Today I wanted to write a post about our recent trip to the BIBIC center for children and young people up to the age of 18.
Disclaimer: I have not been sponsored for this post, my review is honest and reflects my own opinion based on my experience.
What is Bibic i guess your wondering? Well Bibic is a charity run organisation that provides services from 6 months to 18 years, with neurological and genetic conditions as well as children who have had no formal diagnosis but parents are concerned about their development.
Now, we fit in to the category where we had no formal diagnosis for our almost 3 year old son but was concerned about his behaviour and some of he’s tendencies.
Our son had had he’s development check with the peadiatricians under the NHS and they noted he had signs of Autism but that he needs to be seen and diagnosed by another team of peadiatricians. They would then give the final diagnosis based on other assessments and evidence provided by those who have seen him. Such as Speech Therapists, Autism Outreach teams and Health Visitors. But!…. were warned…it would take months…not 2….not 3…….8 months plus!!!
Any mother who is concerned for their child is going to dread the next few months waiting to see someone for a diagnosis when they have already being stuggling in the dark.
We acknowledged we had “Difficulties”…regardless of whatever it may be; we needed advice and stratgies to cope with the “Difficulty”.
So being me…Mrs Hypercondriac Mummy, I called upon google and luckily he came up with BIBIC who charge a fraction of the price to undertake development assessments over 2 days and work out strategies and techniques to help your child and yourself cope better with the struggles of day to day life.
When I contacted BIBIC I was scheduled for a telephone discussion about my concerns and what I could expect from bibic. It lasted about 45 minutes and they took a detailed history about my son.
I was then left for a few days to decide and contacted soon after to give a decision and make a payment.
The price of the assessment was £450 and lasts for 2 days.
Day 1- Development assessment
Day 2 – Feedback and stratgies
I won’t lie, the whole process was quite daunting. I felt like by me going away to seek outside help I was admitting defeat. I was scared, I was worried, and i was suffering.
We booked the nearest hotel we could find that was affordable for all 5 of us and set off. Travel lodge
Arriving at BIBIC
It really was in the middle of nowhere compared to London life. The air was fresh and everything was green, soo different to the concrete jungle we are use to. Bibic is based in a small little cul-de sac surrounded by a pub and a restaurant.
When we walked in we were greeted by two lovely receptionist and sent upstairs to the family room.
The family room was bright and welcoming with a mini kitchen and some chairs. We were told to make ourself’s comfortable and offered tea and coffee whilst we waited for our assessor to come.
We met a lovely man named Graham who told us he would be assessing our son and working with us for the duration of our stay.
Things happend quite quickly from there on, we began the assessment and the children where left to play in the main room directly outside the office we were in so we could watch them at all times.
Graham undertook a range of assessments but in a more relaxed approach. There was no rush or fussing with my son to do as he was expected but more a strategic method to get the assessments finished without causing him to have a meltdown.
I have to admit Graham was fantastic, a lovely, understanding and highly experienced therapist who listened to our concerns and offered options and solutions at every oppertunity. He was able to change our thinking pattern and open our eyes to things and possibilities we would have never even considered.
By day two we reviewed the assessment findings and began learning stratgies to help our son. This was our oppertunity to ask questions no matter how silly or outrageous they might be…And believe me, I had loads! At no point was I left feeling stupid or judged.
I was an ignorant
parent who saw kids misbehaving and would always think to myself…If that was my child……..
Then I had one! How’s that for poetic justice aye!
Bottom line is my child can be difficult, he runs away, doesn’t make much eye contact and believes he’s a dinosoar. He roars at people and walks away with strangers. He doesn’t oftenly answer to his name and has random meltdowns in public. People look at me like I’m a young mum who can’t control her kids. After going to BIBIC Graham really made me take a good look at myself and made me realise I care way to much about what people think and it was wearing me down…stopping me from living…
They didn’t just observe my son…they observed the whole family!
The best thing about the whole process was that the assessment was done in a relaxed environment. This enabled my son to be himself and be seen in his normal hyperactive, easily distracted behaviour. This was different to the NHS assessment because in that one we are all confined to a tiny office with a few toys for the assessment and barely any distraction.Therefore not a true representation of his true personality and behaviour.
My son had a huge playroom plus his siblings and another family to exhaust himself with and he was let loose and free for all to see. It was in no way formal and BIBIC clearly put much thought into making it family friendly.
All in all it was a fantastic experience and i recommend any parent in England who has concerns with their child’s behaviour to visit BIBIC. They Do Not Diagnose but the strategies and teaching they give to help you cope can really change and improve those days when you feel hopeless. Also any conditions your child has been diagnosed with they help you understand and offer support. It’s really an amazing place.
If there was anything negative I could say it would be that I wish there where more around the UK so more people could benefit from the services they provide. But if you are struggling and having never-ending dark days please have a look at their website as they may be able to help you.
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