Viv Hailwood – originator of the BrainChild Developmental Program
I feel privileged to have worked with some great people…and almost all …have been children!
I think there is still a child in me that enjoys the physical play and the imagination that I have put into the Brainchild program. Learning has to be fun.
It was my training as a Speech and Language therapist that began my focus on each individual child. When I became teacher in charge of the Unit for Developmental Disorders of Communication in Portsmouth, UK, I continued to assess each child’s needs and develop individual programs.
Later as a teacher in mainstream schools, I was always concerned about the children who struggled to learn and socialise. They were usually bright and wanted to learn, but something was stopping them. It took many years to arrive at the first simple developmental program. I trialed it with my class, then my school and other schools, with excellent outcomes for the children in all areas of their lives. I discovered that children with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder made great strides. So I just had to continue…..Brainchild was born.
Your child is special. Every child is special and we aim to help every one of them to shed the restrictions on their success. By that, I mean the whole child and their whole future.
You, as parents know your child better than anyone and it is vital that it is you that works through the program with your child. You can share progress with your child and celebrate!
As a primary teacher and headteacher for many years I loved to make my classroom an interesting place where we could have fun learning together. I have also coached gymnastics for most of my adult life, outside school. It was the observations of parents, during these sessions, that made me stop and think. They said their children were doing well at school because of the gymnastics. I followed the thread of the importance of movement and rediscovered the infant reflexes that I had learned about when studying for my B.Sc. in Speech therapy at Newcastle -upon-Tyne University and the movement analysis of Laban dance. Over many years, I developed my knowledge and observation skills and continue to do so.
My life experiences and qualifications have all contributed to the development of the Brainchild Developmental Program and I am grateful for their richness. They include:
- My husband, two children and six lovely grandchildren
- My teaching career and headships
- The neurological viewpoint and focus on the individual child that I gained from my B.Sc. in Speech and Language therapy.
- My movement observation skills that developed while coaching Rhythmic Gymnastics and teaching Laban Dance.
- Additional valuable skills gained from training in kinesiology and further learning about infant reflexes with Claire Hocking (Victoria, Australia) and working with Svetlana Masgutova in Poland.
- The rigor of research for my M.Sc. in Educational Research (Manchester University).
- A different viewpoint achieved through Educational Kinesiology and Emotional Freedom Technique training, Baby massage and Massage in Schools.
Achievements I am proud of :
- My family
- Being coach to the Overall British Champion for Rhythmic Gymnastics and International gymnasts
- Runner up – Teacher of the Year award in the UK
- Ten years as Headteacher of a happy, successful school, named as a ‘particularly successful school’ in the Schools’ Parliamentary report 2002 OFSTED’s Chief Inspector’s Annual Report
- To be able to help children and their families to have a happier life.
- Having family, friends and colleagues who have encouraged and supported me to provide Brainchild more widely.