“Happier thoughts lead to essentially a happier biochemistry. A happier, healthier body” – Dr, John Hagelin
Many of us are able to take our skin for granted. We may forget that it is our largest organ, our first defense against everything, and visible to everyone around us. However, if you or your child is battling skin disease, you know how life altering our skin is for not only physical, but also mental well-being. To give some perspective, in a study of chronic diseases affecting children, skin disease ranks second to cerebral palsy in regards to impairment of quality of life.
Our society is one that values external beauty and esteems conformity with aesthetic standards which unfortunately leads to social stigma, alienation, and bullying of individuals affected by skin disease. As a result, these affected children commonly internalize the consistent negative reactions from others and often suffer from a lifetime of poor body image and low self-esteem.
But what happens when we bring together kids, teens and families who experience similar challenges
That’s what we do at A Children’s House for the Soul. And we’ve seen some amazing responses from our kids and their families.
- Positive psychosocial development
When you are accepted, you begin to change your inner dialogue about yourself. This lets our kids gain independence and a willingness to try new things. Our kids tell us that they realize through engagement with other kids that their identity does not have to depend on their skin disease. That is just one piece of their beautiful soul.
Our kids find that when they are surrounded by other kids who get their struggles, they just just get to be kids! They drop the figurative masks they put on for the world don’t feel as different anymore.
- Positive socialization
Kids with skin disease are often isolated to protect from others reactions or just to manage complex care. When kids get time without staring and questions, they learn a lot about their personality and their interests.
- Diverse coping methods
Our team brings together Child Life Specialists, Psychologists, and Spiritual Leaders to provide family guidance from many angles. Often, our parents and kids teach each other more than we ever could; we just make the connection!
- Parents support network
Parents, you need a network too! You want to protect your child from the world, but there is a lot of stress from the medical and emotional parts of skin disease. Our parents understand your fears
We’ve seen over and over again with A Children’s House for the Soul the tremendous impact of meeting someone else who understands exactly what you’ve gone through. Our families tell us it provides perspective, protection, coping, purpose, and therapy.
We have many events throughout the year. A great one to get started with is our upcoming Camp Dermadillo Family Day on April 14 from 10am – 2pm. The event is at Camp for All in Burton, Texas and is a day preview for the week long AAD Camp Discovery in the Summer. Sign up for Family Day and experience the magic of meeting those who understand!
Is there anything more fun than being able to celebrate Christmas in July with friends at the ACHFTS House? We think not! We had the most amazing day celebrating all things Christmas during our annual “Itching to get out event!” We got messy making some delicious cookies in our ACH kitchen, made a splash and …
We had such a special day out Camp for all, for our Camp Dermadillo Family Day! We rode horses, panned for jewels, rock climbed, ziplined, laughed, played, shot arrows, and even sang happy birthday! So many new friends were made and everyone was reminded that they were made a masterpiece! We had several new families …
Our Praise Party on March 6th was such a special day! We had cookies, played with toys and created prayer and wish boxes. Most importantly we took the time to celebrate all of the wonderful gifts that have been provided to us through the end of 2021 and into 2022. We are so grateful for the provision of our amazing donors, our wonderful volunteers, and dear friends and families who help us to live our mission every day. Most of all we are grateful to Jesus, the Lord our God who through all of these allows us to spread His message that we are all made a masterpiece. Check out our Praise and Answered Prayers Board to see just some of our 2021 blessings.
A Children’s House For The Soul was honored to participate in the 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon! It was our first year as a run for a reason charity and we were so blessed with such a special opportunity! We had a team of over 10 half and full marathon runners, and 8 5K runners representing …
Getting your child to comply with wet wraps can feel like can be a battle! Which if you think about it, is a little ironic, because by administering wet wraps you are helping your child’s suit of armor, their skin defends itself against the outside world! So let us talk strategy, determine some “weapons” for your arsenal, and let’s realign so that you and your child can go from enemies to allies.
When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, it can be tempting to tell ourselves (or each other!) Just relax, calm down! When we are stressed or freaking out, that is easier said than done. That’s why preparing a “coping tool kit,” a set of strategies for dealing with stress can be really powerful.
Do you freak out when you break out? I know I have! It is natural when we have a break-out to look in the mirror and think things like “These pimples are gross!” “I hate my skin!” “Things are never going to get any better!” Even though it is natural we think this way, it is harmful too.
Stop picking, popping, poking your pimples!
I know, it’s sort of like eating the whole bag of potato chips…we all know we aren’t supposed to do it, and yet, the temptation is SO STRONG! So…how do you stop?
Start with choosing an alternative activity!
We had so much fun at our first annual Heart + Sole Walk and Back To School Family festival! We want to thank all of our sponsors and everyone who came out to support our mission to make the world a more kind and understanding place for those with skin conditions.
As a Child Life Specialist working with teens and kids who have special skin, there is one question I get A LOT. “How do I talk to my teenager, when they tell me they don’t like how they look?” Parents are so worried that they will say the “wrong thing.” And truthfully, I have spent …
We had an amazing time celebrating the launch of our brand new SKIN DISCOVERY BOXES, a very special collaboration with our friends at CeraVe! CeraVe’s tireless pursuit of therapeutic skincare for all is truly more than skin deep and we couldn’t be more thankful. We celebrated in style thanks to our friends at Star Cinema …
A Children’s House for the Soul believes that it takes a village to support a child and family impacted by skin disease and birthmarks and that we are all better together.
Open House and Ribbon Cutting/Bring A Children’s House Home: On June 5th we began a very exciting new chapter of our A Children’s House story in the form of opening up our new beautiful space to serve children and teenagers with skin conditions and birthmarks and their families. This space includes a salon, a library & craft space, a teen room, and more! We also debuted our incredible new custom mural from up and coming local artist Eli Pallaert.
Our Family Trivia night was oh so much fun, and a huge success! We had so much fun getting to reconnect with all our friends and enjoy some laughs while snacking out on pizza and snowcones!
In honor of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month, our childlife specialist Lindsay O’Sullivan had a great conversation with Jose about growing up with his special masterpiece skin!
In this interview, Ally shares about her experiences growing up with Ichthyosis. Ally shares how: Meeting other kids with special skin can help kids to feel less isolated and give them a very special sense of comradery and understanding. Parents don’t have to do everything perfectly to be the perfect parent for their child and …
What a wonderful time to relax, enjoy friendly company, and share their hearts on being a mama to a kiddo or teen with special skin. It was truly so special! These mamas were made a masterpiece!
Vascular birthmarks are very common in children. These birthmarks are made of blood vessels in the skin and can occur anywhere on the body. They may be pink or red in color, blue or purplish, flat or raised. Since they are vascular, sometimes they will feel warm to touch and may change in color with …
We have some exciting updates about our Capital Campaign! Learn about our short and long term plans for our own space.
You Can’t Teach What Has No History “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of …