Kathryn's Story

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Alistar Smiling During Treatment

Meet Kathryn

"We are already talking about doing CIMT again"
- Lynette, Kathryn's mum.
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Follow Kathryn's Story

“Kathryn has now much better awareness and inclusion of her weaker hand.”
Kathryn's Parents.

The Challenge

Kathryn had a really good range of movement in her left arm and was able to access this. However, Kathryn disliked using her left side and needed lots of encouragement to complete tasks.

During her CIMT programme Kathryn was given many opportunities to incorporate her left hand in play which increased her strength and dexterity and gave her a more positive outlook when using this side.

“The fact that she can sustain a grasp now is amazing improvement.”
- Lynette, Kathryn’s mum.

The Goals

  • To increase independence in bimanual activities
  • To improve active thumb and finger control
  • To improve grasp and release
  • To give Kathryn a positive opinion of her left side

Our Approach


Practising grasp and release through play


Provide achievable tasks using left hand


Give plenty of positive praise for using left hand


Fine motor skills exercises

The Science-y Bit

Constraint induced movement therapy involves rehabilitation of the weaker arm/hand while restraining the stronger arm in a light-weight cast. Constraining the use of Kathryn’s well functioning arm/hand ensured Kathryn utilised her affected limb more on a number of ‘exercises’, through the play-lead physiotherapy sessions overseen by one of our highly qualified therapists.

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Making tasks achievable and giving lots of praise for achieving the tasks gave Kathryn a positive experience of using her left arm, therefore, encouraging her to use it more often. Constraint induced movement therapy has been shown to help reverse developmental disregard and re-engage the affected arm in daily function, allowing Kathryn to develop skills with both arms as she learns new tasks.

Nikki Owen portrait headshot

Nikki Owen - Paediatric Physiotherapist

“CIMT is the first step for Kathryn in realising that she can use her arm and for her to start using it.”
Lynette, Kathryn’s mum

The Results

Increase Upwards Arrow Icon20%

General Usage

Increase Upwards Arrow Icon60%

Arm Use

Increase Upwards Arrow Icon25%

Grasp Release

Increase Upwards Arrow Icon33%

Fine Motor Adjustment

The Achievements

  • Kathryn had an increase in strength, dexterity and coordination allowing her to better control the movement of her upper limb.
  • Kathryn developed the ability to independently grasp objects from both the therapist's hand and the table.
  • The gross motor control in Kathryn's shoulder and elbow has improved allowing her to greater accuracy and coordination of activities.
  • Kathryn's thumb is in a more functional position allowing her to abduct her thumb out of the way when using a palmar grasp.
“You will be surprised of what your child can achieve”
Lynette, Kathryn's mum

The Parents Feedback

“It’s been a very positive experience right from the beginning. When we first met the therapists they gave us realistic expectations and the programme was really well organised. They kept Kathryn motivated at all times. Kathryn’s got a lot more control and strength in her arm. Kathryn knows that she can attempt to use her weaker arm now and that’s definitely a big improvement as she tended to ignore it before.“

On the whole Kathryn has definitely enjoyed the CIMT, she’s been happy, smiling and laughing most of the time as therapists kept her entertained. CIMT is a start of the journey for Kathryn to use her hand more and a big push in a right direction for us. - Kathryn’s parents.

The Therapists Feedback

“Kathryn shows a great determination in all she wants to achieve. This often delighted therapists when she accomplished new tasks. She also showed this determination by not repeating activities once mastered. I loved the challenge this presented and enjoyed coming up with new and inventive ways to encourage Kathryn to participate. I know that Kathryn will continue to delight her parents by showing them the skills she has learnt.”

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Kathryn shows a great determination in all she wants to achieve.
Nikki Owen portrait headshot

Nikki Owen - Paediatric Physiotherapist

Kathryn playing on the floor with CIMT therapist.
"The fact that she can sustain a grasp now is amazing improvement."
Lynette, Kathryn’s mum.

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