Comprehensive Hand & Arm Movement Program (CHAMP)

CHAMP is a therapeutic intervention program that involves restricting use of the less affected upper extremity (hand and arm) using a splint or other device as a constraint as well as use of bilateral motor activities to retrain use of the more affected extremity. Therapeutic activities are completed during therapy sessions as well as consistently used at home in order to obtain optimal levels of functioning. This therapy is beneficial because it teaches people to overcome the learned nonuse of the affected arm and hand that developed in the early post-injury period.

Who is Eligible?

All participants need to meet the following set of criteria prior to admission:

  • Be at least 6 months or more post-injury or onset of upper extremity weakness.
  • Exhibit functional passive range of motion of the upper extremity.
  • Demonstrate the ability to actively move the upper extremity out of synergy
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn new tasks, with training.

What does the Program Involve?

The program involves wearing a splint or other device on the stronger or more functional upper extremity for a majority of the child's waking hours while attempting to do all daily activities with the more affected upper extremity.

Participants must be willing to work diligently for three weeks of therapy sessions three times a week, for three hours a day. The treatment sessions include individual Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Therapeutic Recreation, and Rehabilitation Psychology, as well as group sessions. Both traditional treatment methods and facilitation of movement through functional activities are reinforced.

Participants are also provided with a home activity program and diary to complete while they are out of the clinic. The program requires motivation and follow-through at home and in the community.

How Can My Child be Referred?

All those interested in participating must first receive a Physician's referral. When a referral is received, the child's name is placed on a list of potential participants and scheduled for an evaluation. Entry into the therapy program is scheduled as soon as possible. Many major nsurance plans cover the Occupational and Physical Therapy portions of the program. A generous grant from the University of Michigan's Dance Marathon program provides funding for additional parts of this program. An appointment can be scheduled by calling 734-998-7710.

Questions regarding the program may be directed to Lori Sober, Case Manager for the Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation Program and CHAMP, at 734-998-2483.