“I loved it! It was a great way of helping the kids achieve therapy goals (without them even thinking they were doing therapy!) while learning magic at the same time. The program was well run and organized. I look forward to volunteering again. At the end of each session I felt I had achieved something which is something that is very important to me.”
“The smile on my buddy’s face after he successfully performed “Fast Hands”… he was eve able to do it with his left (weaker) hand! It was great seeing him become more confident with that hand each session.”
Bloorview Magic Coach/Volunteer
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab (HBKR) is Canada’s largest children rehabilitation hospital.
At this facility, participants of My Magic Hands not only learn magic; they also build confidence and presentation skills, while integrating the practice of magic into their therapy and rehabilitation.
My Magic Hands challenges and develops participant’s interpersonal skills. Clients often feel self conscious because they are no longer able to do certain things that once came easily, which can lead to introversion. My Magic Hands surrounds clients with supportive instructors, therapists and volunteers allowing clients to learn how to interact with others and participate despite significant challenges.
In addition to the benefits of learning magic for teaching life skills, therapists also recognize magic as an efficient vehicle for achieving therapeutic goals. Clients experience a range of challenges often resulting from acquired brain injury. All participants in the program have been referred by an occupational therapist and assigned one or more development goals in areas such as speech, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, bilateral arm use, memory and sequencing. At the Big Show magicians must impress, not only the audience, but therapists as well,who evaluate their progress relative to the goals they set.
A recent study at the University of Toronto, Department of Occupational Therapy called magic as “just the right challenge”, because of its immediate feedback – either they work or they don’t. Clients are motivated to problem-solve and troubleshoot their difficulties until they achieve success. Participants see positive outcomes from repeated practice and rehearsal both in their own work, and by observing others.