Be a Handy Hero
Another summer, another camp. But this specific camp let’s you be a hero! …A ‘Handy Hero’ that is!
Created and led by occupational therapists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Handy Heroes Therapy Camp is a fun, motivating, and therapeutic summer day camp program designed specifically for children with hemiparesis, a condition which often limits a child’s ability to use one side of the body due to lack of strength, coordination, and motor skills.
The camp features child-friendly activities that include obstacle courses, games, arts and crafts, music therapy and pet therapy that are designed to enhance the function of the child’s weaker hand – the “Handy Hero Hand” – to be best helping hand it can be. Also, each day of the camp has a fun and exciting theme that changes every year. For example, the camp will have: Super Heroes Day, LEGO Day, Moana Island Day, Rock Star Day and Villain Day.
This year, we had 14 children attend, ages 6 to 10, and had families all over Southern California and Arizona! One special day was partnered with The Sasha Project LA, a foundation started by a CHLA patient to help support the Art Therapy program. Together, Sasha and the rest of the Handy Heroes camp colorfully painted jeans—the staple product of her foundation.
As the only camp of its kind within the greater Los Angeles area, Handy Heroes Therapy Camp uses research-proven and innovative approaches of combining constraint-induced movement therapy (preventing the use of the strong arm/hand in a splint) and bi-manual therapy (guided and intensive use of both hands). It also provides psychological and social benefits in addition to physical benefits – creating a sense of acceptance, unity, and empowerment that are priceless for the campers and their families.
For more information on the Handy Heroes Therapy Camp, visit CHLA.org/HandyHeroes.