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An occupational therapy program providing constraint-induced movement therapy for children with upper extremity hemiplegia.
At Camp Helping Hands we have had children with hemiplegia come from around the world for our summer program. We run the program in a group, as a camp, so it can actually be a FUN experience. Kids seeing other kids with similar issues is often a unifying experience and can be more motivating to participate in therapeutic activities than individual therapy experiences. Wearing a cast for 6 hours a day isn’t a battle because all of the other kids are doing it . . . it is just what you do.
The program is staffed as follows:
This level of staffing enables us to have a 2:1 ratio (2 children to each staff person). This ratio also lets us work on the child’s individual goals within the context of the group. We do not utilize a cookie cutter approach. Every child’s goals are specific to their level of functioning and ability.
The program can also be customized based on your child’s tolerance to therapy. In other words, if 6 hours a day is too much, we can create a program specifically for you. Since Camp Helping Hands occurs in July…many parents don’t send their child to the extended school year in their school district and consequently miss out on needed academic, speech and physical therapy services.
Based on suggestions that parents have made, we are offering additional therapy services within the context of Camp Helping Hands. The additional therapy services are options to enhance your child’s camp experience.
The optional additional services include the following:
Parent’s are interviewed prior to the camp so we gather up-to-date information about your child’s goals. We use an assessment tool that helps prioritize the child’s goals, helps establish functional goals and truly creates a system for the parent’s to be involved in the process. We welcome information from other therapists, schools, doctors, etc. so we can truly work on the goals you want. We will also conduct an interview on the last day to get a parent’s perception of how your child did during the camp.
We also have weekly education sessions for the parents during the camp, so questions can be answered and information about activities and treatment can be conveyed.
Because most of the goals established are 2-handed goals for example:
we have established a protocol for wearing the cast. The cast will be worn for the full 6 hours per day for the first 2 weeks. Starting with the 3rd week of camp, we “wean” the cast off 1 hour more each day so by the 4th week we are working exclusively with 2 hands. This way we can actually work on and practice 2 handed skills and the actual goals of each child. Modifications to the wearing schedule can be made on a case by case basis. We also recommend continuation of therapeutic activities as much as possible throughout the camp.
It also should be clear that as occupational therapist’s we are aware of other issues that could impact your child’s functional abilities, such as: