Parent / Dr Clown "Thank you so much for making my daughter smile during her treatments" Parent of a hospitalized child
In pediatric hospitals, rehabilitation centres and specialized schools, therapeutic clowns meet children of all ages, from babies who are just a few weeks’ old, to young children and teenagers. They must be able to adapt to a wide range of physical and psychological conditions, and very different cultural worlds.
Hospitalized children must often undergo a tedious and frequently painful routine of treatments associated with their condition. Added to their distress is that they face these in strange and unfamiliar surroundings, separated from their parents and the comforts of home. The goal of the therapeutic clown interventions is always to empower the child. The child is at liberty to decline the visit of the clowns. By accepting this refusal, the clowns help build a feeling of freedom and mutual trust. For young patients, being able to express pent up frustration from days or weeks of hospitalization through play or improvisation can be as therapeutic as a smile or a burst of laughter.
The challenges encountered in rehabilitation centres and specialized schools are different. In collaboration with the medical practitioners and educators, therapeutic clowns encourage the children to socialize more and to achieve concrete objectives through creativity and imagination. These interventions aim to empower children and boost their self-confidence. By reducing their anxiety and offering them opportunities to express their feelings, the clowns facilitate the students’ emotional well-being and contribute to their self-fulfillment and academic success.
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