All children require a certain amount of psychosocial support as they grow and mature to help meet their emotional, social, mental and spiritual needs. For children with pediatric cancer or blood disorders, the need for psychosocial support increases dramatically as their lives become consumed with illness. Providing this kind of support for the sick child is as essential as providing relief of physical symptoms.
Psychosocial support makes life a little easier for children and adolescents by helping them cope with the stress and anxiety that often accompanies treatment for their cancer or blood disorder. At the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center of Dell Children’s Medical Center, our psychosocial team provides a range of support options to patients and families.
- Child life specialists help patients reduce stress and anxiety, increase their positive coping skills, understand their medical procedures, and express their feelings through therapeutic and medical play. They also provide family and sibling support during the patient’s journey.
- Pediatric hematology/oncology social workers attend to the social and emotional needs and practical concerns related to the impact of diagnosis and treatment of not only the child, but the entire family.
- Psychologists from the Texas Child Study Center Embedded Behavioral Clinic offer neuropsychological testing and psychology services, counseling and educational support to cancer and blood disorder patients so they’re better able to learn, socialize and lead productive lives.