music therapy

Therapeutic and Developmental Support Services

Our goal is to provide quality comprehensive therapeutic and developmental support services to ensure our patients and families have access to appropriate developmental experiences and the tools necessary to cope, heal and thrive in a medical environment. 

Child Life and Creative Arts Program

Child Life Program

The Child Life and Creative Arts program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital is dedicated to helping infants, children and their families cope through their medical journey.  Our team of Certified Child Life Specialists are trained in the developmental impact of illness, injury, trauma and hospitalization. We offer interventions that help to ease a child’s adjustment and experience to a hospital setting and health status.  Our CCLS use a variety of approaches such as procedural preparation and support, medical and therapeutic play, as well as emotional and developmental support to promote healthy coping behaviors.  

Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital is offered through our Child Life Program.  Using a variety of approaches to engage children in musical experiences, the program encourages and supports relaxation, pain relief, and emotional expression, as well as improved coping skills.  Our Music Therapist works on a referral basis and runs a Music Therapy group once a week in conjunction with our Therapeutic Recreation Program. 

Therapeutic Recreation

The Therapeutic Recreation Department provides both treatment and leisure services to inpatients, and serves to aid patients in their rehabilitative recovery through goal-oriented recreational activities. These activities are based on each child's individual preferences and abilities, and aim to restore and improve functional skills.  The department’s goal is to facilitate the development, maintenance and expression of an appropriate leisure lifestyle for every patient. 

Individualized bedside Therapeutic Recreation services are offered to patients who are unable to attend general recreation programming.  Group programs are offered seven days a week. For more information, please contact Debbie Sicari.

Early Childhood Center

The Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Blythedale addresses the unique social and developmental needs of medically complex children from birth through five years of age.  This program serves both children who are admitted to our Inpatient program and those who attend our Day Hospital program.  Our Infant Program, Toddler Program, and a Preschool Developmental Program are staffed by our team of dedicated developmental specialists.  Each program strives to create a nurturing environment to ensure that each child can experience the activities and interventions that are vital for early development.

If interested in a Child Life Internship, please contact Jessica Parise, Internship Coordinator and Senior Child Life Specialist, or (914)592-7555 ext. 71524.


Contact Information:

  • Kelsey Mayer, M.S., C.C.L.S., Director of Therapeutic and Developmental Support Services
  • (914) 592-7555 x 71463

Therapeutic and Developmental Support Services Staff

Kelsey Mayer, M.S., C.C.L.S., Director of Therapeutic and Developmental Support Services
Kelsey Mayer, M.S., C.C.L.S.
Director of Therapeutic and Developmental Support Services

All of our Child Life Specialists hold active certification through the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Therapeutic Recreation: Healing Through Play

"We get to use play as a form of medicine." Blythedale's certified therapeutic recreation specialists (aka "the finders of fun", "the laborers of leisure", "the realizers of recovery") create customized, goal-oriented recreational activities to put the "fun" back into functional skills for inpatients and residents of The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Pediatric Long Term Care Pavilion.