What should we expect at an initial assessment?

At Brainwave, we design individual Therapy Programmes to be carried out at home. Your child’s Programme could contain a mixture of educational, physical, sensory or speech exercises depending on what we find during our initial assessment. Sometimes the Programmes are designed to be followed in a specific order which will be explained to you by the therapists.

The day consists of a general assessment by therapists from different backgrounds to ascertain the needs of your child. The therapists include Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists Sensory Integration trained Therapists and Learning Development Specialists. They will then devise a Programme specifically tailored to the needs and personality of your child. The therapists will then explain and demonstrate the Programme and you will have plenty of time to try it out yourself before you leave so that you are able to carry out the Programme properly at home. The techniques we use are all mainstream and based on the principles of neuroplasticity. It is Brainwave’s holistic approach and the time that we can spend with you, that differentiates us from most of the services families can usually access. 

The initial assessment can be quite tiring on both child and family, but we are flexible with our timings so if a break is needed or a longer lunch, we can amend our sessions accordingly. The therapists will design the Programme to fit in with your lifestyle to make it as easy as possible for you to carry it out.  We also appreciate that lives are not static, so at any time in the future, please let us know if there are lifestyle changes that impact on you doing the Programme and we will do our best to change the Programme to suit your new needs.  When you leave after the initial assessment, you will be provided with video clips of the exercises that make up your individual Programme. If you need help regarding the Programme, please contact the Centre.

What should we bring or wear?

We advise everyone who attends an assessment to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes (including the adults!). Shorts and t-shirt are ideal (or a Babygro for those under 12 months old) but do bring extra layers just in case.

Any relevant medical reports / EHCP plans that would be beneficial for the therapists to see.

Being in a new environment can be unsettling, so please feel free to bring one or two of your child’s favourite toys to help them to settle. Just remember to take them home with you! Also, your own snacks and lunch; a lunch van visits the South West Centre, and there are some local shops – but not all our clinics have these facilities.

What are the costs involved?

Full details of our fee structure are available here or please call us on 01278 429089. We ask that a £50 non-refundable deposit is paid at the time of booking, to secure the date. Then the remaining contribution is paid 8 weeks before the appointment date if applicable.

Is funding support available?

We understand the increasing financial pressures that many families are facing and to help with this, we offer a means-tested Therapy Access Fund (only available to those living in the UK) to help families that are eligible cover the cost of accessing our services. If you would like to find out more about our Therapy Access Fund, please contact us via email: therapyaccessfund@brainwave.org.uk   Everyone attending Brainwave, is expected to pay a deposit to secure their appointment, including those who receive support from the Therapy Access Fund (TAF). If you feel you would struggle to pay a deposit, please contact us via email at this address: bookings@brainwave.org.uk  

See summary below:

  • The household income threshold has been increased to under £70k.
  • There will be 100% support towards therapy costs for those under this income amount, however, a £50 deposit will be required by everyone.
  • You will not need to complete a TAF application form.
  • A self-assessment process will be implemented, as part of the enquiry form, with no need for income evidence to be provided.
  • A review will be carried out later this year, in terms of whether we can continue with this approach going forward.
  • Once eligibility is confirmed this support lasts at that level for 12 months, (unless your household income changes), and can be used for all appointments i.e. initial assessment and reassessment.

Travel Support

To help with the current cost of living crisis, we are now able to offer support towards travel costs, between your home and our Centre in the South West. To be eligible your household income must be less than £70k, as per the TAF and you need to  submit your claim within two weeks following your visit, and upload receipts (if claiming for public transport).

Where should we stay when we attend our assessment?

We have one accessible self-catering accommodation unit which can be booked for the fee of £60.00 per night.  This has a maximum occupancy capacity of 6, (total adults/children combined) using the beds, and 1 additional infant, using the cot provided.  This will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and available from 4.00pm on the date of arrival, however, must be vacated by 10.00am on the date of departure.   If this is not available, there are local hotels such as the Travelodge and Premier Inn which may be suitable for your visit.

If we are using the on-site accommodation and need hoisting equipment, what should we do?

Please let us know asap if this is the case.  We have a fixed hoist which can be erected above the bed and a portable hoist which can be used within the hard floored living area.  Please bring your slings with you from home.

What is the role of the Family Facilitators?

One of our Family Facilitators will contact you around six weeks after you have completed the initial assessment to check all is well and to help answer any new questions that might arise. 

A Family Facilitator will telephone or email you from time to time or you can contact them at any time with any queries. The level of communication is in your hands. If you do not wish the Family Facilitator to contact you after the initial assessment follow-up, simply let them know, they will not be offended. Our Family Facilitators also run our secret Facebook Group for Brainwave families, which you will be invited to join, should you wish. Further details about the role of our Family Facilitators can be found on our website.

What if we need to postpone or cancel our appointment?

We understand that things can change, and you may not be able to make your appointment on a given day. Please give us as much notice as possible if you would like to rearrange your appointment for another day. If we have enough notice (we ask for at least six weeks’ notice, if possible) we may be able to roll over any deposit paid to a future session. 

We try to be as flexible as possible, so please contact us as soon as you can if you know you are unable to attend. If you do not turn up for the appointment and do not tell us, your deposit will be taken as a cancellation fee.   Our deposits are strictly non-refundable, so if you cancel your appointment and do not wish to rearrange your appointment, we will not be able to refund your deposit. Our cancellation policy is available to view on our website here.

When do I need to come back for a reassessment?

We usually suggest seeing your child every four – six months for a reassessment, which takes place over the course of one day.  During this day we will check the exercises and change the Programme as needed. If your child is seeing a Physiotherapist in the South West Centre, you would be welcome to opt-in to a hydrotherapy session (subject to staff availability).

Can other people carry out the Brainwave Programme with my child?

Having a team of people to help deliver the Brainwave Programme is a great idea and you may find it useful to create a rota to show who will be involved and when.

During your visit, we will film the exercises during the teaching sessions and provide you with video clips to access at home. We will also give you a laminated copy of the Brainwave Programme with exercise details. These are useful tools not only for yourself but for any other friends or family who are happy to be involved with delivering the Brainwave Programme. Remember to demonstrate the techniques and show them the DVD beforehand so they know what to do.

What will we need to carry out the Brainwave Programme?

During your visit, we will film the exercises during the teaching sessions and provide you with a video clips to access at home (we can air drop video clips if you have an iPhone, alternatively we can email you the video clips via our secure platform). We will also give you a laminated copy of the Brainwave Programme with exercise details. These are useful tools not only for yourself but for any other friends or family who are happy to be involved with delivering the Programme. Remember to demonstrate the techniques and show them the video clips beforehand so they know what to do.

We recommend using a quiet room in your house for the Brainwave Programme, away from any distractions. We suggest having a separate box of toys to use specifically with the Programme.

A stopwatch is useful to help keep track of the timings on the Programme.

We will lend you most of the equipment you may require (physio balls, wedges etc) and can send these to you if transporting them back after an assessment is an issue. When returning for your reassessment, we ask that you bring back the equipment so we can swap it for different items as required.

The equipment we loan out is expensive, so if you decide not to continue with the Brainwave Programme, you will need to arrange to return the equipment to one of our Centres.

How often should we carry out the Brainwave Programme?

The Brainwave Programme itself is designed to be completed five-six times per week. It is important to have at least one day off per week and do not do the Programme when your child is ill. Where possible, try to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone taking part. We suggest taking a break from the Programme for a week or two when you go on your holidays but remember to get back into your routine when you return.

On paper, the Brainwave Programme will last 20-30 minutes, but it can take a little longer in the beginning as you and the child get used to the exercises and the routine.

You may like to do the Programme at a particular time each day when your child is most alert and ready for the exercises.

What were the Child Sponsorship and Guardians schemes?

Brainwave used to support families who asked for financial assistance by fundraising for specific children (or specific geographical areas) and setting money aside for these individual children towards future assessments. It was also possible for a family to raise funds for Brainwave and for a percentage to be set aside specifically for the use of their child. This scheme was called Child Sponsorship.

We also ran a Guardianship Scheme, where individuals would support specific children, by providing funding to pay for two assessments over the course of a year.

As Brainwave and the number of families we engage with grew in size, both of these schemes ceased to be fit for purpose and stopped us from being able to offer financial support to as many families as possible. As such, in 2019 we stopped allocating funds to specific children in this way and instead we introduced the Therapy Access Fund, a means-tested bursary open to all families.

Families who had previously benefited from Child Sponsorship or old-style Guardianship funds will continue to be supported using the restricted funds that we have accrued over the years, for as long as these restricted funds are available.

Legal support for you and your family.

As part of Brainwave’s whole family approach, we are pleased to introduce our legal partnerships which aim to provide additional support and guidance to families throughout their journey with Brainwave.Our legal partners are here to help families who have questions around their rights and want to speak to a legal professional about anything relating to their child’s disability.To deliver this service we work alongside two nationally recognised law firms; Enable Law and Irwin Mitchell. Both firms have specialists accredited with the Law Society Personal Injury and Medical Negligence Panels, AvMA (Action Against medical Accidents) and APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers). They are also highly regarded by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 which are professional bodies rating legal services.Both firms specialise in supporting families whose children have suffered a brain injury either from birth or because of something that happened later in their life. Through their experience they understand what families need both at the stage of diagnosis and as their child grows. Having been there for families through similar journeys, they are expert in finding solutions to unexpected needs.Our legal partners will be happy to have a free confidential discussion with you, listen to your story and explain how they can use the law to help you and your family. Our legal partners can help with:

  • Supporting you and your child through medical negligence
  • Supporting you and your child following a serious injury
  • Education advice
  • Deputyship and Power of Attorney Advice
  • Wills & Trusts.

Contact our legal partners:

Jackie Linehan – Legal Director, Enable Law
Email: Jackie.Linehan@enablelaw.com
Free phone: 0800 044 8488

Caroline Frean – Senior Associate, Enable Law

Email:  Caroline.Frean@enablelaw.com
Free phone: 0800 044 8488

Auriana Griffiths – Partner, Irwin Mitchell

Email:  Auriana.Griffiths@irwinmitchell.com
Free phone: 0800 023 2233

Lindsay Wise – Partner, Irwin Mitchell

Email:  Lindsay.Wise@IrwinMitchell.com
Free phone: 0800 023 2233