Putting the stronger arm in a cast during a therapy session forces kids to use the weaker one. (Source: WOIO)
Reggie, Eric, Haleigha, and Matthew all have one thing in common: At one point, they were all completely paralyzed on one side of their bodies.
"We took her a few places and they discovered she had a stroke," said Felicia Sheline, whose 5-year-old daughter, Haleigha, has hemiplegia.
Hemiplegia is a form of paralysis. Kids can be born with it or have another health issue that can cause it. About one in every 1,000 children have hemiplegia. Doctors have found that in most children under 2, it is a form of cerebral palsy or stroke.
Putting the kids' stronger arms in casts during their three-hour daily session forces them to use the weaker one. The goal is to make the weak arm strong again by the end of the three weeks.
“She couldn’t walk and since then, she’s grown and she can do many things,” said Sheline.
Sheline says her daughter’s stroke made her unable to speak. After three years in the program, she’s seen dramatic results. She’s not the only parent who has.
“This is healing him to use it to be more mobile and helping him to do self-help things,” said Jenice Holland, whose 9-year-old son, Eric, had surgery on the right side of his brain and is in recovery.
Small tasks, like lifting an arm, holding the door, and walking, are things healthy people take for granted. These tiny steps are giving this group of kids hope and healing along the way.