Be a Handy Hero

Published on 
July 28, 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.