My name is Andrew Brereton and I work as an individual neuro developmental therapist under the title of ‘Snowdrop.’ I provide programmes of rehabilitation for children from all over the world who are described as having brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, dyspraxia, ADHD and many other developmental disabilities.
The background of Snowdrop begins with my son Daniel, who was born back in 1987 with profound brain injury which resulted in a mixture of symptoms – many of profound cerebral palsy and some of autism.
He was dependent in every way and he also had severe visual and auditory impairments besides severe epilepsy.
It was through our efforts to help him at clinics all over the world I became interested in how the brain develops and functions. This led attending university to study and eventually to building my programme.
This I did, with some success. We could bring back his vision and his hearing and improve his quality of life dramatically.
After many years of study, I qualified with a host of qualifications and decided it was time to begin my work in trying to help other children. My qualifications are as follows.
BA (Hons). based in ‘Psychology, Neurophysiology and Child Development.’
Post-Graduate Certificate in ‘Social Science.’
Post-Graduate Certificate in ‘Professional Studies in Education.’
Post-Graduate Diploma in ‘Language and Communication Impairments in Children.’
MSc based in ‘Cognitive Neuropsychology and Child Development.’
My programme 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 very influential in mainstream education, through to numerous current researchers in neuroplasticity.
I look at a child in the eight major areas of development, -(visual, auditory, tactile, cognitive, mobility, hand function, language and socialisation) and I assess where they stand on Snowdrop’s developmental profile. This gives their current developmental age in each area.
Depending upon how far they have developed in each area I then construct a set of developmentally appropriate activities, each activity lasting a few minutes. We design these activities 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 parent’s time allows.
The programme can also be restructured by the family so it fits in with family life, school, work, etc.
Obviously the more repetitions of the activities within the programme there are, within reason, the greater the chance the brain of the child will respond with its inherent plasticity and the more chance the child will have to make progress.
(I recommend a max of about 2 hours per day, 6 days a week, because evidence dictates that the brain also needs plenty of ‘down-time to embed and merge new information).
Why I believe Snowdrop is different (and better)!
Although I am a qualified professional who has gained a great deal of knowledge through research, I am also a parent who has the benefit of many years of experience in bringing up a child with profound brain injuries. I believe this gives me a unique insight, because essentially I am ‘one of you,’
I 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. I know what it is like to watch as your child has a seizure after seizure.
I can therefore better understand the difficulties you face as a family and therefore better placed to understand your child’s problems and to help you do something about them.
Although Snowdrop has only been up and running for 3 years, the sometimes remarkable successes I am seeing with children all over the world who are now seeing, hearing, walking and talking who otherwise showed no sign of doing so, is highly encouraging.