Support for Children
Riley Hospital for Children offers support for children coping with a cancer diagnosis to help achieve and maintain their physical, social, and emotional well-being. Basic support services include dietary, spiritual, and resource counseling. Additional services include the Child Life Program that adresses stress and emotional concerns, a school program for tutoring and educational needs, music therapy and the Frank and Marian Snyder Family Resource Center.
- A social worker will provide counseling to help your child and your family cope with the emotional rollercoaster you face because of your child's disease and treatment. Your social worker can help you with other concerns such as insurance, transportation, school, or work. To speak to a social worker at Riley Hospital for Children, call (317) 274-8312.
- A nutritionist or dietician will provide nutritional counseling to help you decide on a diet for your child based on his or her special needs. Healthy eating will help your child recover and maintain his or her well-being following treatment. Call (317) 274-3623 for the nutrition office.
- Chaplains provide spiritual counseling to help you and your family deal with your feelings and spiritual concerns. They help you draw upon your own spiritual beliefs to provide support, strength, and meaning in your life. A staff member will contact the chaplain for you, or you may contact the chaplain directly by calling (317) 274-7415.
Riley offers some special services that will help with your child's emotional and educational needs:
The Child Life Program helps reduce the stress and fear young patients often experience while hospitalized for treatment. The program can help address the social, emotional, and educational needs of your child and your family. It does this by encouraging expression of feelings, communication, and socialization with peers. Child Life specialists can help your child and your family:
- learn about upcoming medical procedures and correct any misunderstandings about the procedures
- learn coping skills to reduce pain and fear
- understand and express feelings about the hospital and treatment experience
- participate in activities such as special art programs that offer a chance for creative expression
- socialize at special holiday celebrations and other events
For more information, visit Riley Hospital for Children.
Music may already be an important part of your life. However, you may not yet realize that music has many potential health benefits and can be a form of therapy. Music therapy can help your child express his or her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It can help lessen pain, shorten a hospital stay, and speed recovery. Music may increase positive feelings, improve performance in school, and strengthen relationships with friends. It can also help relieve stress, reduce fears, and aid relaxation.
Music therapy at Riley Hospital for Children involves singing, playing instruments, writing songs, and discussing songs in groups. For more information or to make a referral, call (317) 274-8723 or visit Riley Hospital for Children.
Riley Hospital for Children also offers a school program Monday through Friday during the school year for patients up to the 12th grade. An educational liaison can help you:
- contact your child's teacher(s) to coordinate assignments and report days of school service received while your child is hospitalized
- tutor your child in small groups or on an individual basis, and arrange for a home tutor if your child will be unable to return to school for 20 school days or more
- write an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to accommodate your child's special needs, such as allowing for extended time or shortened assignments when your child returns to school
For more information, contact the educational liaison or teacher's office at Riley at (317) 274-1147, or visit Riley Hospital for Children.
The Frank and Marian Snyder Family Resource Center is located in the Riley Outpatient Center (ROC) at Riley Hospital for Children. The center includes:
- The Edward A. Block Family Library, a good place for you to find educational materials about your child's disease and available services and support groups in your community
- The Riley Family Education Center, which helps facilitate the independence of our patients, familie,s and caregivers by helping them learn new skills and make care decisions
- Riley chapel, a quiet place where people can come for meditation, prayer, or a private time for reflection
- The Ronald McDonald House at Riley, a home-away-from-home for families with sick children being treated at Riley Hospital for Children, providing overnight guest rooms and a soothing place to escape the hospital environment