2021 ACLP Assessment Package

Looking to strengthen your assessment skills? This 5 webinar package offers participants the chance to fortify their assessment skills and earn 6.5 PDUs in the Assessment Domain. 

This package contains access to the following webinars:

  1. Moving Beyond Theories that Guide Child Life (2021)
  2. Redefining the Rites of Passage: A Comprehensive Approach to Preparing Pediatric Patients for Adult Care (2021)
  3. Foundational Interventions of Child Life Practice: Using Theory & Assessment to Differentiate the Tools (2021)
  4. Child Life Care of Gender Expansive Youth (2020)
  5. Playing with Grief: Perspectives from two Child Life Specialists in Palliative Care (2020)
  • Moving Beyond Theories that Guide Child Life

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Theories influence the beliefs and actions of child life professionals. For decades, child life specialists have applied developmental theories and screening tools in their work and have an ethical responsibility to reflect on theories and maintain currency in today's pediatric settings. This webinar will provide an opportunity to consider alternate theories, developed from childhood studies, that reflect today's views of children and childhood. A critique of developmental theories will provide a much-needed examination of how these conceptual frameworks affect the assessment we make and inhibit our ability to provide the best care. Recommended Exam Domain: Assessment

    Theories influence the beliefs and actions of child life professionals. For decades, child life specialists have applied developmental theories and screening tools in their work and have an ethical responsibility to reflect on theories and maintain currency in today's pediatric settings. This webinar will provide an opportunity to consider alternate theories, developed from childhood studies, that reflect today's views of children and childhood. A critique of developmental theories will provide a much-needed examination of how these conceptual frameworks affect the assessment we make and inhibit our ability to provide the best care. 

    Participants will be able to:

    • Consider new ways of thinking and doing by incorporating insights from contemporary theories
    • Challenge and deconstruct assumptions derived from developmental stage theories
    • Incorporate new perspectives into assessments of patients and families

    Recommended Exam Domain: Assessment

    Donna Koller, Ph.D.

    Dr. Donna Koller is a Professor within the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She has a doctoral degree in child development and applied psychology from the University of Toronto and has worked in three pediatric settings (US and Canada), both in clinical and research capacities. Currently, she holds an adjunct scientist position with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute. Previously, she was employed as the first academic and clinical specialist in child life at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Canada. As a strong advocate for the child life profession, Dr. Koller wrote the first evidence-based practice statements for the Child Life Council. Her research interests include psychosocial care in pediatrics and children's participation rights in healthcare decision-making. Presently, she is principal investigator on two projects involving the social inclusion of children with chronic medical conditions and disabilities. As an outcome of a previous study, she helped create a psychoeducational tool called 'My Diabetes Playbox' to help young children with diabetes learn more about their disease; a newly created app based on the playbox is available in American and Canadian versions. Internationally, she has presented at several conferences and consulted on psychosocial care issues with pediatric health care providers in the Middle East and across North America.

  • Redefining the Rites of Passage: A Comprehensive Approach to Preparing Pediatric Patients for Adult Care

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Transition readiness has quickly risen to the top of many healthcare organizations’ strategic aims. In order to facilitate a smooth transition to adult care, a systematic, yet individualized approach is necessary. Research clearly demonstrates the detrimental effects of unpreparedness for adult care, including higher incidences of missed appointments and delayed care--failure to manage their chronic condition, in turn, leads to increased emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and surgical procedures. In order to mitigate the risk for these detrimental outcomes, this webinar will give attendees the tools to design a transition program for any chronic illness, complete with outlined goals, readiness assessments, and targeted interventions to ensure patients are confident, knowledgeable, and proficient consumers of healthcare. Recommended Exam Domain: Assessment

    Transition readiness has quickly risen to the top of many healthcare organizations’ strategic aims. In order to facilitate a smooth transition to adult care, a systematic, yet individualized approach is necessary. Research clearly demonstrates the detrimental effects of unpreparedness for adult care, including higher incidences of missed appointments and delayed care--failure to manage their chronic condition, in turn, leads to increased emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and surgical procedures. In order to mitigate the risk for these detrimental outcomes, this webinar will give attendees the tools to design a transition program for any chronic illness, complete with outlined goals, readiness assessments, and targeted interventions to ensure patients are confident, knowledgeable, and proficient consumers of healthcare.

    After this webinar, participants will:

    Be able to articulate the empirical benefits associated with structured transition programs as well as the negative sequelae that can ensue when patients are not prepared for their transition to adult care

    Obtain the tools needed to implement a systematic, scaffolded approach to diagnostic education, therefore ensuring preparation and readiness for transition

    Understand the process of creating, instituting, and measuring the outcomes associated with a structured transition program for patients with chronic illnesses

    Recommended Exam Domain: Assessment

    Annie Duplechain

    M.Ed, CCLS

    Annie Duplechain is a Certified Child Life Specialist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In her current position, Annie provides child life interventions to infants, children, teens, and young adults with bleeding disorders. By integrating a comprehensive and scaffolded approach to diagnostic education, Annie ensures that her patients are able to independently manage their chronic condition, thus ensuring that they are able to transition to adult care with ease. 

    Before pursuing a career in child life, Annie completed a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Special Education and spent three years as a fourth grade teacher. Her experience as an educator, in conjunction with the knowledge and skills garnered through her child life clinical experiences, has provided her with a sound foundation to develop and implement developmentally appropriate diagnostic and health skills education to her patients. Annie, in partnership with her colleague and co-presenter, Allie Anglim, has developed a systematic, yet individualized, approach to diagnostic education and transition readiness.

    Allie Anglim

    CCLS

    Allie Anglim, also a Certified Child Life Specialist Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has honed her program development skills after helping to establish two different child life programs. Initially helping to establish the child life program at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, and then, pioneering a child life role with the bleeding disorder team at the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Allie has demonstrated her expertise in program development and implementation. Her clinical experience will offer attendees practical advice and insight into developing programming at their own institution.

    Currently, she works on an inpatient acute care unit and as an integral member of the liver transplant team, providing psychosocial and coping support for patients and family preparing for or following a liver transplant, as well as a variety of other patient populations and diagnoses every day.

  • Foundational Interventions of Child Life Practice: Using Evidence & Assessment to Differentiate the Tools

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This presentation will revisit literature of child life theoretical framework and practice to distinguish the defining qualities and goals of medical play, psychosocial preparation, distraction, and planned alternative focus. Discussion will include considerations for assessment of individual situations to encourage developmentally appropriate care and help identify clear rationale behind choices made. In addition, reviewing seminal writings and comparing them with current literature, practice, and more recent understanding of brain development will aim to support student supervisors and academicians as they teach students, perpetuating clarity and confidence in the work of a child life specialist. The author will discuss the fine, but important, difference between operationalized definitions of concepts often used in research settings and reconciling those definitions with individuals in everyday practice. Experiences of the author on a multidisciplinary research team and within the context of teaching students in the classroom and in clinical training will provide examples for attendees to consider and discuss. Finally, professional conversation regarding perspectives, experiences, and challenges will be prompted to encourage professional growth, understanding, and reflection surrounding these concepts. Suggested Domain: Assessment

    This presentation will revisit literature of child life theoretical framework and practice to distinguish the defining qualities and goals of medical play, psychosocial preparation, distraction, and planned alternative focus. Discussion will include considerations for assessment of individual situations to encourage developmentally appropriate care and help identify clear rationale behind choices made. In addition, reviewing seminal writings and comparing them with current literature, practice, and more recent understanding of brain development will aim to support student supervisors and academicians as they teach students, perpetuating clarity and confidence in the work of a child life specialist. The author will discuss the fine, but important, difference between operationalized definitions of concepts often used in research settings and reconciling those definitions with individuals in everyday practice. Experiences of the author on a multidisciplinary research team and within the context of teaching students in the classroom and in clinical training will provide examples for attendees to consider and discuss. Finally, professional conversation regarding perspectives, experiences, and challenges will be prompted to encourage professional growth, understanding, and reflection surrounding these concepts.

    Objective 1 Participants will be able to review, examine, and discuss literature describing the differences and similarities between medical play and psychological preparation.
    Objective 2 Participants will be able to review, examine, and discuss literature describing the differences and similarities between distraction and alternative focus.
    Objective 3 Participants will be able to consider and practice assessing situations in which these interventions could be most appropriate and needed.
    Objective 4 Participants will have the opportunity to engage in facilitated group discussion about perspectives and questions related to differentiating medical play, psychological preparation, distraction, and planned alternative focus.

    Suggested Domain: Assessment

    Katherine Bennett

    MEd, CCLS

    Katherine Bennett, MEd, CCLS has worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital since 2001. She has worked with children and families in the areas of operative surgery, community outreach/education, PICC, inpatient medicine with all age groups, and in the burn center. Currently, she serves as the educator for Child Life & Volunteer Services, planning and coordinating the clinical training experiences for emerging child life professionals, onboarding new employees, working with the department's clinical advancement program and providing education about the needs of children in healthcare settings to colleagues both in and outside the Vanderbilt community. She has written and presented at international conferences and in several published outlets about such topics as medical play and its impact, developmental theory applied to hospitalized children, and teaching child life in the clinical and university settings.

  • Child Life Care of Gender-Expansive Children and Youth

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar reviews terminology and describes clinical guidelines for gender-affirming interventions. Additionally, it describes affirmative, trauma-informed, culturally humble, and strength-based approaches in caring for the population, grounded in core child life principles.

    Transgender and gender-expansive individuals are increasingly visible in society. Recent estimates indicate that approximately 0.7% of youth 13-17 years of age (150,000 individuals) and 0.6 % of adults (1.4 million individuals) in the United States identify as transgender. Recognizing their unique medical and psychosocial needs, clinical care programs for transgender and gender-expansive children and youth are now present in many children’s hospitals across the country. Child life specialists working with transgender and gender-expansive children and youth have the opportunity to create safe and affirming environments, provide comfort and support, and foster communication and connectedness with parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers. This webinar reviews terminology and describes clinical guidelines for gender-affirming interventions. Additionally, it describes affirmative, trauma-informed, culturally humble, and strength-based approaches in caring for the population, grounded in core child life principles. The session will draw upon the experience of Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Gender Support Program and include patient and parent perspectives. 


    Participants will be able to:

    -Differentiate natal sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation


    -Discuss clinical guidelines in the care of gender diverse children and youth 

    -Discuss considerations in the care of gender diverse children and youth for the child life specialist


    -Describe affirmative, culturally humble, and strength-based clinical approaches to gender diverse children and youth

    Suggested Domain: Assessment

    This webinar is part of our Established Professionals programming. 

    Veenod L. Chulani, MD, MSED, FAAP, FSAHM

    Dr. Chulani is section chief of adolescent medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and medical director of Phoenix Children’s Gender Support Program. He is also an associate professor of pediatrics in the department of child health at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. He completed his pediatric residency training at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, his clinical and research fellowships in adolescent medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and his master’s in medical education from the University of Southern California – Keck School of Medicine. His clinical and research areas of interest are in the areas of health equity promotion and the care of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. He has been involved in numerous local, regional, and national workgroups and initiatives and has lectured nationally and internationally on a host of topics related to adolescent health. 

  • Playing with Grief: Perspectives from Two Child Life Specialists in Palliative Care

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Child life specialists interact with children in multiple settings for a multitude of reasons. Many of the assessments and interventions performed by child life specialists are efficient evaluations of a child’s present coping and their ability to apply these coping mechanisms to a new experience. This is also true when assessing and working with children experiencing grief. We often need to make quick assessments about a child’s grief and their understanding of its trigger. Child life specialists observe and assess how grief manifests and then find ways to support healthy coping and redirect maladaptive coping. This webinar will explore grief through different professional lenses, introduce participants to novel grief assessment techniques, and discuss how the information obtained in assessment may be practically translated into meaningful interventions. This discussion will review how grief is a dynamic process in which the individual’s grief informs and shapes play-based interventions. Suggested domain: Assessment This webinar is part of our Emerging Professional programming.

    Child life specialists interact with children in multiple settings for a multitude of reasons. Many of the assessments and interventions performed by child life specialists are efficient evaluations of a child’s present coping and their ability to apply these coping mechanisms to a new experience. This is also true when assessing and working with children experiencing grief. We often need to make quick assessments about a child’s grief and their understanding of its trigger. Child life specialists observe and assess how grief manifests and then find ways to support healthy coping and redirect maladaptive coping. This webinar will explore grief through different professional lenses, introduce participants to novel grief assessment techniques, and discuss how the information obtained in assessment may be practically translated into meaningful interventions. This discussion will review how grief is a dynamic process in which the individual’s grief informs and shapes play-based interventions.

    Participants will be able to:

    • Describe how play can be used for grief assessment
    • Discuss how to translate these grief assessments into play-based intervention strategies to promote healthy grief and positive coping 

    Suggested  domain: Assessment

    This webinar is part of our Emerging Professional programming. 

    Stephanie Barta

    CCLS

    Stephanie is a Certified Child Life Specialist with seven years of experience in high acuity patient care settings. Stephanie graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Child Life and minors in Spanish and Theatre Arts. She is currently obtaining her Masters of Arts in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Youth Development from the University of Missouri. Stephanie was a child life specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for five years before accepting her position as a community-based child life specialist with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in the Quality of Life for All Kids Program in Memphis, TN in 2017. This program provides compassionate care to palliative and hospice-eligible patients and families in hospital housing facilities and in the Memphis community. 

    Joanna Lyman

    MA, CCLS

    Joanna is a Certified Child Life Specialist who has fourteen years of clinical experience, with the last nine years including extensive work in pediatric palliative care. She graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a Master’s degree in psychology and is also a certified hypnotherapist and a level II Reiki practitioner. Joanna currently manages the palliative care team at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Noteworthy accomplishments include joint publications in American Childhood Cancer Society Handbook for Parents, Expert Review of Quality of Life in Cancer, and Palliative Care in Pediatric Oncology, and plenary speaking engagements at pediatric palliative care and bioethics conferences across the county.