bibic Lifeline


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bibic

Theo Paphitis makes an appeal on behalf of bibic (the British Institute for Brain Injured Children), a charity that helps children with a range of developmental problems.


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I'm more used to being in the Dragons' Den,

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but today, I've come to my old primary school.

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Somewhere I've not been for over 40 years.

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I've mixed memories of my time here.

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PUPILS: Hello, Theo!

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Oh, how good are you!

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-Bye.

-Right, see you later.

-PUPILS: Bye.

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I had fun here, but school was really tough.

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I found it really difficult to keep up with my friends in the classroom.

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Reading, writing, spelling - it baffled me, and it was only when I had kids of my own

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and they were diagnosed with dyslexia

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that I realised it was my issue, too.

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Maia also found school difficult.

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Spelling was very bad, my handwriting was a big problem.

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I'd spend twice as long on work than other students would

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and the marking would come back and they would say

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"this is nice work, Maia, but you could easily try harder."

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And I was trying so, so hard.

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She was enormously unhappy, just enormously unhappy

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and every day was a struggle to get through that day

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or to get her to go into school.

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I felt quite inadequate. I felt like I was stupid.

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It was a constant battle, which took its toll on everybody.

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It's sort of death by small degrees,

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it's just small things just constantly, kind of...

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When she was 12 years old, Maia was diagnosed with dyslexia.

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At that point the question really was,

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we're armed with this information now, well, what do we do about it?

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My experience of dyslexia has led me to get involved with bibic,

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a small charity that works to help children with a range

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of developmental problems such as autism, cerebral palsy and dyslexia.

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Robert seemed like a perfectly healthy little boy,

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but as he grew up, his parents realised he wasn't developing as he should.

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Wave hello to Daddy!

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He was diagnosed as partially deaf

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but there seemed to be other problems.

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We started to realise there was something else going on.

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He was finding it very difficult to speak, he was finding it difficult

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especially to read, to do simple puzzles.

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Robert's problems communicating meant he could only express his frustration through violence.

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By the time he was 8, he was regularly being excluded from class.

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He would hit out at anyone or anything.

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He would get really angry with things

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and at one point he did make a hole in his wall.

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He could not stop touching people, pushing people.

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It was just impossible for him.

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We were just in this black hole and we couldn't get help.

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Conditions that affect a child's brain

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can affect not just their schoolwork and learning

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but also their social, physical and communication skills.

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Bibic offers these children a tailored therapy program,

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to be implemented by their families at home,

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which aims to tackle all aspects of their condition.

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Ben is 10 years old.

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He has a number of developmental delays

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which have made him lack confidence,

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and he is selectively mute.

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Rough and scratchy.

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When he first came to bibic, he was only able to talk to family

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and whisper to a couple of school friends.

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I was very worried about him, about his future

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and even at the age of seven, he was very concerned himself,

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saying "what's going to happen to me? I won't be able to get a job,

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"I won't be able to get married and have a family

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"if I can't speak to anybody."

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And his self-esteem and his self-confidence was just so low.

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After an initial assessment his bibic therapist, Jeanette,

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recognised his brain had difficulties processing sounds,

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including that of his own voice.

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Ben, I'd like you to just copy these shapes for me.

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Ben also had problems with short-term memory and coordination,

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which further dented his confidence.

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Under the bibic programme, the child is given exercises and techniques

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to take away with them and do at home with their family.

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They're designed to stimulate and open new brain pathways.

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Nice and strong.

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The programme can make life-changing differences to families.

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You can have a very different child,

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quite unrecognisable in the way they interact with people,

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compared to how they were when they first came.

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He just seems to be on the up now. His confidence is so much higher.

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He goes to a school of 130 pupils and speaks to all of them,

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speaks to all the teachers now,

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and he's like a totally different boy.

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I'm just so proud of him, really.

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Perhaps the most important aspect of the bibic programme

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is how it can help parents understand their child

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and become aware of their frustrations.

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For many parents, it can be the turning point,

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enabling them to support their child more effectively,

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and face the challenges together.

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Roll one.

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Robert had his first bibic assessment a year ago

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and the therapists established that his brain was having

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a lot of difficulty processing touch and pain.

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His parents were given a set of massaging exercises to do at home.

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The massaging was supposed to stimulate all your muscles,

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get your body to recognise all the different feelings.

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And he now does, for better or worse, he now feels pain.

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-Mr Tongue sees an even bigger hole.

-ALL: Aaahhh.

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The therapy also tackles Robert's difficulty forming words.

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He's also talking a lot more.

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A dog and a rectangle.

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He's starting to read now.

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Very small quantities, but he's starting,

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we're seeing the progress, again.

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B... got...

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I feel like we're starting to enjoy life.

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In the space of a year, I guess it's fair to say

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that we've got a new son.

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After Maia was diagnosed with dyslexia aged 12,

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her parents found out about bibic

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and went along for their first assessment

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I love the place, bibic is brilliant.

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It was such a warm welcome.

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The therapists suggested that Maia use coloured filters

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to help her read, and gave her techniques to boost her memory.

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You get this feeling that you're not going to be judged.

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You're not going to be thought of as stupid or as lazy.

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Maia's come to meet me so I can find out how she's doing now.

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I'm dyslexic, and you're absolutely right.

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Early on, when nobody realises what your issues are,

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it's incredibly, incredibly tough.

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Frustrating. I didn't think I was going to finish school.

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-Right.

-Once I'd been through the programme,

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I left school with 10 GCSEs, A-stars in them,

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I went on to do my A-Levels so I have 3 A-Levels now.

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-OK.

-MAIA LAUGHS

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-Wow!

-I'd kind of given up before then, even though I knew

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I was dyslexic before I went to bibic.

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It was only after I went to bibic

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that I felt like it was worth trying, like I was worth trying.

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It's changed my life completely.

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The bibic programme can help families

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unlock their child's full potential.

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But to change the lives of more children,

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the charity needs your support.

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Please go to the website where you can donate.

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If you don't have access to the internet,

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then call 0800 011 011.

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And if you can't get through, please, please, please keep trying.

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You can also donate £10 by texting GIVE to 70121.

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Texts cost £10 plus your standard network message charge,

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and the whole £10 goes to bibic.

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Telephone calls are free from most landlines.

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Some networks and mobile operators will charge for these calls.

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Or, if you'd like to post a donation,

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please make your cheque payable to bibic

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and send it to Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal.

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Remember, if you're a UK taxpayer,

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the charity can collect Gift Aid on your donation, worth another 25%.

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Just send in a note to say you want your donation

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to be subject to Gift Aid,

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and include the date, your full name and address.

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Thank you.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Dragon Theo Paphitis makes an appeal on behalf of bibic (the British Institute for Brain Injured Children), a charity that helps children with a range of developmental problems such as autism, cerebral palsy or dyslexia. As a dyslexic himself, Theo found school hard. He goes back to his primary school in North London to revisit his childhood memories and meets 19-year-old Maia, who is also dyslexic, but with the help of the charity has realised her potential and started a successful dance business.