A community resource for pediatric stroke survivors and their families

Archive for the ‘CAMPS & CLASSES’ Category

CIMT CAMPS (Constraint Induced Movement Therapy)

CIMT CAMP (Constraint Induced Movement Therapy for kids with Hemiplegia)

Camp Helping Hands


More info about the offerings from Intensive Therapeutics (located in New Jersey):


Summer 2014
Everyday Kids,One Community Intensive Therapeutics, Inc.973-771-1582


Dear Families and Friends,
Below you will find scheduling information about our 2 upcoming summer programs in July and August 2014:
  • Camp Helping Hands: A program for children with upper extremity hemiparesis.
  • Camp Leaps and Bounds: A program for children with autism spectrum disorder and/or sensory-motor issues.
Spots are filling up fast, so please don’t hesitate to register. Feel free to call us to get more information.
Thank you.
Scott Matthews
Executive Director

Camp Leaps and Bounds
An intensive occupational therapy program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or sensory-motor issues who exhibit limitations in:
  • Play
  • Social Skills
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • School

July 28th to August 22nd, 2014

(weekdays only)

Group 1:

Ages: 2 and 3 year olds

Time: 9 AM to 12 Noon

Cost: $2400


Group 2:

Age Groups: 4 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 13

Time: Half Day/Full Day Options


Half day: $2400

Full day: $4800

Please call to discuss how we can individualize and prorate a camp schedule based on your availability. We can develop a schedule to meet your needs.
Camp Leaps and Boundsis for children with:
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Auditory Processing Delays
  • Perceptual Motor problems
  • Low muscle tone
  • Motor Planning Problems
  • Visual Processing problems
  • Fine motor/gross motor issues
For more information please call:
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield
140 Mountain Avenue
Westfield, NJ  07090

About Us

Intensive Therapeutics is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit, charitable organization that provides group and individual occupational therapy services to children with special needs.

The organization was established in 2005 to address the needs of families who wanted individualized services by licensed professionals in a non-medical, community-based environment.

Camp Helping Hands

An occupational therapy program providing constraint-induced movement therapy for children with upper extremity hemiplegia.




NEW 2 Summer Sessions!

June 30th to July 25th

(Holiday: July 4th)

Weekdays Only: 9 AM to 3 PM

Fee: $4560.00



July 28th to August 22nd

Weekdays Only: 9 AM to 3 PM

 Fee: $4800.00

Extended Options Available



The cost of the program will be prorated accordingly to accommodate your child’s individualized schedule.



Presbyterian Church in Westfield

140 Mountain Avenue

Westfield, NJ  07090

For more information, please call:


or email:



click here



CIMT camp at the University of New England Community Therapy Center

in Biddeford, Maine.

Pediatric Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Intensive Camps

• July 14–18, 2014

• 2-week Camp for 6–10 year olds: August 11–22, 2014

Cost? $2,000 per week

What is Constraint Induced Therapy?

Constraint Induced (CI) Therapy is an intensive individualized program provided by occupational and physical therapists to help children use their arm and hand and learn new patterns of movement. The therapy is effective in improving:

• Quality of movement in the affected hand

• Use of affected arm and hand in activities of daily living (self-care, feeding, dressing)

• Coordination skills

• Fine motor skills

Camps are conducted by trained occupational and physical therapists from the University of New England.

• Theme-based activities

• Snacks

• Time to play with others

• Intensive and fun therapy sessions

• 9 a.m.–3 p.m. programming

• 3–4 p.m. educational and interactive sessions with parents

• Take home incentives

Who is a candidate?

• Children 3–10 years of age

• Children with limited functional use of one hand and arm

• Children with diagnoses that may include Cerebral palsy, stroke, head injury, brachial plexus injury, etc.

• Children who are able to follow directions and maintain attention for at least 15 minutes

How do I get started?

Contact Molly Walrath at mwalrath@une.edu | (207) 283-1954

Community Therapy Center

441 Main Street

Biddeford, Maine 04005

Discuss this with your pediatrician as a prescription is required for the program.




Candidates Ages 6 – 17 Now Sought For
Hand Arm Bimanual Intensive Training Research Study 

As part of an ongoing research study to determine the efficacy of hand arm bimanual intensive training (HABIT) after hemispherectomy surgery, the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research at Teacher’s College of Columbia now seeks candidates ages 6 – 17 from the northeast region of the United States only.  Click here for the announcement and further information.This study was initiated and fully-funded by The Brain Recovery Project.  Learn more about the our research programs here.

Summer Camp ideas for kids with Special Needs

Looking for a summer camp for your special needs child?

Here is a list of some resources and ideas in San Francisco.
Please email me if you have anything to add, comments, etc.
and I will incorporate it onto this list!
has a camps listing for children with Special Needs:
The Parks and Rec inclusion specialist is Vicki Pitner. Summer camp registration opens on March 15. Here is some info on their website:
Online registration is here:
(again, summer camps will open registration in March)




Laurel and Sterne Schools both offer academic summer programs for kids with learning differences.








Bennett sings in a chorus at Community Music Center (CMC) and they are very accommodating. You would need to call them to find out about accessibility and your child’s needs:




Bennett has also done a cooking camp at Y.U.M. Chefs and the teacher is VERY accommodating!




BAADS and Treasure Island Sailing Center Co-Able Summer Program:
The goal of the program is to combine students with disabilities and able bodied students in such a manner that they will encourage and assist each other to become independent sailors. Ideally we would like students with physical disabilities to ask an able bodied friend to accompany them. They will sit side by side and learn from each other. Sailing is one of the few activities people with severe disabilities can participate and compete in on a level playing field with able bodied.
Week 1, June 16 to June 20

Age: 7 to 11Week 2, June 30 to July 4

Age:12 to 18
Week 3, August 4 to August 8
Age: 12 to 18
All classes start with a Chalk Talk  at 9:00 AM.
There will be a short lunch/break at 12:00 noon.  Boats will come in by 2:00 PM for a review of the days activities.  Sailors will leave the dock at 3:00 PM after securing all equipment  and cleaning up what they used.
Where:  Pier 40, the Embarcadero at the BAADS Dock!
Sailing will take place in McCovey Cove!
Instructors:  A US Sailing Certified Instructor will be provided by Treasure Island Sailing Center along with an assistant.  Two skilled young sailors will be provided by South Beach Yacht Club to assist.

BAADS will be supplying safety boats and five  Hansa 303’s for the program. The Hansa 303 is a unique vessel that requires the participants to sit side by side.  Either sailor can steer, operate the sheets and easily assist their neighbor.At the end of the program we expect students to become aware of the nautical vocabulary necessary for sailing, to become familiar with currents and tides peculiar to McCovey Cove and San Francisco Bay and, most significantly , be capable of sailing a small sloop rigged vessel in and around McCovey Cove safely.

Rules of the road and all matters concerning safety will be emphasized daily.
Cost:  $25 refundable at the end of the program.

Transportation:  No transportation is provided!Contact Info: Phone: 415.421.2225. Secure Fax: 415.421.2208. Email: Programs@tisailing.org

You can learn more about BAADS and Treasure Island Sailing here:

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors
The Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors is a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit dedicated to providing sailing programs to people with disabilities and their friends, families and caregivers. 
View on www.baads.org 

Treasure Island Sailing Center 
View on tisailing.org 
BOK Ranch (therapeutic horseback riding program) is offering summer camp for ALL children!
This is a really exciting new program for us. We have put together the skills of the therapeutic riding team and local riding instructors to create a fun and safe summer camp that is challenging and fast paced enough for typical riders while at the same time being completely adaptable for riders with additional needs.
This equine based camp is truly a one of a kind 100% integrated TRUE social skills camp. Everyone is welcome-ages 6-16.
If you have a child that is a little older or a little younger, feel free to email me directly (tishcallos@yahoo.com) and we can talk about whether or not the camp would be a good match. We hope to accommodate everyone who is interested.
This is the only camp that is being backed and supported by the San Mateo County Horsemen’s Association and each child will get the opportunity to ride at least 2 times everyday. The BOK Ranch is the only PATH Premier Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center on the Peninsula, serving 130 riders with special needs each week. Finally, something siblings can do together!
Visit http://www.bokranch.org/ for more information about the camps and to download a flier and the enrollment forms.
Happy Trails,
Summer Horsemanship Clinics at Halleck Creek Ranch

Halleck Creek Ranch is pleased to announce their Summer Horsemanship Clinics for children and young adults both with and without special needs, ages 5-18.Join us for hands-on learning about horses! Give your child the opportunity to learn and practice his/her horsemanship skills by spending some quality time eye-to-eye with their favorite horse. Let us teach them the importance of their working as a team both on the ground as well as on their back!Each day will introduce a fun equine-related project, activity, riding lesson, or game designed to teach each child about their horse partners through hands-on education. Skills will include things such as: Catching and grooming, tacking and leading, trail and arena riding, arts and crafts, horsemanship skills, vaulting, and parts of the horse and tack.Campers will be given a chance to meet and interact with other campers their age, and to participate in group activities. Camp staff are experienced, certified professionals, and will be assisted by trained and qualified summer interns. Clinics will be held at our historic 60-acre ranch, nestled in beautiful Nicasio Valley in Marin County.

Three separate clinic weeks will be offered for youth with special needs on the following dates:
Ages 5-7: July 8, 9, 10 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)
Ages 8-12: July 22, 23, 24 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)
Ages 13-18: Aug 5, 6, 7 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)

Three separate clinic weeks will be offered for youth without special needs on the following dates:
Ages 5-7: July 15, 16, 17 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)
Ages 8-12: July 29, 30, 31 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)
Ages 13-18: Aug 12, 13, 14 (TuesdayThursday; from 9:00-1:00)

Clinic registration will be $250/week, registration will be limited, and clinics are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up today by emailing Program Director, Molly Scannell at mscannell@halleckcreekranch.org

— Molly Scannell, Program Director
(415)662-2488 PH
(415)662-2421 FX
Halleck Creek Ranch
“Life Without Barriers”





    Welcome to Camp Krem Season 2014!Travel Camp Sessions are available! Join us on 7, 10 and 12-day adventures that offer exploration, education and new challenges. These exciting and fun travel vacations provide great opportunities for increased independence and self-confidence while making lifelong friendships. 


To Register:For Campers age 16+ – Please apply online for one or more sessions at our website, www.campingunlimited.org or if you wish to speak to us about
planning your sessions, call Gail at 510 222-6662. You can also email us atcampkrem@gmail.com. Camperships are available. 

June 8 – June 19: First session we are heading to Calaveras Big Trees! We will be spending time in several different state parks, including Stanislaus National Forest and El Dorado National Forest, and exploring all they have to offer. When we get to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, we will get the chance to see some of the largest redwood trees in the world, some as old as 2000 years old. We’ll also get to see some historic American Indian grinding rocks, learn a lot from the ranger talks, go bird watching, participate in environmental education programs and, of course, have a lot of fun!


June 22- June 28: Session Two we are headed to beautiful Fremont Peak State Park and Henry W. Coe State Park. While we are there, we will be sure to check out the great views of Monterey Bay, San Benito Valley, and Salinas Valley, going on plenty of daily walks and adventures!


July 1 – July 10: Session Three is going to be a session full of pride while we march proudly in the boulder creek Fourth of July day Parade.  When we aren’t representing camp and rejoicing our freedom we will be staying close to camp in the Portola redwoods and the Big Basin State parks.  We will also make our way down to the beach and play in the sand. This session will be full of great times in the redwoods, at the beach and in the parade.


July 13 – July 22: Session Four we are headed to Yosemite National Park and the surrounding area.  We are so excited to get into the park and visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails in California.  As with all the other sessions, we will be cooking all our own meals and playing games at the campsite. The natural beauty of Yosemite and our time spent with new and old friends will make this a trip to never forget.


July 26 – August 4: Session Five we are heading to the beautiful Angel Island, where we will cherish our amazing views of the entire bay! Here we will enjoy our time at camp, cooking all of our own meals and participating in fun group activities and games.  On our way to Mt. Diablo for a few nights we will stop at the Oakland Zoo to get even more connected to the wild.


August 7 – August 16: Session Six is our most extreme session of the entire summer.  We are heading to the Tahoe area and lake for our last ten day session of summer.  We will be going on our white water rafting trip and beforehand, we will prepare with many activities at our campsites to create the trust and friendship needed to get us down the river together and create friendships for life.


Thank you!

We are looking forward to seeing you this summer!


Gail Zigenis


Camping Unlimited – Camp Krem


Camp Bennett NEWS for 2012

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all of you for your interest in Camp Bennett! Unfortunately, I will not be running the Camp this year, but our amazing Occupational Therapist, Joanie Hooper, is running two CIMT camps of her own! You can contact her to get more information. I highly recommend her – she is a gifted and dedicated practitioner who totally ‘gets’ hemiplegia. Flyers for her camps are below.

Thanks, and best of luck to all of you.

QUOTES ABOUT AUDREY VERNICK, Founder and Director of Camp Bennett



“I am an OT who was fortunate to be able to volunteer at Camp Bennett. I was inspired and touched by the children and certainly Audrey’s dedication to make Camp Bennett happen! Audrey, the world is a better place because of the dedication and hard work of people like you – persevere!”

–Paulette Schafir, OTR/L




“Not only is Audrey is a truly loving, dedicated, creative, and fun mom; but she puts the same love, dedication, and hard work into her continuing advocacy, family support, and in starting amazing programs like Camp Bennett for families of and kids living with hemiplegia. She was a pleasure to work with and is an inspiration to many and I feel she deserves this recognition whole-heartedly.”
— Kristy Atchison, OTR/L Camp Bennett 2010




“Audrey is the perfect example of a demanding parent, a dedicated parent, a hard-working parent. She asks all the right questions, balances the intellectual and the practical when it comes to the care of her child. She makes doctors want to strive to do their very best every moment of the day.”

— Audrey Foster-Barber, MD, UCSF Child Neurology




“Thank you so much for creating Camp Bennett. The experience was life changing for all of us and it gives us so much hope for the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

— Kim, Dennis & Isaiah, Camp Bennett 2010 Camper




“Audrey told me she was going to create a camp here in the Bay Area for children with hemiplegia. I didn’t doubt her for an instant, but I am amazed at how fast she accomplished so much. My daughter, Julia, loved Camp Bennett. She made great strides physically, and more importantly, she had a terrific time in a play-based camp where all of the kids understood each other’s struggles, helped each other, and celebrated their achievements together. Thank you so much, Audrey. You are wonderful!”
— Laurie Strawn, parent to Julia, Camp Bennett 2010 Camper




“I am very excited for Audrey, a well deserved honor!  Audrey approached me asking for help, input etc.  I immediately answered her call and contacted Amy Smith, OTR and Donna Uzoigwe, SLP. Amy and I had worked the summer prior at Adam’s Camp in Colorado, and we were very enthusiastic about  Audrey’s venture, and thought that something similar was needed in the Bay Area. It just so happened that the founders (parents) Bob and Karel Horney, of Adam’s Camp were in SF and they were able to meet. They are exciting and inspirational and I’m sure they fueled Audrey’s fire.

“Audrey was determined to get the camp going this summer and literally put it all together in 3 months! Nothing was going to stop her! It has been my experience working with children and adults with special needs for almost 40 years, that the most innovative, useful, fulfilling and exciting programs, are one’s which are created and conceived by the consumer themselves; parents, relatives, or close friends.  Audrey proved that to be true when she put together Camp Bennett this summer. I hope that this is just the start for Camp Bennett and that Audrey continues to grow the camp for not only her son, but for the many children whom are waiting to participate.”

— Elaine Westlake, MA, PT, Kids Development Studio, San Francisco




“Thank you Audrey for the great learning experience. I will carry it with me throughout my physical therapy studies.”

–Lindsey Hatcher, PT student and volunteer, Camp Bennett 2010




“I am Bennett’s mobility teacher and have known Audrey for several years now. If I have two words to describe Audrey, I would say she is dedicated and passionate. When Audrey delves into something she truly is passionate about, she doesn’t hesitate to just jump into the deep end. She digs deep into her heart and works endlessly on whatever she sets her sights on. She is very meticulous and thorough (in a good way, of course) in addressing all of Bennett’s needs and in assuring that the entire team is aware of what is happening in Bennett’s life so that we can better serve him. Bennett is truly fortunate to have Audrey advocating for his needs.”

— Joanne Woo, SFUSD Orientation & Mobility specialist




“Audrey is an amazing advocate. She is passionate about inclusion and working collaboratively with her school community to create an environment where all children feel accepted and celebrated. Last year Audrey helped fundraise for the AXIS dance company. She wanted to make sure our entire community had an opportunity to witness their powerful message and dancing. Audrey has been supportive to new inclusion parents at the school. She has been helpful and insightful. We are so happy that she is part of the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy Community.”
— Christina Velasco, Principal, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy




“Audrey is a great addition to our community! She not only is an active parent in our community, but she is also an amazing advocate and is my point person to speak to incoming parents about what our inclusion program at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy means to ALL children at our school. She helps me plan events around inclusion and has brought us amazing assemblies that is enjoyed by the staff, children and families. Thank you to Audrey for all of her hard work and dedication!”

— Shawn Maceira, Parent Liaison, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy




“From one parent to another, thank you for being such an inspiration in starting Camp Bennett, and thanks for being a great support and friend at Tuesday Night Parent Group.”

–Eileen Boussina




“I should have known that the passionate, curious woman I fell in love with 12 years ago would someday turn her attention to another more compelling person.  Fortunately, I too love our son Bennett.  I always knew Audrey would be a terrific supportive mother.  What I wasn’t anticipating was for her to affect such profound changes in the lives of complete strangers.  Having witnessed Camp Bennett and how Audrey has touched so many lives, I will be less surprised next time.

“When we met, I was immediately drawn by Audrey’s curiosity.  She asks simple frank questions that relay her underlying caring as well as interest.  The person being questioned really wants to answer, even when the questions are about complicated, personal and potentially embarrassing details.  I call them “Audrey questions”.  This desire for understanding served her well as a journalist, captured her husband’s heart, and made her the ideal parent for Bennett.

“When Bennett was 5 months old, it was clear there was a medical problem and Audrey set about to find and fix it. Briefly, Bennett had a stroke in-utero due to a malformed middle cerebral artery, preventing much of his brain’s right hemisphere from developing.  To treat his seizures and deal with the immediate medical problem, he would have two brain surgeries, many MRIs, EKGs, blood tests, and examinations. With a lot of luck and Audrey driving his care, the seizures were successfully treated and we could focus on treating Bennett’s other symptoms.

“With hemiplegic cerebral palsy, Bennett has difficulty using his left arm, hand and leg.  His hearing and vision are also affected, particularly on the left.  Between the brain injury and spending so much time with medical staff instead of other kids, his ability to relate with his peers was also stunted.  Again, Audrey takes the lead.
“Audrey became his medical advocate as well as his mom. She learned as much as she could about epilepsy, strokes, stroke recovery, raising special needs kids, integrative play as well as parenting in general.  Working with doctors, nurses, therapists, advocacy groups, other parents, books, journals, the internet and anyone else who had knowledge she quickly became the foremost expert on Bennett’s condition and treatment.

“One of the more successful treatments Audrey found is the Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) practiced by Camp Helping Hands in NJ.  The combination of CIMT done intensively daily for several weeks in a summer camp-like atmosphere proved to be a terrific experience for Bennett and inspiring for Audrey.  Working closely with other kids having similar issues, Bennett not only made progress physically, but socially too.  All the kids had similar struggles, they understood each other in ways we can only imagine.  With that ability to understand also came the ability to motivate and inspire, creating a virtuous cycle of progress, accomplishment and bonding.

“Unfortunately, Camp Helping Hands is 3000 miles away from home, putting a great deal of stress on the whole family to participate in such a great program.  Understanding that we were very fortunate to be able to make the journey and commitment for a month every year, Audrey decided she could do more.  Hence Camp Bennett.
“Beginning in late 2009, Audrey set upon creating a local CIMT camp where kids could gather for intensive therapy in a very fun and uniquely supportive atmosphere.  With these two goals, she immersed herself in:

  • Recruiting the right therapists and volunteers
  • Finding a suitable location
  • Planning an engaging three week curriculum
    • a different theme every day
    • activities, crafts and games for the kids
    • special classes (e.g. music classes, dance and yoga)
    • talks for parents on IEPs and alternative therapies
  • Collecting and organizing all the supplies and snacks

“Not content to simply create and run the camp, she also wanted to make sure it was available to all who might need it, soliciting donations which provided scholarships to some of the campers.

“Audrey would have been deemed successful if she simply had met her goals of providing good therapy where everyone had fun and learned how to interact a little better.  So what words can we use to describe meeting these goals and giving at least one child a life changing experience.  Maybe if we understand her experience better, we’ll have the right words.

“One camper had a stroke at the age of 5.  She had been a typical kid, running, playing, going to school, but while swimming one day, she lost control of her left side.  Struggling in the water, they rescued her, but treated the problem as a drowning, not realizing for a day that there was a much bigger problem.  For the next 1/2 a year, she was in and out of the hospital, having major procedures done, and struggling to recover.  Though she was able to eventually return to school, she still wasn’t able to use her left arm.

“She didn’t feel normal anymore, and couldn’t explain to the other kids what she went through.  Nor could they really understand what was wrong, making her feel isolated at a time when she was most vulnerable.

“We’ve all been depressed and confused at some point, but something helps us get through it.  For her, it was Camp Bennett.  Everyday, she was surrounded by people who understood what she was going through and wanted to help her, starting with Bennett himself.  As the camp’s ambassador as well as namesake, he introduced himself as soon as they arrived and helped them find their cubby and get situated.  With a steady flow of therapists and volunteers she also ran through the obstacle course, dressed, drew, ate and played with a cast on the arm that worked well.

“Gradually, it became normal to have had a stroke. Continually, everyone learned together.  Steadily, bonds were formed and physical progress was made.  Eventually, she created a new normal which she can change over time.

“Successful, yes.  How about inspiring, generous, fantastic, phenomenal, life-changing?

“From the day I met Audrey 12 years ago, I knew she was a special person.  Yet, I’m still amazed by the challenges she endeavors to overcome and how much she achieves in the process.  Camp Bennett is her latest example of how her curiosity and passion drives her to create magnificent things for others.”

— Russ Vernick