What is the Assisting Hand Assessment?

The Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA) is a hand function evaluation instrument, which measures and describes how children with an upper limb disability in one hand use his/her affected hand (assisting hand) collaboratively with the non-affected hand in bimanual play.

The test is developed for use with children who have a unilateral disability, i.e., who have one well functioning and one less well functioning hand. Children with hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy or sequale from obstetric brachial plexus palsy (OBPP) are appropriate candidates for the AHA. The AHA can be used with children as young as 18 months and up to 12 years of age.

The AHA has the unique perspective of assessing how the child use their two hands together, in a fun and engaging situation where using two hands is natural. It is the child’s spontaneous and normal way of handling objects when playing that is assessed, not their best capacity to grasp, release or manipulate objects when prompted to use their affected hand. This makes the AHA a measure of usual performance.