The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA) exists to help children – children who have survived an early brain injury that results in hemiplegia or hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body). We also help adults who have been living with a diagnosis of hemiplegia since childhood. We could tell you about all the difficulties and challenges faced by some, but not all, of our survivors – paralysis, epilepsy (seizures), issues with learning, vision, balance, emotions and behavior – but those challenges don’t really define these kids. They are fun-loving, amazing children, teens, and adults who just want to be like everyone else and enjoy life and feel successful. They experience daily struggles and find ways to adapt. CHASA exists to help these children become happy, successful, independent adults and along we way, we also help their parents, siblings, and sometimes a few grandparents.
The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association, CHASA, is a nonprofit organization founded by parents of children with hemiplegia in 1996 to provide information and support to families of children who have hemiplegia, hemiparesis, or hemiplegic cerebral palsy. These conditions are often caused by stroke in an infant and may also be the result of a number of different conditions.
CHASA is recognized as an international authority on the needs of children who have hemiplegic cerebral palsy. CHASA has partnered with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Office of Rare Diseases Research, and the Child Neurology Society to co-sponsor an international symposium where preeminent pediatric stoke researchers and pediatric neurologists could gather to discuss current developments in the field and future directions fin pediatric stroke research.
CHASA provides three informational websites, over 30 online discussion group with over 5000 members, plans and hosts an annual retreat for families of children who have hemiplegia, supports local family events through a small grant program, assists researchers in recruiting participants for research studies, provides family retreat scholarships, provides financial assistance to help families in need purchase hand and foot braces, and provides college and vocational school and athletic scholarships for young adults who have hemiplegia. In 2002, CHASA leaders founded Pediatric Stroke Awareness Day, the first Saturday in May which, in 2010, was expanded to Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month.
CHASA sponsors programs and events under the names Hemi-Kids, Kids Have Strokes, Streak for Pediatric Stroke, and Strikes for Pediatric Stroke.