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FAQ

  • Is it for my child?

    Ability Camp's children's programs are offered in several age groups from a preemie or a child that was born full term and suffered complications such as a brain injury or Cerebral Palsy. These programs range for children who are from 7 months to 14 years of age and we work with children with varying degrees of involvement.

    We can help children improve that have difficulty in sitting, standing walking etc. as well as children that may have difficulty with the use of their arms and hands. Some may have severe physical limitations and may not be able to roll or sit while other children may be able walk independently.

    Whether your child was a preemie or born full term with complications such as a brain injury or Cerebral Palsy our Conductive Education programs treat this as a learning problem more than a physical disability as it is the brain's control over the muscles that has been affected. We use a combination of teaching methods combined with therapeutic exercises to help teach the brain to communicate with the body more effectively. Although we do work with children that have cognitive delays Children that have the ability to understand and take an active part in the class will get the most enjoyment and usually make the most progress.

    Many of the children we work with have seizure disorders and this is not a problem as long as the seizures are reasonably controlled.

    To assure a child is appropriate we do an assessment before they are accepted into a program. This can be done in person, or can be done by sending us an application and a video of your child as the majority of families travel from great distances to attend. We do not charge a fee for the assessments in person or by mail we just want to make sure that we will be able to help your child.

    Last but not least, mostly what makes your child a good candidate for these programs is a parent’s intuition, who believes their child is capable of accomplishing more than what they are currently doing.

  • What is Conductive Education?

    Preemies or children that were born full term can suffer complications such as a brain injury for many different reasons which can include lack of Oxygen, trauma to the brain either before or during birth and can result in a variety of developmental delays that may not be noticeable until regular milestones such as sitting, rolling over standing etc. are not reached. For most of these children Cerebral Palsy will be the diagnosis finally given.

    This delay in normal development may cause children not to reach the normal milestones and in most cases will have a continuation of infantile reflexes which most children grow out of during their first week after birth.

    The continuation of these infantile reflexes can greatly hinder the progress of your child such as the Moro reflex an exaggerated startle reflex where a child upon hearing a loud noise will arch backward and throw their hands up. This reflex is very dangerous for a child learning to sit or walk as they may fall backwards and hit their head if startled.

    Another common infantile reflex is "mirroring" where a child tries to move one limb and the opposite limb moves at the same time this can prevent learning to crawl or walk. Many of you may see your child bunny hopping where both legs are moved at the same time.

    Another reflex may cause a child to arch their back and lock their knees when their toes touch the floor, this also inhibits their ability to learn to step.

    Our children need to learn to overcome these and many more infantile reflexes as well as learn to develop movements in a more correct fashion that will allow function. We use a series of exercises that breakdown the individual components of movement and then combine these movements into functional daily routines.

    Some of the aims or goals that we may have for children depending on their present condition are listed below:

    General Skills:

    • To develop hand-eye coordination.
    • To reduce uncoordinated over movements.
    • To develop coordination of movements.
    • To increase security and balance.
    • To increase attention and independent task solutions.
    • To increase activity, independence, participation and level of attention in group activities.
    • To follow task and keep relaxed position.
    • To achieve, or at least approach orthofunction.
    • To teach the parents how the children can apply the abilities learned to every day activities.

    In a Lying Position:

    • To learn to stretch and separate upper and lower limbs,
      keep wrist and feet in a correct position, head lifted and in a mid line position.
    • To reduce unwanted simultaneous and over movements,
      to learn to keep the state of rest for a longer period of time.
    • To learn the basic movements of upper and lower limbs,
      rolling over in both directions, sitting up.
    • To learn to stretch upper and lower limbs, maintain them in a correct position.
    • To learn to keep back in a corrected position in various positions.

    In a Sitting Position and Manipulation:

    • To learn to relax upper and lower limbs and achieve correct foot and wrist position.
    • To learn to keep back in a corrected position in various positions.
    • To learn secure and correct independent sitting position either with or without support.
    • To develop basic and fine manipulation abilities, differentiated finger movements.
    • To develop manipulative abilities, grasping and releasing, transferring toys between hands.
    • To learn aiming tasks.

    In a Standing - Walking Position:

    • To learn to stretch upper and lower limbs, maintain them in a correct position.
    • To develop stretching and separating of lower limbs in different positions, relaxation of hips.
    • To teach child to fall securely.
    • With decreasing help, learn correct weight bearing, weight shift and increase security of standing while grasping with both hands.
    • To learn bending and lifting legs up when stepping, keep hips in a straight position with reduced help.
    • To learn to walk with sticks or canes securely.
    • To increase security of standing and walking
    • To learn to step with correct length and width of stepping.
    • To learn to bear weight on legs with support for longer periods of time,
      to prevent collapsing, by keeping lower limbs in a corrected position.
    • To learn to keep heels down.

    Eating, Dressing and Potty:

    • To teach her/him to eat with a spoon, to chew correctly, to drink from a cup with reduced help.
    • To increase independence in dressing/undressing.
    • To develop potty training, to teach her/him to sit on a potty with support/alone.
    • To learn to use the toilet.

    Speech:

    • To attain correct breathing for longer periods of time.
    • To make sounds.
    • To develop vocalization and to encourage the use of simple words.
    • To learn to reduce dribbling.
    • To encourage him or her to speak more loudly.
    • To use sound instead of signaling.

    It takes many muscles to move in coordination to do something as simple as taking a drink from a cup, for instance; the trunk must tighten in order for it to support lifting an arm, the muscles in the shoulder, bicep and forearms must tighten to raise the arm while the opposing muscles such as the triceps must loosen to allow the arm to move, the brain must realize the position in space of the cup and the arm as it is moving, fingers must grasp the cup and lift it to the mouth, lips must seal around the cup before it can be tilted and the contents swallowed.

    We take so much for granted every day, however our children may have to work very hard to achieve what is common for the rest of us. It is important for every parent to know that with the proper training for them plus a solid and consistent learning environment at home Children Can Learn!

  • How long does it take?

    We offer 3, 4 and 5 week sessions which vary throughout the year which include:

    • 3 weeks - 40 hrs Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy & 30 hrs Conductive Education
    • 4 weeks - 50 hrs Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy & 40 hrs Conductive Education
    • 5 weeks - 60 hrs Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy $ 50 hrs Conductive Education

    Each of the above programs are similar except for the duration. Rehabilitation and recovery takes time and dedication, the more treatment time we have with each client gives us the greatest chance of achieving results. We provide free accommodations for our clients including a private room with one double bed and one single bed, a TV, telephone and internet connection. There is a common Kitchen that families share to do their own meal preparation and all of our facilities are in the same building all on one floor.

  • What is the success rate?

    To the best of our knowledge all of the people who have participated in our stroke recovery programs have made gains. Keep in mind that every brain injury is unique and the amount of progress that any one individual makes has many factors such as the severity of the injury and the participation of the client. We cannot do the work for you nor can we create instant miracles however we can help guide you to a better quality of life. With our help and effort on your part, the outlook can be very promising!

  • What is Auditory Integration Therapy?

    A.I.T. also known as D.A.A (Digital Audio Aerobics.is a form of sensory stimulation which uses electronically modulated or filtered music to help retrain the ear and auditory system to work correctly.  Dr. Guy Berard, who developed AIT, believed that hypersensitivity to sound, hearing distortions and delays in auditory signals could contribute to inefficient learning or learning disabilities.

    Dr. Bernard Rimland's research found that 40% of people diagnosed with Autism suffered from hyper-processing of the auditory stimuli or 'hyperacusis' which would lead to social withdrawal, speech problems, tantrums and aggression.  AIT has been shown to help improve dyslexia, speech/language development, responsiveness, activity levels, sensory processes, and social skills.

    Retraining the acoustical reflex (muscle of the inner ear) helps target the areas of hearing where there are difficulties and even them out as much as possible, so that the child is not hypersensitive to certain frequencies which may act as a stimulus or trigger of unwanted behaviors in certain situations.

    The process involves 20 sessions for 30 minutes with the child listening to modulated music tracks, 2 times each day for 10 days. If the child will actively participate, an audiogram is done at the start of the sessions and again at the half way point.

     "The results of this study indicate that a course of AIT is likely to have significant beneficial effects for children with a diagnosis of Autism." 2002 blind study by Rosalie Seymour, Speech Therapist and Audiologist

  • Top ten reasons

    • CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION. Once described as “Hungary’s gift to the world”, this is the most comprehensive and intensive educational program around for children with cerebral palsy. It’s not just a “camp”, it’s a way of life.
    • HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. On the cutting edge of high tech treatment for children with motor disorders, HBOT has been proven to increase levels of activity in the brain. Many families see immediate results as well as longer term changes.
    • CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION AND HBOT TOGETHER. Ability Camp is possibly the only place in the world that offers these two therapies together year round. We have found that each enhances the other’s effects for the best possible therapeutic benefit.
    • ACCOMMODATIONS. Most of the year, on site accommodations are available at no charge to families. When you drive up to the Camp, your room is waiting, with shared full kitchen and bath facilities.
    • REASONABLE RATES. While these therapies are available in a limited number of locations, the cost at Ability Camp is lower than just about anywhere. HBOT, especially, is 3 to 4 times less expensive than anywhere in the US Also, an increasing number of resources are available to help cover the cost (MAMSI, Disabled Childrens’ Relief Fund, The ARC, and Parent to Parent have all been responsive to our requests).
    • GREAT STAFF. HBOT is provided by highly trained, professional chamber operators with a great deal of experience, who are also great with kids. Conductive Ed. is provided by experienced conductors trained at the Peto Institute, who individualize programs to meet the needs of each child. The administrative and support personnel round out a really great group of staff to help out whenever you need them.
    • REGIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES. If you are concerned about any medical needs that may arise while you are there, the local doctors and medical staff are wonderful. There are hospitals in Picton and in Kingston, and emergency transportation is also available. Camp staff assist and arrange appointments as needed.
    • SOCIALIZATION. You will be amazed at how much you learn about resources, contacts, as well as recipes and other perks to living with others like yourself. Lifelong friendships and supports are forged there for you and your child.
    • ONTARIO. Located in a beautiful rural area, you can walk to Lake Ontario, drive to Sandbanks Provincial Park, stroll through downtown Picton, visit Belleville (there is even a Wal-mart) or Kingston. ( Be sure you stop at Tim Hortons for a cappucino or chili in a bread bowl)
    • THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO VISIT ABILITY CAMP: THE DIFFERENCE YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. If you are frustrated with traditional therapies, feel like school is a waste of time, or want to know if there is anything you can try to make a difference, it is quite possible that Ability Camp is the place you will find it.
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