Creative Arts in Childrens Specialty Clinics Summer Programs: A Canadian Case Study
This paper discusses a unique educational program offered by Children's Specialty Clinics-Continuing Care summer programs. The Specialty Clinics-Continuing Care programs groups are designed for children with cystic fibrosis or Type 1 juvenile diabetes. The primary goals of the summer programs are to offer education and counseling to children with chronic illnesses and their caregivers to increase knowledge and competence in daily monitoring and care. Specifically, the childrens program goals include: helping children to accept and/or increase understandings of their medical condition; and, to assume age-appropriate responsibility for self-care and shared-monitoring with caregivers. This paper/presentation will describe a case study which documented this innovative group program. We found that this program had a positive impact on the lives of the children. The complexity of hatching and inventing dramatic stories, improvising characters to play, and performing skits, empowers and stimulates children to discover their own voices, find meaning in their immediate health situations and assists them to learn how to assume age-appropriate responsibilities and contribute towards the maintenance of their own health.
Keywords: Case Study, Children, Chronic Illness, Creative Arts
Dr. Robert Basso
Associate Professor, Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University
Dr. William Pelech
Associate Professor, Social Work, University of Calgary