A Childrens Hospital and Art Therapy

Some Days are Frustrating.

 

I work in a children’s hospital that is housed in a very historic, but old building. The children I work with do not communicate verbally, are severely physically and cognitively handicapped and  are medically fragile. I love working with this population. It is challenging and rewarding. On the best day things can be difficult, sprinkled with random seizures, various illnesses that are sometimes very contagious, and just plain old disquiet of a client that is difficult to figure out due to the limited communication.

Days like today that are cold out, when the heat in the building is not working properly, are particularly frustrating. The children are extra cranky and don’t want to cooperate with art making or anything. On days like this I try to be extra calm and soothing. Free paint is often useful for this, keeping in mind that every child is different and that reactions will vary.

Then the nurses decide that the children have to go back to the housing unit early because it is too cold for these children to be in the school area. No more art for them children today.

On the bright side I can spend more time planning (and freezing).

Gretchen Graves, MS, ATR

Richmond Hospital Education Program

Children’s Hospital of Richmond

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