Therapeutic Play/Developmental Support
As play and laughter are essential parts of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development, Buddington the Therapeutic Clown provides children and youth with opportunities for therapeutic play to help them achieve their developmental potential.
Buddington is a special “clown friend” that children and youth can rely on for positive, non-judgemental, gentle fun. As such, many children, youth and families (as well as staff) look forward to their visits and interactions with Buddington.
Buddington helps to “normalize” the Health Centre experience for children, youth and their families by providing distraction from medical issues and concerns, and allowing them an opportunity to laugh and play together.
Buddington is often shy around others and knows very little about most things. As children and youth teach and reassure Buddington, they become leaders, teachers and nurturers. This contributes to the child or youth’s development of positive self-regard and a sense of mastery over his or her environment.
Buddington empowers children and youth by ALWAYS asking to enter a room, and ALWAYS asking for permission to engage in any activity with a child or youth. If a child or youth says “no” to Buddington’s request, he ALWAYS respects the child or youth’s wishes.
When appropriate, Buddington the Therapeutic Clown provides distraction during medical procedures.
When appropriate, Buddington will also participate in medical play with a child or youth (most often in conjunction with a Child Life Specialist or Child Life Worker). Because Buddington does not understand much about medical conditions or procedures, the child or youth can explain things to Buddington. This provides a method to gauge the child or youth’s understanding, provides them with a sense of mastery and control over their environment, and aids in their learning process.