Families often ask how often they need to visit the Centre for appointments. In order for our team to provide the best possible support, guidance and assessment, we ask families to adhere to the frequency of visits detailed below.
We understand that for some families who travel a long distance the frequency of appointments can seem onerous but we do explain at the initial consultation the need and reasons behind the frequency of visits and by adhering to the frequency of appointments families are able to optimise the effectiveness of the therapy and skills and experience of the clinical team.
A ‘screening session’ where it will be ascertained if our treatment is appropriate for the individual concerned. A detailed history of the patient will be discussed and a short physical examination will take place to check for the presence of primitive reflexes. A thorough explanation of the treatment methods will be given. We will also take the opportunity to discuss individual circumstances which may affect the feasibility of carrying out the home programme on a daily basis. We will indicate suitability for treatment at this appointment.
A neuro-developmental examination using established neurological testing procedures. This tests the neurological status of the patient. Our specially designed-measurement system is then used to quantify the level of neurological dysfunction; this provides the starting point for the treatment itself. Before commencing treatment we also administer standard perceptual tests where appropriate, in order to gain reliable, objective measurements of progress in this area.
After completing the neuro-developmental assessment we will prepare a report and invite parents/carers to return to the Centre for a presentation of the results of the neuro-developmental assessment. The results are explained in detail and plenty of time is allocated for any questions that you may have. This is the only appointment that we do not need the child to attend.
The teaching of the home therapy programme involves the demonstration of the movement patterns that will need to be completed by families at home. All those who assist with the programme at home should practise the patterns. Instruction sheets will be provided and careful guidance will be given into how to achieve the most effective results from the programme. If a family requires, we are happy to liaise with any other professional involved. A full support service by telephone is offered by the BIRD team to assist with any issues or queries that may arise.
Six week review appointment
We ask all families to return six weeks after being taught the home programme to enable us to check the exercises are being performed correctly. This is a very important part of the process and allows us to adjust and correct any areas that are causing concern or confusion and to give the family reassurance that the exercises are being correctly followed.
Three-monthly review appointments
The three review sessions take place three, six and nine months after being taught the home programme this is to ensure that the programme continues to be performed and gives the opportunity for modification and refinement of the programme to take place. Assessment of practical changes in the patient are monitored to ascertain the effectiveness of the treatment. These sessions provide an opportunity to provide additional input where applicable ie. physiotherapy recommendations, perceptual training or further assessment.
End of year Assessment
After three review sessions the ‘end of year’ assessment takes place and aims to fully establish and assess the changes that have taken place over the year. A full neuro-developmental assessment will be made and a full progress report will be prepared and at this point a recommendation for a further year on the BIRD programme or discharge from the programme will be made. This decision is taken together with the family and is guided by the level of both technical improvements and progress areas of everyday life.