What is the Snowdrop Programme for Brain Injured Children?
The Snowdrop Programme for children with cerebral palsy, autism and other conditions is informed by a wide range of psychological / neurological research, utilising the ideas of great psychologists / neurologists of the past and present and unifying and adapting their work to treat children's developmental disabilities. Psychologists such as Vygotsky, whose social learning theories are currently very influential in mainstream education, through to numerous current researchers in neuroplasticity.
We look at a child in the eight major areas of development, - (visual, auditory, tactile,cognitive, mobility, hand function, language and socialisation) and assess where they stand currently on Snowdrop's developmental profile. This gives their current developmental age in each area.
Depending upon how far they have developed in each area we then construct a set of developmentally appropriate activities for the child, to be carried out at home on a daily basis by the family, each activity lasting a few minutes. These activities are designed to stimulate the child to achieve the next developmental milestone in each area. An entire programme lasts about 20 - 30 minutes and can be repeated as the parents time allows. The programme can also be restructured by the family so that it fits in with family life, school, work, etc.
Obviously the more repetitions of the activities within the programme the family is able to carry out, (within reason, - because the brain also needs 'downtime'), - the greater is the chance that the brain of the child will respond with its inherent plasticity and the more chance the child will have to make progress.
Who can join the Snowdrop Programme?
We accept all children onto the programme regardless of how slight or severe those disabilities are. We then attempt to assist them in making the maximum possible degree of progress in all areas. There are three factors which influence how much progress a child can make, they are as follows.
- The knowledge possessed by Snowdrop. - We are continually updating our knowledge base and remain 'research friendly.' We refuse to be locked in to one ideology, remaining sufficiently eclectic to incorporate new techniques, which are derived from academic research and incorporate them into our programme
- The ambition and commitment of the parents to the programme. Most parents realise that if a child is suffering from a developmental disability, then it is going to take an approach which is a little more radical than say, an hour a week of physiotherapy to change their child's situation. To effect a change, parents must be prepared to commit to a programme which is carried out consistently on a daily basis
- The nature of the brain injury itself. If the injury is highly focussed on one particular area of the brain, or a brain structure is totally missing, (for example in 'agenesis of the corpus callosum'), then it is obvious that no amount of stimulation is going to bring back that structure. However, what we can strive for in these circumstances is to work towards the goal of ensuring that the neurology which is present, functions as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Why we believe Snowdrop is different (and better)!
Our founder is a qualified professional who has gained a great deal of knowledge through research, but he is also a parent who has the benefit of many years of experience in bringing up a child with profound brain injuries. We believe this gives Snowdrop a unique insight into the dynamics of your situation and the problems you face as a family, because we have stood in your shoes, experienced the same worries, traumas and joys and have experienced the multitude of sleepless nights which certain developmental disabilities can produce. We believe this makes Snowdrop better placed to understand you as a family and more able to help your child.
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