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A day in the life of...

Mike Sebire, Senior Specialist Physiotherapist at Brainwave, helping disabled children improve their mobility, communication skills and learning potential.

This is a feature from Issue 12 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

Brainwave helps children with neurodevelopmental disorders – like Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or autism – as well as rare genetic disorders. I work from our centre in Somerset. Without Brainwave, many of the families we see would not get the same support because local services are so stretched. Our specialist therapy programmes have a huge impact on children’s abilities, but also on their confidence. We continue to support them, often into adulthood.

A typical day

…starts with checking emails and notes before I see a family. I’ll begin by taking a detailed history. If I’ve seen them before it might take 30 minutes but if they are a new family, it can take longer to find out what they’ve been through and what their goals are. In the practical assessment, other therapists might be involved, depending on the child, such as a speech and language therapist, learning development specialist or a sensory-trained therapist. I try to make the practical sessions fun, doing activities to work out their range of movement, muscle tone, current abilities, and challenges. After lunch, we devise a personalised exercise plan – incorporating exercises from each therapist. We work holistically to create a realistic plan that works for the whole family. We explain it to them so that they know why they are doing it, film ourselves demonstrating it and then they try it.

the hardest thing...

…is managing parents’ expectations. Everybody wants their child to achieve the most they can. The parent is on a journey just as much as the child and helping them come to terms with what can be achieved can be hard. Sometimes they hit a plateau, or something knocks them back. But we are there to push them forwards.

The best thing..

…Is being able to build a relationship with a family. We really get to know them and even though they only come back every six months, having that whole day with them is powerful. You really feel like you’re having an impact. And if you’re there the first time a child achieves a milestone, like walking, it doesn’t get better than that.

Birthday for Brainwave
The charity is celebrating 40 years of helping disabled children reach their potential. Help them fund the next chapter.

brainwave.org.uk

This is a feature from Issue 12 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.