Why use the AHA?

The AHA describes how effectively a child actually uses his/her affected hand when it needs to be used interactively with the well-functioning hand. This information is perhaps the most important aspect of the child's hand function since this is how two hands need to be used in most day to day activities. The AHA is the first hand function test with this focus.

The AHA description is twofold; Firstly, it consists of a score giving a measure reflecting how well the hand is used as an assisting hand. The scale range from 22 points, meaning that the hand is not used at all, to 88 points meaning that the hand is used effectively, like a normal non-dominant hand. The score reflects the child's ability to use the affected hand in bimanual performance.

Secondly, the outcome of the AHA provides a textual description of how the child uses the affected hand. For example, how does the child grasp objects; from the table or from the other hand? How stably are objects in the hand; do they sometimes slip or are objects of different features effectively stabilized? How quickly does the child initiate the use of the affected hand; as quickly as the other hand or only after a delay or only on request? For each of the 22 test items there are criteria describing object related hand actions. Thus, as well as providing a sum score the AHA also provides a description, an ability profile, of how the individual child uses the affected hand.