Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sesame Street Helps Children Cope with Serious Illness

Today at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers, Sesame Workshop unveiled their latested outreach project entitled, "Here for You: Helping Children Cope with Serious Illness". The "Here for You" program consist of an original Sesame Street DVD along with tips to help facilitate conversations between children and parents, caregivers, or health professionals to encourage children to express their feelings and concerns about their illness.

This new bilingual resource was created with the support of Paul Newman, Target Foundation and The Center for Advanced Illness Coordinated Care (CAICC) as well as content guided by a team of expert advisors, cancer survivors and parents from around the nation.

"The Here for You: Helping Children Cope with Serious Illness" DVD will follow Elmo as he visits his cousin Chester, who’s receiving treatment for a serious illness at the hospital. Elmo, with the support of medical practitioners, and friends, helps Chester understand and express his feelings of fear, anger, and guilt. The "Here for You" support material reinforce the message of the DVD and provides tools to assist seriously ill children understand and express their feelings. The DVD and support material will be made available courtesy of CAICC, which will distribute copies to children’s hospitals, pediatric medical organizations, and children’s palliative care programs. In addition, all the materials will be available for free at beginning this summer.

You can visit The CAICC website to learn a little bit more about this new program; and I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on this new Sesame Street program surfaces.

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