What are HANDLE Services ?
Your HANDLE provider will give you a program of HANDLE activities that you performs on your own or with the help of a parent or caregiver. The combination of activities and the way the activity is preformed is individually designed for each client. HANDLE is most successful when the activities are regularly performed. A parent or caregiver can physically guide a client through the intended movement for almost every HANDLE Activity.
HANDLE activities are specific, repeated, organized movements intended to provide as much input as the brain/body can process in that moment and no more. An activity done for 3 seconds when the neurological systems are open and ready for new input is far more helpful than an activity done for 2 minutes; of which 117 seconds are in stress mode. Your provider will teach you to recognize the signals that your brain/body has had enough. HANDLE is most successful when Gentle Enhancement becomes a way of life.
Clients experience the most success when the activities are incorporated into their daily routines. Adults can do some in the shower or even while waiting for a light to change while driving. A parent or caregiver can do an activity or two as they help a client into a car, help with dressing or self care. Because most activities use little or no equipment and take only a few minutes they can be done virtually anywhere.
Your HANDLE provider may also make recommendations for environmental, nutritional or lifestyle changes. HANDLE is most successful when the client, parent or care giver reduces the burden on the systems the HANDLE Activities are trying organize.
Because HANDLE is holistic, an individual's history, present experiences and future aspirations or goals are reviewed. HANDLE providers ask clients to fill out a questionnaire in advance of the first meeting and more information is gathered in the evaluation. We ask individuals to engage in activities that allow us to discover how information comes into the body, how the brain interprets, uses, stores and retrieves information and how the body responds. The observations and information we gather allows our providers to design each individual's HANDLE program. There are two levels of evaluation: a HANDLE Screening and a HANDLE Assessment.
A HANDLE Screening is a brief evaluation, intended for individuals 5 years and older. We look for the presence of neurodevelopmental challenges. It is an excellent way to quickly find out what the underlying obstacles may be for mild learning and/or processing difficulties, social and behavioral difficulties, memory and attention challenges and to get help right away. Some of the systems evaluated include: auditory, vision ,including eye teaming and tracking, differentiation, balance, muscle tone, interhemispheric and sensory integration. A screening typically takes about 45 minutes.
The Screener explains the findings, teaches the activities, provides written instructions and any materials needed to go home and do the activities. The Screener may offer recommendations to reduce task and environmental demands. This part typically takes about two hours.
The Screener meets with the client again, usually in a week to ten days to watch the activities being performed, make any needed adjustments and answer any questions.
Many clients experience significant relief and improvement by implementing the screening recommendations and HANDLE Activities.
If the results of the screening show that the scope of the client’s needs are outside of the parameters of a screening program, the Screener may recommend a full HANDLE assessment and treatment program.
The HANDLE Assessment is designed for people of all ages with mild to severe neurological and behavioral challenges. For pre-school children it may look more like play as we engage and observe the child. Our HANDLE Practitioners are able to adapt assessment activities to any age or ability in order to discover how the individual's brain and body systems are operating.
This in-depth evaluation looks at each system more comprehensively than a screening does. An assessment typically takes two hours.
The Practitioner provides a visual map (neurodevelomental profile) that explains the dynamic interaction between the individual's systems. The Practitioner illuminates how the findings relate to the concerns that brought the client to HANDLE. The client is given recommendations and is taught their individualized program of HANDLE activities and given all the materials they need to start their HANDLE program at home. This part typically takes two hours.
A week to ten days later the client returns to their practitioner for an activity check. During this 1-2 hour appointment the practitioner watches the client perform all the activities in their program, making corrections or adjustments as needed.
Each client is encouraged to participate in a series of program reviews. The practitioner continues to fine-tune the client's program to support optimal progress. As systems improve, some activities are discontinued and new activities are introduced. In person program reviews, are ideal but they can be conducted on-line.