A community resource for pediatric stroke survivors and their families

Archive for May, 2011

FROM A CAMP BENNETT MOM

Here is a message from Isaiah’s mom:

Isaiah blowing bubbles during Camp Bennett 2010

“Last July 2010, Isaiah participated in the first ever Camp Bennett. Prior to the camp, Isaiah’s OT from CCS initiated Isaiah’s first experience with restraint therapy by collaborating with Kaiser. Isaiah became Kaiser’s pioneer child for a trial constraint therapy program. Isaiah wore a removable bi-valve cast for at least 10 hrs per day for about 2 months. This particular trial was difficult because Isaiah was not placed in a group setting. He was mainly at home with me (mom) trying to go about his normal routine with his dominant hand casted off. OT and PT sessions were easier than the home-based therapy setting, but he struggled everyday. Isaiah was progressing, but he was unhappy.”

“Camp Bennett was a totally new and surprising challenge for Isaiah. At camp, he was surrounded by kids that looked like him, ran like him, and had casts like him. The ‘peer pressure’ was amazing for Isaiah. The group/peer setting did wonders for Isaiah’s confidence. He was able to tolerate the cast for the entirety of the camp sessions, without throwing a fit. I believe that it is much easier for Isaiah to participate in constraint therapy if he is able to play with children like him versus being the only child in a medical-therapy setting.”

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CAMP BENNETT 2011 STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

Camp Bennett is still accepting applications for it’s 2011 Intensive CIMT Camp.

Please email <audvern@gmail.com> if you would like the application packet sent to you.

Some exciting updates about this summer’s Camp Bennett:

So far we have 6 campers aged 4-8 signed up for camp. We are also trying to do a 3-year old group for 3-4 additional children. We are hoping to receive some funding for our program soon, but in the meanwhile donations are always welcome! You can donate through Facebook’s Causes at: http://www.causes.com/causes/481381-camp-bennett/about



I have lined up our enrichment classes and instructors: we will have yoga, music, dance and aquatic therapy. We will also be doing Parents Group on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons which will include parent support and mentoring, IEP training, workshops in various alternative therapies, and a weekly recap of what the kids have been working on at camp.

We also plan to do a weekly soccer clinic, climbing skills, therapy dog visits, and more!


Lastly, here is a message from Isaiah’s mom about Camp Bennett:

“Last July 2010, Isaiah participated in the first ever Camp Bennett. Prior to the camp, Isaiah’s OT from CCS initiated Isaiah’s first experience with restraint therapy by collaborating with Kaiser. Isaiah became Kaiser’s pioneer child for a trial constraint therapy program. Isaiah wore a removable bi-valve cast for at least 10 hrs per day for about 2 months. This particular trial was difficult because Isaiah was not placed in a group setting. He was mainly at home with me (mom) trying to go about his normal routine with his dominant hand casted off. OT and PT sessions were easier than the home-based therapy setting, but he struggled everyday. Isaiah was progressing, but he was unhappy.”

“Camp Bennett was a totally new and surprising challenge for Isaiah. At camp, he was surrounded by kids that looked like him, ran like him, and had casts like him. The ‘peer pressure’ was amazing for Isaiah. The group/peer setting did wonders for Isaiah’s confidence. He was able to tolerate the cast for the entirety of the camp sessions, without throwing a fit. I believe that it is much easier for Isaiah to participate in constraint therapy if he is able to play with children like him versus being the only child in a medical-therapy setting.”

Please help us with this summer’s Camp Bennett!

Camp Bennett could use your help!

We need:

  • DONATIONS (to be used for scholarships)
  • THERAPY EQUIPMENT (wish list to be posted soon)
  • TOYS, GAMES AND SUPPLIES (wish list to be posted soon)
  • VOLUNTEERS!

Let us tell you a little more about Camp Bennett:

Camp Bennett is a three-week summer camp, designed as an intensive, therapeutic, play-based group dynamic serving children ages 3 through 8 who have had strokes and subsequent hemiplegia (partial paralysis of one side of the body). The camp providers include: a camp manager (and creator – who is also a mother of a child with hemiplegia), a special education teacher, a licensed occupational therapist and a licensed physical therapist, and a social worker. Others who will be providing services on a limited basis will include an aquatic therapist, music teachers, an adaptive yoga instructor,  a licensed orthotist, and pet therapy.

Camp Bennett uses a Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) technique in which the unaffected upper limb is casted to prevent use leaving the affected/weak limb to be forced to work. This is the second year we are holding this camp. Last year every child demonstrated improvement and most had “significant improvement” in their ability to functionally use their weak limb. Our primary goal is to provide camp to as many children as possible as we passionately believe in this approach to treating childhood hemiplegia and to this end we have cut the cost of the camp down to be able to pay for supplies and staff working hours only. We are seeking donated supplies, work space, camp space, and whatever else we can get our hands on to keep costs down for families.

You can make a donation through Facebook’s Causes: http://www.causes.com/causes/481381 (Our non-profit fiscal sponsor is Talking Eyes Media, but all of your donations will go to support Camp Bennett.)

Please let me know if you can help in any way… many thanks!

Audrey Vernick

Founder and Director, Camp Bennett