| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

I would like to introduce you to Hannah! She is a freshman in high school. Hannah is a social butterfly and has many friends! She has a cheery disposition. Her favorite projects at school are art class, cooking projects, and class outings. She loves wearing makeup, having her older sister do her hair, and playing games on her tablet. She has been to two high school dances and had a great time!

Hannah had a bumpy start to life. She was born two months premature and in her first 24 hours of life had a devastating stroke. Hannah had to fight to stay alive. She spent two months in the hospital after birth. She had a tube placed in her stomach to get nutrition, as she was struggling to get enough nutrition by bottle. She still gets some nutrition through her tube. Hannah had a shunt placed in her brain to help the fluid in her brain stay at a healthy pressure. She has had several surgeries over the years. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. For Hannah this means that her brain and body do not work well together. Her skin does not provide accurate information about texture, pressure, pain, or temperature. Her body does not move the way she wants it to. Hannah has the most control over her right hand and arm and can become frustrated by her left hand and arm because it is harder for her to move and control. She has trouble sitting by herself and can’t stand on her legs. She uses a power wheelchair to get around; she rides on a school bus that is designed for use with wheelchairs.

Hannah has worked on a number of goals with her occupational therapist. Recently Hannah has been focused on two sewing projects. This requires Hannah to use both hands and to use her right hand with precision. She also needs to follow instructions and use her eyes to help with safety as she does not feel if she pokes her finger (she uses a blunted needle). She recently completed one project and is very proud of her elephant pillow! Hannah says, “Thank you, WA Elks!”

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