Fatema-Zahra Jaffer, MS, CCLS
Zahra understands that there are children and teens with developmental variations that necessitate specialised interventions to address their needs.
She holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Birmingham in the UK and a MS in Child Life from Bank Street College in NY. She works as a Board Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) in a home-based education company and at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
Zahra connects with children and teens with healthcare or special needs at a psychosocial level. She provides them with emotional support, psychological preparation, therapeutic and medical play, developmentally-appropriate education, sensory adaptations, and procedural accompaniment. Moreover, she has experience in facilitating one-to-one sessions with children and teens with special needs remotely on Zoom, with a focus on reading, numeracy, storytelling, and creative writing. Following their lead, feeling validation, tapping into interests, empathic listening, and gentle redirection name a few of the key skills Zahra practices to support children and teens with special needs effectively.
Zahra has also worked with children with special needs as a Teacher Assistant in a childcare and early education center. There, she assisted with the implementation of class schedules, led activities based on observations of the child’s pursuits, and scaffolded self-help skills during meal, circle, play, and story-time. She is now a Graduate Teacher Assistant for a Child Life MS course at Bank Street College.
* these sessions are not a medical consult and you will be referred back to your own physician for specific medical questions about your child
Caregiver Consultation (30 minutes) - $95
This is a preliminary session for Zahra and the caregiver(s) to discuss the child’s or teen’s developmental/medical history, specific needs, interests, goals, expectations for learning, behaviours, strengths, and challenges.
1:1 Session - Children with Special Needs, age 4+ (60 minutes) - $105
In this session, Zahra works with children/teens with developmental variations such as autism, ADHD, Asperger syndrome, and dyslexia. She utilises a play-based approach with a focus on rapport-building, problem-solving, and empathy to inspire self-directed and project-based learning. This is customised according to
the information gathered in the caregiver consultation;
their areas of interests e.g. stories, puzzles, blocks, movement, music, art, themes, collectibles;
their specific needs e.g. sensory accommodations, structure, predictability, creating a “safe zone,” non-verbal cues, consistency, reinforcement;
their goals e.g. reading, numeracy, handwriting, social skills, creative expression, emotional expression.
1:1 Session - Children with Healthcare Needs, age 4+ (60 minutes) - $105
This session involves child life interventions with children/teens with a chronic illness (e.g. diabetes, cancer, Crohn’s disease, encephalitis, sickle cell disease) and ongoing procedures (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy, plasmapheresis, pain management). Zahra helps children/teens better understand elements of their medical experience, navigate the process of injury or illness through therapeutic outlets, and devise coping plans that promote resiliency and emotional wellness.