The main reasons therapists use Kids-AHA1,2 are to:
Kids-AHA is for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. There are two versions of the assessment which are used for children of different ages1:
A version for infants aged from eight to 18 months old, called the Mini-AHA is also available.
The child is video recorded as they play. The therapist will later score their performance from the recording.
The assessment session will take between 30 – 60 minutes and includes 15 minutes for the play-based Kids-AHA assessment1. It takes a further 60 minutes for a therapist to score the assessment from the videorecording. Feedback about the assessment can be written in a report or given verbally depending on family preference. A written report takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and a face to face feedback session also takes approximately 30 minutes.
Fees will apply for a health professional to conduct the assessment. You should also check with your provider to confirm if there will be any additional costs to develop a home program, travel to the session/s or prepare reports. The cost will vary depending on the service provider.
You can ask your health care provider if you are eligible for funding to assist with the assessment fees. People with disability living in Australia may also be eligible for a health care rebate through Medicare or funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Health professionals must undertake training and certification in order to administer, score and interpret both versions of the Kids-AHA. For information on completing the training course, visit the Assisting Hand Assessment website or CPteaching™.
There are costs for training and certification to become qualified in giving this assessment. As part of the course, a test manual is supplied. Assessment kits can also be purchased.
A therapist scores the videorecording of each child’s performance on 20 items, according to a four-point scale1. The scale is specific for each item, but with a generic basis (that is, 4 = Effective to 1=Does not do). Scores are entered into an electronic spreadsheet, which calculates a raw score (20-80) and logit based AHA units (0-100). These are then used to interpret and report the results1.
The current version of this assessment is Kids-AHA V5.01,3
Kids-AHA was developed using Rasch measurement modelling as a standardised, criterion-referenced assessment to examine a child’s typical performance using both hands together – not their capacity2. What this means is that it assesses how children typically use their more affected upper limb in two-handed activities (performance) – and does not describe or measure their best ability (capacity).
A hierarchy of difficulty of items was produced by the Rasch analysis. A child’s level on the hierarchy allows the therapist to gain a profile of their strengths and weaknesses. Their treatment can be designed to provide the “just right” level of challenge by targeting the movements and tasks which are more difficult.
Date of literature searches: October 2015
The information on this page was developed using the best research evidence combined with the expertise of clinicians and people with cerebral palsy and their families. It is provided to help people with cerebral palsy, their families and caregivers, clinicians and service providers make decisions about suitable interventions. This information is intended to support, but not replace, information exchanged, and decisions made, between people with cerebral palsy, their families and health professionals.