This summer brings two separate research camps for children and young adults after hemispherectomy surgery.  Learn more about these programs and how you can apply below!


Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Training (HABIT) is a new type of upper extremity physical therapy where the chief aim is to use both hands together.  Researchers at Columbia University seek children ages 6 – 11 who have had hemispherectomy surgery to participate in this summer’s HABIT camp.

How is HABIT different from constraint-induced use therapy (CI)?

Like constraint-induced use therapy therapy, HABIT requires 90 hours of intensive therapy and it is performed in group settings with an emphasis on having fun. But unlike CI therapy, HABIT focuses on improving the ability to perform bimanual activities. The efficacy of this new bimanual treatment for improving coordination with two hands has been tested on one cohort of children post-hemispherectomy and initial results of testing in indicate good efficacy.

HABIT is not dependent on the use of restrictive devices on the unaffected hand.  Its focus is on proper bimanual function: that is, to use the two hands together for activities requiring bimanual function such as catching a ball, typing, cooking.  Because typically-developing children use both hands together, it is the goal of HABIT to promote this use.

Is HABIT a child-friendly therapy?

Yes, and researchers believe more so than CI.  Children can get very frustrated when their “good arm” is constrained, some to the point of regression of skills.  Moreover, a child with other orthopedic impairments (such as limited ambulation) or cognitive delays, are at greater risk of falling and injuring their “good arm” during serial casting.  HABIT, which does not use any serial casting whatsoever, eliminates these issues.

This year’s camp is offered June 25, 2016, through July 15, 2016. To learn more about this camp and to apply, click here.  This research camp is open to children only.



Children ages 11 – 17, and well as young adults, are sought to participate in Robocamp 2016 at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.  This year two fun-filled research camps are offered to determine the effectiveness of robotics-assisted therapy to improve gait, balance, and overall ambulation, as well as ankle, foot, and wrist kinematics.10536453_10204019217671557_8021850725378305704_o (1)

What’s different about this year’s camp?  Appropriateness of orthotics will be addressed, and functional electric stimulation is an added intervention.

Participants must be able to comply with commands during functional magnetic resonance imaging.  Eligible candidates are seizure-free since surgery, able to walk for at least six minutes without assistance (gait trainer, walker, or cane is acceptable), do not have metal orthodontic braces, and do not have a history of hydrocephalus, shunts, ventriculomegaly (enlarged ventricles). Participants from prior Robocamp research programs may not apply.

Please note that preference will be given to children ages 11 – 17.

The Brain Recovery Project will pay for nearby housing at the Housing of Medical Emergencies (Hheader-robotics-1680x7821.O.M.E.) facility provided by the Downey Assistance League.  (Click here for photos of the H.O.M.E. facility.) Breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday will be provided as well.  Families are on their own for dinner and weekend meals and must make their own travel arrangements.

Camp 1: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – Sunday, July 3, 2016

Camp 2: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 – Sunday, July 24, 2016

To apply for consideration, click here.