Treatment comprises a programme of specialised, neurodevelopmental movement patterns, designed to stimulate neurological feedback to the brain, promote neurological integration, reduce dysfunctions and encourage maturation within the Central Nervous System.
Movement patterns are commonly referred to at B.I.R.D. as exercises. Exercise programmes are non-invasive, non-strenuous and are drug-free. Typically programmes are performed within the person’s own home, each day with the help of 1-2 parents/carers. Each exercise programme is tailored to the individual person, but programmes take, in general, thirty minutes to complete.
The movements that comprise each exercise are based upon the developmental movements made by all typically developing children within the first few months of life. Hence, patient’s completing treatment are provided with opportunities to pass through ‘normal’ developmental milestones of infantile development, revisiting critical stages of brain development, removing barriers to learning, and enabling developmental progression/rehabilitation.
In order for neurological integration to be achieved, exercise programmes must be performed daily and with good accuracy. Neurological dysfunction is reassessed at three monthly intervals, and exercise programmes are modified accordingly.
Are the exercises easy?
The exercises are not physically tiring and in the main, involve lying down on the floor/a flat, firm surface. They are not physically challenging, but are made up of several detailed components. In order to work effectively, the exercises rely on being performed with precision, accuracy and good speed.
The exercises work best when done regularly. Families are encouraged to build exercise programmes into their daily routines, performing the exercises at the same time each day, missing very few, if any days of therapy throughout the course of treatment.
The exercises are repetitive in nature and it is not uncommon for families to experience issues relating to co-operation. Rewards are often necessary to sustain commitment to the programme.
As the exercises rely on being performed accurately, in addition to issues surrounding co-operation, it is usually necessary for 2 family members/carers to provide passive assistance. Good feedback is achieved through accurate movement patterning, which can be achieved either though passive patterning or active participation.