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How a Child May Enter a Movement Programme

STAGE 1 - CHECKLIST OF SYMPTOMS

The child’s parents/guardians complete a Check List of Symptoms and Contact Form and post or email to Brain and Behaviour Enhancement. A treatment specialist will, by telephone and/or email, further clarify the information received on the Check List and Contact Form. The information provided regarding the child’s history and present behaviour is generally a very useful indicator as to whether or not physical factors may be contributing to his/her difficulties. Based on the information received the treatment specialist will be in a position to decide whether it would benefit the child to participate in Stage 2 - the Initial Evaluation.

STAGE 2 - INITIAL EVALUATION

The child attends the clinic with his/her parent/guardian. This initial evaluation lasts about 1 hour. A detailed history of the child’s early development is discussed. During the interview the child may wish to listen, or may prefer to play with toys/jigsaws, or do pencil/crayon work. Following the interview, and depending on the responses, some non-invasive physical tests are carried out on the child. The tests are not uncomfortable. Observation of the child’s demeanor, behaviour, patterns of attachment, actions, interactions and participation are useful in the diagnostic process at this point. It will be fairly clear at the end of this evaluation whether or not the Movement Programme would be of benefit to the child. If it becomes evident that the Programme would benefit the child details of what is involved are outlined to the parents/guardians and we suggest that the parents/guardians and child take a few days to decide whether they wish to embark on the Programme. This Programme does not suit every child seen at the Centre. Occasionally the treatment specialist may be in a position to direct the parent to another more appropriate service to suit an individual child.

STAGE 3 - COMPLETE ASSESSMENT

The child attends the clinic with the parents/guardians for the Neuro- Developmental Diagnostic Assessment. This may take up to 3 hours. Extensive tests are carried out to include the following:

  • Listening ability
  • Balance
  • Patterns of motor development
  • Gross and fine muscle co-ordination
  • Presence of aberrant reflexes
  • Laterality
  • Ocular-motor functioning
  • Visual-perceptual abilities
  • Visual-motor integration performance.

The child’s performance in the assessment will indicate to the treatment specialist the Movement Programme best suited to meet the child’s needs. The treatment specialist will outline and demonstrate the movement programme to be undertaken by the child with the parents’/guardians’ assistance. The programme is performed at home on a daily basis for about 10 minutes daily until the next review appointment (6-8 weeks later). This Movement Programme of physical exercises is designed to retrain the reflex pathways and improve control over voluntary movements, visual functioning and perceptual abilities. A detailed written report by the specialist, based on the findings of the child’s assessment, will be forwarded to the parents/guardians. This report may be of assistance to the Child’s Teacher,and other professionals involved. The child and Parents/Guardians return to the Centre once every 6-8 weeks for approximately one year. At the review appointments the child’s progress is assessed and the Programme is then adjusted according to the child’s individual changing reflex profile. The treatment specialist is available to take telephone queries at a specified time each day between the visits to the Centre and, if considered appropriate or beneficial to the child, with the parent's/guardian's permission, will also liase with other professionals involved with the child.

STAGE 4 - REVIEW APPOINTMENTS

The first review may take up to 1½ hours. Subsequent reviews last about 1 hour. After each review the new programme, tailored to suit the child’s changing reflex profile is demonstrated by the treatment specialist and practised by the child.

The Movement Programme is a team effort with commitment and dedication required from the three main players: (a) the parent/guardian, (b) the child (c) the Brain and Behaviour Enhancement team. Brain and Behaviour’s input in the Initial Evaluation, Complete Assessment and First Review takes 6 hours face to face work with parents/guardians and child. There is an additional 6 hours completing, updating and reviewing child’s file and writing up Diagnostic Assessment Written Report. Each review takes an extra ½ hour without child or parents/guardians present. Ideally the parents/guardians who would join the Programme would have an intense desire to improve their child’s performance so that the child can reach his/her potential. Parents/Guardians attend with child and stay for duration of appointments. If possible the child will wear shorts and t-shirt for the assessment and reviews and, if relevant, have long hair tied back.
 
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