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Cinda McDonald with JM Patient

Q & A with Child Life Specialist
Cinda McDonald, RDH, CCLS, M.Ed.

Cinda McDonald is a Certified Child Life Specialist working in the state of Texas. Cinda’s educational and professional background includes a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child Development, employment for six years as a child life specialist at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Cinda has also worked with Community Hospice of Texas, and she was a key player in two studies conducted by the Texas A&M Health Science Center exploring the use of child life in dentistry.

At Texas Scottish Rite Hostpital, Cinda worked with a number of children suffering from JM. Here are some of the most common questions she has been asked by parents of children with JM.

What is a Child Life Specialist and how can one help my child?

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My child has just been diagnosed with JM, and I don't know where to begin or how to explain this to him. What do I do?

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As a follow-up, I am so overwhelmed and can hardly talk about it myself, should I have a friend do it? Would it be better to wait and explain in a few weeks when I think I can do it without crying?

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Is it better to spring a procedure on a child or to talk to them about it before?

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We are going to be in the hospital for my child to get a muscle biopsy soon. Do you have suggestions on how to talk to him about what will be happening? He has never been in the hospital before and is already afraid.

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My JM child will be getting weekly methotrexate injections. She is terrified of needles and I know it is going to be very hard on both of us. Seeing her cry will surely cause me to cry too. Do you have any suggestions or tips?

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What are some ways to prepare my child for getting her IV started?

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