CIMT Camp at St. Charles

The Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) camp at St. Charles Rehabilitation in Port Jefferson, New York, is a three-week summer day camp for children with upper extremity hemiparesis, a condition involving paralysis or semi-paralysis of the arm and hand on one side of the body. Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) is a research-based therapy which aims to improve function in the arm and hand affected, or weakened, by hemiparesis.

At the beginning of each camp day, the non-affected arm of each child is restrained in a removable cast, which they wear for up to six hours per day, both at camp and at home. Throughout the day, campers participate in recreational activities while their stronger arm is constrained in a cast. The campers are compelled to use their affected arm and hand to participate in the activities.

At St. Charles, campers enjoy the one-on-one attention of a personal assistant. The assistant helps the child to stretch his or her muscles, perform exercises, and complete movement patterns during camp activities. A St. Charles occupational therapist designs the camp program to meet the individual needs and interests of each child and activities are typical of any summer camp. Age-appropriate activities include crafts, cooking, sports, obstacle courses, and high action video games such as Wii. The children also participate in Music Therapy by singing and playing musical instruments.

Campers are evaluated individually at the start and conclusion of each three week session and scored utilizing a rehabilitation tool that measures functional outcome. Parents are provided a final report to share with their child’s physicians and teachers. The camp runs one session every summer and typically enrolls children aged three to eight.

Parents interested in applying for the camp should call (631) 474-6797.

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