What we do – Families

Families What we do pageWhat we do: Assessments

The Brainwave Programme rests on the principle of neuroplasticity and our qualified and experienced staff are drawn from the mainstream fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and education. All Brainwave therapists receive additional training in sensory, physiotherapy, cognitive and communication techniques.

After making contact with us via telephone or email a qualified therapist will ring you to have an informal conversation about your child, discuss their needs, abilities and what we offer. We will also request a medical history of your child. Following this we will offer you an initial assessment at one of our three centres.

Prior to your attendance one of our Family Facilitators will be in touch with you to answer any questions you may have about your appointment and discuss what to expect.

Your Visit: What to expect

You and your child will be invited to attend either the South West, South East or North West Centre. Our South West Centre also offers onsite self-catering accommodation and a hydrotherapy pool as well as SDR rehabilitation sessions.

Your initial assessment will be carried out over a two day period, with two therapists specifically chosen to meet the needs of your child.

Day 1:

  • 9:30:  You will meet one (sometimes both) therapists for history consultation.  This takes roughly an hour and you will have a general conversation about birth history, medical history, any therapy input, areas of difficulty or areas you find challenging and your goals and aims for the session.  The therapist may also ask if you are happy to complete a developmental questionnaire with them.  The therapists will use this questionnaire to plot a graph that will map your child’s development in all areas, showing strengths and weakness in comparison to their peer group.
  • Following this you will have time for a short break; a cup of tea in our Family Room provides you with the opportunity to meet other Brainwave families.
  • You will then meet both the therapists who will be working with you across the two days.  Evaluations of physical, cognitive and sensory development will be carried out through the use of games and toys where possible.  You are invited to be as involved as much you wish; some parents prefer to watch and take it all in whereas others prefer to be more involved and provide encouragement and support verbally to their child, especially if they are apprehensive about strangers. The therapists acknowledge that you know your child best so welcome your input.
  • Lunchtime:  you will be free to leave or return to the Family Room; families who have booked accommodation may wish to return to their bungalow to allow their child to have a nap.
  • After lunch you will have a discussion with your therapists about their findings and evaluation from the morning’s assessment. If appropriate they will provide you with the Developmental graph from the morning’s consultation and explain to you how to read the graph.   They will also provide you with a draft copy of the programme which may contain a series of cognitive and/or physical exercises, fine motor skills, play skills, listening, concentration and sensory exercises etc.   This Programme will be designed specifically for your child based on the morning’s evaluation and what you have discussed with the therapists. A finalised programme will be provided on the second day; this allows for small adjustments to be made, if required, as your child may work slightly differently the following day as they become accustomed to the environment and the therapists.
  • Hydrotherapy:  If attending the South West Centre you will have a hydrotherapy session in our purpose built pool.  Parents are welcome to come into the water and join in with the therapy if they wish, or if they prefer they can watch from the side.  Swim nappies for babies are available and families are provided with towels at the pool, so no need to take damp towels home!
  •  During the afternoon you will meet with a member of our Fundraising team for a short informal conversation about how we might be able to help your child with funding and how you can get involved in supporting the Charity.
  • You will then be free to go and relax for the evening.  Please ask at reception if you require any directions to local shops, restaurants or take-away services.

Families What we do page 2DAY 2:

  • You will meet both your therapists at 9:30 in the Family Room, from here you will return to the therapy room.  Day 2 is all about teaching you the programme that was designed for your child.  The therapists will work together showing you the exercises and record them on a camcorder so that you may have a DVD copy of the exercises to take home with you. After each exercise they will invite you to have a go with your child and will instruct you through the handling required.  There is plenty of time for this and the therapists are happy to demonstrate exercises as many times as required so that you are satisfied that you can complete them at home on your own.
  • After lunch you will receive a second hydrotherapy session (if attending the South West Centre). This will provide an opportunity for the therapist to teach you any water based exercises that may benefit your child. Some parents feel anxious holding their child in the water in different positions; the therapists will guide you through the correct handling.
  • In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to visit our Sensory Room.  The sensory session is a fun, playful session for your child to explore lights, bubbles, sounds and textures in a purpose built soft play area.
  • Finish:  The therapists will provide you with a DVD and paper copy of the programme, any equipment they feel appropriate for you to complete the exercises, for example a physio ball or wedge and a list of other resources, if required.  They will book a reassessment date with you to return again in 4-6 months to monitor progress and update exercises. Please note the subsequent reassessments take place over one full day.
  • Following your visit, one of our Family Facilitators will be in contact with you; they provide strong local support for as long as your family wishes.

Follow-up Reassessments:

Following your initial assessment you will be invited to return to the centre every 4-6 months for a review of your child’s development and to update their programme accordingly. You are encouraged to contact your Family Facilitator or email your child’s therapist if you require any advice between visits. The subsequent reassessments are carried out in much the same format as the initial assessment but are concluded over one day.

To enquire about Brainwave’s provision and how we can help your child, please click here and fill out the online form.