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Aerial view of the CHLA Anderson Pavilion Building.

Handy Heroes Therapy Camp

Handy Heroes Therapy Camp is the only camp of its kind within the greater Los Angeles area. 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.

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). Each day of the camp has a fun and exciting theme, for example: Star Wars Day, Batman Day, and Rock Star Day. Child-friendly activities that include obstacle courses, games, arts and crafts, music therapy and pet therapy are designed to enhance the function of the child’s weaker hand – the “Handy Hero Hand” – to be best helping hand it can be. Handy Heroes Therapy Camp 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. 

Camp Details

Applications will be accepted starting on February 1, 2024 starting at 6 a.m. PT.

Note: Applications received before 6 a.m. on February 1, 2024 will not be accepted.

  • Dates: June 17 – June 28, 2024
  • Hours: Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Location: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Cost: $1,050 (Financial assistance available for eligible campers)

Limited availability

Applications received after camp is full will be placed on a waiting list.

Camp acceptance to be determined through parent interview and pre-camp assessment.

Camp Eligibility

  • Children must be between 6 and 12 years old with hemiparesis or weakness in one arm/hand
  • Independent with walking
  • Independent getting up and down from the ground
  • Independent with toileting
  • Medically stable
  • Able to follow group instructions in timely manner
  • Does well in group setting (approximately 3 campers per 1 counselor)

Camp Includes

  • Pre-camp and post-camp standardized assessments
  • Individualized therapeutic camp goals for each camper
  • Six hours of daily occupational therapy in a small group setting for 2 weeks
  • Constraint induced movement therapy during which a soft splint is worn over the stronger hand
  • Bimanual therapy through custom-designed two handed activities
  • Music therapy, pet therapy, arts and crafts activities
  • Camp led by occupational therapists with expertise in treating children with hemiparesis

Parent Testimonials

“My child’s improvement is off the charts. He has a will-do attitude when using his affected arm.  He is trying anything and everything with confidence.  This has also led to an improvement in his self-esteem and pride in all his efforts.”
-Parent of a Handy Hero

“My daughter is so excited to know another child like her and has said that she feels more accepted now than before camp.”
-Parent of a Handy Hero