As parents of autistic children it is incumbent upon us to guide and help each other, there is a lot I have gain from the community and I would like to share my experience with BMI. (behavior momentum India).
I am a father of a 5 year old autistic kid and after much though and advices we decided to move from Calcutta to Bangalore in order to join BMI institute. BMI came with a very strong recommendation from a friend whose autistic kid achieved amazing results after a 1 year plus attending BMI ( the kid is currently attending school, and breaking all the records).
We were very excited to join BMI (behavior momentum India) thinking that we had finally met the best. Little did we know. Here are few of my comments:
Initially, what surprised us, was the fact the communication is very strictly
controlled. We were not properly briefed
as what is the plan with my son. We were told we will be shown soon, and that soon didnâ€™t come
any sooner until we left the centre after 6 months of disappointment.
Even for small simple questions, they would make it almost impossible for you to get the answer easy. If you ask how is he doing, the answer would be we will tell you when the time comes (Duh!!) when you ask them when that would be you would see them with blank facesâ€¦. I felt the entire team there was like puppets .
Anyhow, there are only two ways to go about getting quick feedback and both of them were ineffective.
1. Write it on a dairy. we were asked to right all our question on a notebook, which apparently is checked at the end of each day, and a response is written.
So a typical conversation would be like this:
Day 1: how was my son's day? (expecting the response would be more in lines of the program.
when the day ends you open the notebook to find stupid answer.
Answer: it was okay. he is happy.
then you realize it have to be precise in the question, you write again.
Day 2: thanks for response. I mean in terms of the plan and progress how is it getting along.
Answer: blankApparently they didnâ€™t check you note. So
A simple question takes 2-3 days to get answer, so after two or three questions you dont have it in you anymore. it is better they should use pigeons than this diary.
Book an appointment
with Smita, their founder. Smita must be a God, for she apparently can be
present at 7 place at same time. (she runs
around 3 centres in Bangalore, and 4 other centres in other parts of india, one in dubai also). Getting appointments
with her is a cumbersome process, you speak to her secretary and she tells you i will let you know. And the day when the appointment comes you will find her
either sick, or hurrying to some meeting.
The prime reason why we joined was that BMI gives results. We had good reference on this. But what we realized was that BMI now is history for two reasons:
When we spoke to other
parents there, we realized, the dream team which did magical work has left the
show long back, leaving BMI bleeding. We talked to parents and they mentioned
since 3-4 months they donâ€™t find any progress and a decrease in the over all
centres performance. it is now just a shadow of what it used to be.
2. The centre is operated by a very capable, knowledgable but an egoistic leader. People who cant manage a balance between their ego and performance tend to take wrong decisions. This is exactly what happened with BMI. Smita no doubt is capable, but has very high sense of prestige. A suggestion to her seems like an insult and she would get very defensive. She feels she is the best in the field and all the decision made by her are correct. As a parent you want your therapist to listen to you, but with her it is a one way train. What I felt is that she wants everything to go through her, all the children, all the cases everything. Which is next to impossible, she is always traveling to US and attending conferences. This mechanism is recipe for disaster.
the best part is she openly admits that BMI trainers who work with the child are not ABA educated. she thinks they dont need to be, as she can guide them accordingly. She hardly spends an hour with a kid and usually these trainers they are the ones who work closely with your child.
So to cut the long story short. BMI was very very disappointing and a waste of time and money for us. The lesson learnt for us, was to focus more on the therapist rather than the institution. i should have called some parents and asked about the staff there. i just went with some reference which actually were true, since their dream team was still around when they joined.
i would recommend all the parent to do a thorough check up and think twice before you send your kids to BMI.
it used to be a good centre. but the fact is not even a reflection of what it used to be. our hard luck!! Smita, is full of ego asking questions to them is like you have committed a crime. !! stay away... I didn't try it but I hard there is a centre called stepping stone. many recommended it but I suggest to check it out before you jump into it. I had a tuff experience with BMI.
thanks !! but I cant find the option... to edit.
you are absolutely right. I had my child in there for months and they kept it so mysterious, all they tell you is that you will see results soon. After months when I actually got to see what they have taught. it was actually something he knew 2 years ago.
my suggestion is to look for therapist rather than institution. it is the therapist which make the institution work , since BMI lost its star it is no more the same.
I am doing what is right.
there is no person attack, I just gave my experience.. I am just making sure no parent goes through what I did. My sole purpose here is to help other parents make a wise decision. I wish someone should have written this review so my kids time would not have been saved.
I cant debate on what she was initially, but now she is a business Woman. This is a typical case of success getting to your head. when your ego becomes more than your mission, you are no long the same person.
This is very unfortunate for all the children. personally I think it is very unfortunate for me .
I do agree the children who benefitted most from BMI are the one who join few years back. I actually, saw the result and that is the sole reason I joined it. As I said, what I came to know from others is their dream team left after an argument with her. Unfortunate for us, BMI right now it is not even a reflection of what it used to be.
For all people who wish to join please do make sure you do a proper assessment. may be few year ago the answer for this would have been close your eyes and trust BMI. Currently NO.!
Thanks for all the information you gave here and your experience about BMI for all the parents here .. We're also thinking of joining the same since there are a very few options out there and actually went to see the jaynagar branch but were not convinced with the setup and the person who explained the procedure and everything about the institute so still in delimma .. Could you please let me know which area/branch you went to in order to have a little more clarity ?
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