The Variety Myoelectric Center
offers families of children with limb deficiencies access to leading
experts in children's prosthetics and pediatric physical medicine and
rehabilitation, as well as advanced pediatric occupational therapy
services. The program is a partnership between Variety the Children's Charity-Detroit
and Beaumont Children's. Variety the Children's
Charity-Detroit is a children's charity with the mission of" simply
helping kids no matter the need, and serving as a trusted local source
to do what's right - changing our lives by changing theirs."
Experienced pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation physician
The medical director for the Variety Myoelectric Center is Edward
Dabrowski, M.D, a pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation
(PM&R) specialist with more than 30 years of experience. Dr.
Dabrowski has worked with the Center for nearly as many years, helping
hundreds of children gain access to myoelectric prostheses. He also
serves as system director, Pediatric PM&R for Beaumont Children's.
In evaluating candidacy for the program, Dr. Dabrowski takes into
account each child's medical history, neurological and physical status,
any contraindications, family support and the child's motivation to
accept a myoelectric arm.
Expert pediatric prosthetic consultants
Variety Myoelectric Center
patients have access to a team of prosthetists with decades of
experience in designing, building and fitting electronic limbs for
children with upper limb differences. They are integral in determining
the optimal piece of equipment for each patient, repairing the limb as
needed and refitting as the child grows.
The specialty team of prosthetists at the Variety Myoelectric Center
includes Carl Brenner, CPO; Robert Bacon, CP; and Joseph Brenner, CP.
Over the last 30 years, the team has introduced several innovations into
the prosthetic care of children, including:
- completing the first successful fitting of a 12-month old infant with a two site/two function myoelectric prosthesis in 1985
- using Variety Myoelectric Center electronic limb bank components to
develop the prosthetic test modules needed to provide evidence-based
documentation for insurance approval
- initiating an expedited prosthetic delivery process to allow for the
completion of a new electronic prosthesis and initial training (for
out-of-state children) within five days
- reducing the overall number of prostheses each child needs by
developing laminated growth liners to increase the duration of the
Beaumont Children's occupational therapists
Variety Myoelectric Center patients receive occupational therapy
training through Beaumont Children's. Highly skilled children's
occupational therapists create an individualized plans to help each
child master the use of his or her artificial limb for play, school work
and daily tasks. These therapists are nationally accredited, clinically
certified and licensed. Many hold specialty certifications and all
participate in pediatric specialty training courses, ensuring young
patients have access to the most advanced evidence-based pediatric
occupational therapy approaches and techniques.
Before the child receives the prostheses, the occupational therapist
provides training to maintain range of motion and build strength in the
residual upper extremity and trunk, along with preparatory activities to
help the child receive the prosthetic arm fitting. Parental support and
involvement is integral to the success of the child's adjustment to the
prosthetic arm and the occupational therapists provide the education
and information parents need to participate effectively.
After the child has received the prosthetic arm, the occupational
therapist provides customized training to incorporate activities that
are appropriate to the child's growth and developmental stages. The
therapist trains the child in the use of the myoelectric hand through
play and functional activities, teaching the child to use the
myoelectric hand spontaneously to perform two-handed tasks.
Occupational therapy sessions usually take place two to three times
per week in the initial phase, followed by weekly sessions from one to