services in the Emergency Department. Our sensory friendly rooms have adaptable lights and nurses can control the sound levels on monitors to minimize noise. There are also sensory friendly toys and storyboards with visual cues to ease communication between the child, parents and care teams. All of our ER physicians, nurses and staff have been trained in Autism Spectrum Disorder and are sensitive to environmental and communication concerns. When you arrive at the ER, please notify the receptionists that you would like to fill out a questionnaire that will help us identify ways we can best care for your family.

Autism and sensory friendly services are also available in our surgical areas to help ease anxiety before, during and after surgeries and procedures.

Pre-surgery tour and preparation

At TriStar Centennial Children’s Hospital, we want kids and their parents to feel prepared for any surgeries and procedures that may be planned. Our Child Life Specialists offer pre-surgery tours if a child is feeling anxious about an upcoming surgery. The following resources are available prior to surgery:

  • Social Story Preparation Book
  • Preparation Video
  • Pre-Surgery or sedation tour
  • Coping plan assessment for parents to complete prior to appointment.

Our team will also be there on the day of surgery to help communicate to your child on their level and also provide distraction techniques. They will walk you through the process and provide a coping kit with communication boards, visual schedules and distraction toys.

For any questions or to schedule a pre-surgery tour, please contact a member of our Child Life team.

Kelsey Bryant, CCLS, PRN
(615) 342-3296

Sydnie Epstein, MS, CCLS, full-time
(615) 342-3296