en fr es
  • Conductive Education for Adults

    information about CE for Adults - Read More
  • Conductive Education for Children

    information about CE for Children - Read More
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

    information about hbot - Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

What is Conductive Education?

Whether your child was a preemie or born full term once the doctors actually say the words Cerebral Palsy it feels as if the whole world is starting to come crashing down on you. Parents desperately look to their doctors to make it all better, unfortunately once there has been damage to the brain doctors provide life saving measures but have very little to offer in the way of treatment or recovery. Therapists do their best to help our children, however with very large case loads they are not able to devote the same time and intensity for each child as we do here at Ability Camp.

There are now many alternative therapies for parents to choose from however our combination of Conductive Education and Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy coupled with having the consistency that can be provided by having families stay on site and support each other and their children is unique and one of the most successful programs for children with Cerebral Palsy. Ability Camp helps to teach children to become more independent not by merely providing therapy but by teaching children and their parents how to change their daily lifestyle. Learning and improving becomes part of everything that is done each day. As good as any therapy is, no one can fix your child. Raising a child with Cerebral Palsy is an enormous undertaking, however, if parents can be trained to approach each day in a productive way and consistently keep their expectations high then children will continue to improve.

Most parents have tried a multitude of traditional, alternative therapies and treatments and although it is a struggle for any family to leave home for five weeks, to find the finances, to miss time away from work it takes time to help children.

Over the past 18 years families have seen their children make progress in a five week period and as a result many of them have found a way to come back again, some many times over. They would not go to these extraordinary lengths if they were not getting results!

What is Conductive Education?

Conductive Education is an active learning process that helps children with Cerebral Palsy and adults that have suffered a stroke learn to overcome problems of movement resulting from disease or damage to the central nervous system. These programs are not new, they were developed in Hungary over 60 years ago and have only started to spread around the world in the last 15 years starting in England with the help of Princess Diana. Conductive Education is not a traditional treatment or therapy it approaches motor disorders as a problem of learning or relearning - a problem that will respond to the appropriate teaching. If they can move and they can learn, they can learn to move. By repeating tasks and integrating intentional movement with learning, the brain creates alternate pathways to send messages to muscle groups creating the desired movements, recovery and rehabilitation. The success achieved when a therapeutic approach is applied to all aspects of daily living not just to exercises done on a sporadic basis are undeniable and simply make sense.

What does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy do?

The late Dr. Neubauer was one of the pioneers of using Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy as a treatment for cerebral palsy in children. through the use of SPECT scans he found that children who suffer from Cerebral Palsy would have areas of the brain that were showing low levels of activity "the recoverable brain" and once he repeated these scans following a series of Hyperbaric sessions he found that there was now an increased level of activity in these same areas.

At normal atmospheric pressure with 20.9% Oxygen healthy lungs fully saturate our blood however if you supply Oxygen for breathing and increase the ambient pressure you physically squeeze the molecules closer together and allow the lungs and bloodstream to carry a concentrated Oxygen supply throughout the body and most importantly to the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. There are more details on our Hyperbaric webpage.

Are Conductive Education and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy more effective together?

Our clients have made considerable gains by taking Conductive Education or Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy separately and we have a great many repeat families that can attest to this.

The purpose of Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is to stimulate under active areas of the brain while Conductive Education can help train the brain to take to create neural pathways to the body. It seems like common sense that your child would have the greatest results by taking the combination of the two programs together. We have had great success with these programs and parents have often commented that their children have made more gains here in five weeks than they had in years of their previous therapies, treatment or rehabilitation.

How long does it take?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be taken on its own over a three week period doing a one hour session, twice per day for 20 days. Thus receiving 40 one hour sessions actually each session takes approximately 1.5 hours but we only charge for one hour.

Whether you child was a preemie with complications or born full term all of our children's Conductive Education programs are five weeks in length. Helping children improve takes a great deal of time and effort, unfortunately, progress does not come easily. Some families will have just one parent attend while others may trade out part way through the class. Some families have also utilized grandparents or other family members to stay with their children.

In the Mom and Tots class (ages 7 months to 3 years) as well as our 3 to 6 year old classes children spend 5 hours each day Monday through Friday in the class while children in our 7 to 14 year old classes spend 6 hours per day.

When taking a combination of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and a Conductive Education program then a one hour (1.5 hrs) Hyperbaric session will follow the Conductive Education class and 2, one hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday. In this way 40 sessions will be spread over the entire five weeks.

What kind of results can I expect from this?

Even with the best treatment and other alternative therapies children with Cerebral Palsy tend to progress very slowly and many of them will reach a plateau and seem to not make any more progress. There are no instant fixes and our programs cannot work miracles however children can improve through guided and well planned activities designed to not only challenge a child but also to teach them to become more independent. The traditional approach of one on one therapy can actually have the inadvertent effect of creating dependence on adult help and assistance.

Here we create an environment where children are encouraged and taught to do things for themselves and learn to have the confidence to try. Many parents have been shocked and surprised to hear their child say, "I CAN DO IT" when they are trying to help them do something.

It is almost impossible to create this kind of confidence, teach the necessary skills required to problem solve and find a way to do the necessary tasks of daily living without having the time and structured activities we perform here on a daily basis.

Some children may learn to achieve better head control, learn to roll over, learn to sit without being strapped into a wheelchair, work on potty training etc. Children can also improve weight bearing, standing and also practice walking skills with only as much assistance as required.

A general series of progression for a child (although not all in one five week period) would be to start by weight bearing and holding a ladder, progressing to taking steps while holding the ladder. Once a child is reasonably confident they may progress to walking and pushing a walker in front of them. Every time a child becomes good at a skill it is time to take them to the next more difficult level. The next step may be walking with two quad canes (4 footed canes). After quad canes, two single canes and finally walking independently. Each step builds on the skills learned previously and in this way children continue to learn and improve.

Many children have been able to make one of the above progressions in a five week setting. Not only do help children improve but we also teach them ways of doing things that prepare for continued future development. In traditional therapy many children are taught to use forearm crutches, and although they may become very good at using these their weight is too far forward and this can actually become a dead end and hinder further progression.

Not all children will be capable of reaching independent walking however it is important to teach each child to do everything that they are capable of. In North America there is an abundance of equipment to make our children's life more convenient such as wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs, however if you can teach a child to climb stairs their whole world opens up as they can now visit a friend and climb the three stairs to get in the front door.

Children's physical development is only one aspect of our programs we also help children develop emotionally as well as socially. By working in small groups children learn to take turns, to interact with other children, form bonds of friendship and at times competition as they push and encourage each other. As one child learns to master a new skill it can help motivate the others to try and master the same skill.

For a child that was born as a preemie and suffered complications such as a brain injury or a child that has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy they leave here moved well beyond their plateau and are on their way to continued improvement. Amidst the cheers and admiration of their friends from the class they are going to see results and gain a new sense of pride and accomplishment.

Parents will also be taught how to adapt their daily home routine and how consistency in everyday activities will have a much larger impact on their child's life than the few hours spent on therapy will ever be able to accomplish. Every moment of every day can be a learning opportunity and when parents are thoroughly trained and really understand how to help they feel empowered.

There is no time for insecurity and doubt, parents need to have a plan and have the knowledge to follow through. we can no longer just wait for things to get better we need to take charge of the situation.

If you feel that your child could be doing far better than they are now, but need help to make that happen, then you have come to the right place.

 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Although children with Autism have made gains, the mechanism of how Hyperbaric Oxygen effects this change is not fully understood. It is believed that up to 75% of children with Autism may have cerebral hypoperfusion (reduced blood flow in the brain). Several studies have reported that the location of cerebral hypoperfusion significantly correlates with certain autistic behaviors.

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy provides oxygen in a pressurized form which allows the body to transfer more Oxygen to the tissue and more importantly the brain by increasing the plasma oxygen tension.

The Hyperbaric process involves 40 one hour sessions, two sessions each day for three weeks. A parent accompanies their child into our large hyperbaric chamber to help them feel more secure. We then slowly increase the surrounding pressure in the chamber, a sensation similar to what you experience in an aircraft while it is descending.

Once the final pressure is reached a clear vinyl hood (Plastic Bubble) is placed over the child's head and they are given 100% Oxygen to breathe for one hour. This process is done twice each day.  In children with autism, the use of hyperbaric treatment using pressures up to 1.5 atm and 100% oxygen has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated.

"Children with autism who received Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for 40 hourly sessions had significant improvements in overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory /cognitive awareness ." also "80% of the children had an improvement in overall functioning as rated by blinded physicians". 2009 multi-center blind trial  headed by Daniel A Rossignol

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 

Combining Hyperarics and Auditory Integration Therapy

For many years we have provided Hyperbarics for children with CP and Adults that have suffered a Stroke but when we combine our Conductive Education (physical therapy) program we tend to see better results.

The purpose of doing Hyperbarics with a child with Autism is to try and help stimulate areas of the brain that may have lower levels of activity and if we can also supply Auditory Integration in combination, it would give both therapies the optimal chance of making progress. Every child is an individual and so is the progress that they may make. Both therapies are being offered as alternative therapies.

All children need a regular routine to help them adjust to their environment, and learn to adapt to the demands made on them. The daily routine is a way of providing a learning environment for the child. Within this program, the child has the opportunity to practice and repeat skills they are learning or have learned.

All aspects of the child's development is included - physical, functional, psychological, social, cognitive. The automatic movements which we take for granted in our daily lives do not exist in the child with cerebral palsy. These movement patterns have to be learned.

For example, for the functional movement "raising the arms above the head and put the T-shirt on", the child with motor impairment must practice it in many different situations, ie in supine lying, in sitting, in standing, before they can do it automatically.

The well-planned, comprehensive program will provide and create situations where this can be learned and implemented daily.

Walk into the classroom in the morning

Children all walk in to the class.          Wheelchairs stay outside of class

Lying Program

Reaching and climbing up ladder.          Lifting a stick behind their heads.          Keeping body straight and bending one leg.

Potty Training

Learning to use the potty.          Perfection requires practice.

Snack

Children practice self feeding skills.          Children sit at the plinths to eat.          Some need little assistance.

 Standing Program

Raising one hand while seated.          Lifting leg to kick a ball.          Standing and holding ladder back chair.

Individual Program

Walking and following the leader.           Walking through a staggered ladder.          Walking, without help using ropes.

Sitting Program

Shaking a rattle while sitting.          Lifting a ring over head.          Holding sitting balance & lifting ball.

Manipulation

Placing hands together.          Placing rings over spindles.          Stacking colored shapes.

Pre-writing

Tracing line shapes.          Learning to control movement on the page.          Practicing pre- writing skills.

Lunch

Parents in the class during lunch.         Assisting children only as required.

Walking out

Pushing a standing ladder.          Pushing a walker with assistance.          Independently pushing a walker.

Walking into the bedroom

Arrived using a walker, 5 weeks later walking to her room using quad canes.

Services

  • Stroke Therapy

    A Stroke damages the brain and many of the pathways or neural connections to the muscles have been destroyed Read More
  • 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 Read More
  • HBOT

    Ability Camp Inc. provided Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as an alternative therapy for the following conditions:... Read More
  • Cerebral Palsy

    Whether your child was a preemie or born full term once the doctors actually say the words Cerebral Palsy Read More
  • 1

In The Press

Testimonials

  • Parents Assist on First Day

    Little Miracles

    "Conducting Little Miracles" Excerpt from Kingston Whig Standard April 22, 95 .. Staff Writer: Murray Hogbin Some miracles are happening in Picton: The lives of five children with Cerebral Palsy are greatly improving. The children many of them unable to walk, talk or even sit unassisted, are attending the first five week Ability Camp session. They're being encouraged to literally take their first steps and do things their parents never thought possible. The Conductors move about constantly

    Read More
  • Jonathon walking with canes

    Dream Come True

    Ottawa Lions Club Help Jonathan's Dream Come True Many thanks to the Ottawa Lions Club for helping 11 year old Jonathan Golland's dream of walking come true. Jonathan first arrived in our building in his wheelchair to travel about 100' from the car into the building although he was able to use a Kaye walker. Jonathan was very excited about the idea of trying to learn to walk and throughout the program he showed a great

    Read More
  • 1
  • We came with our three and a half year old daughter Emma from Chicago, Illinois. It is about a 12 to 14 hour drive, just under 800 miles. It was a big deal to actually get the time off of Read More
    Bill and Emma Bill & Emma
  • This is our second visit to Ability Camp. The first time was in September for the Oxygen treatment. We came back a few months later to do Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and Conductive Education because the first time I was here, Read More
    Katerina
  • We're from Virginia. This is our first time at Ability Camp. Christopher was a full term child. He had a stroke when he was in uterus and had his first seizure at 8 days. We've been here for 3 weeks. Read More
  • 1
  • 2