BMI -Behavior Momentum India Review

24 replies, Page 1

Austimdad 2015-06-06 20:53:17



 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 didn’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 faces…. 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: blank

Apparently they didn’t check you note. So

day 3: you need to remind them. And then they would response.

 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.


2.       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:

1.       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 don’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.



aks2 2015-06-06 21:50:16


Thanks a lot for the review.  We are moving to bangalore next month and  I was thinking to put my 3 years old son in bmi.  But I think this is the case with all other places where  well know ABA therapists have become founder or director. 

mayflower 2015-06-07 04:54:33


Autismdad, you are doing a good thing by sharing information. 

But I suggest that you do not share private information like name of your kid. If possible, remove the name of
your child from the post.



Austimdad 2015-06-08 01:09:57



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.


Austimdad 2015-06-08 01:11:47



thanks !! but I cant find the option... to edit.


mayflower 2015-06-08 04:36:10


Delete your post and reply to thread again with updates (first save the content in text file and make changes).


Dkk77 2015-06-11 13:51:13


I am very upset with your views. As a parent I know her for last 05 years. She is the lady who brought ABA in India. Your mentioning of ABA therapist, if you look today almost so called ABA therapist are trained by Smita in India, who are working independently or at all the centers where you find ex BMI therapist.
What wrong she has done by giving so many therapist to all of us, level play field.
She opened centers for whose benefit for all of us. So personal attack is not called for.
She still is able to send 12 - 15 children every year to mainstream school. It is big hope to all us.
We should be limit to criticize the organization. She started ABA course in India to make more BCBA's/BCaBA, why to create her own competition. No to help all us where the epidemic of Aurism is increasing in India.
Please Autism Dad it is not your child only where you can blame her. Please look into large perspective of her vision.
She is straight forward lady and tells on your face. You need persons who should listen to you rather than you listen to expert.
I have yet to find the amount of documentation BMI does & any other center does.
I have experience where centers do everything in front of parent & what is ultimate happening, we don't gain and work.
They work on program, Smita's Programs and her capacity you also have not questioned but you are unhappy as you wanted quick results.
My child is going for 04 years and I know from which deep pit I was & where I am today.
I would say that amount of time Smita works for children is absolutely unquestionable. You say that she goes to US, she goes to USA to upgrade herself with latest technologies which is good when there are vacations at centers.
She brings in best of ABA technique in India. We should be thankful to her.
Your case may be different.

specialdad 2015-06-12 10:52:32


autism dad , i do agree with you on some points regarding smitha awasthis attitude. any suggestion from me was met with "That is how our system works!!!" AS if nothing can or must be done to change flaws. Also their super secrecy in therapy protocols is ridiculously odd and funny

P123 2015-06-12 12:23:54


Autismdad...thanks for sharing your experience.It really helps other parents saving their time and money...Appreciate it..

Austimdad 2015-06-12 13:27:29


@special dad

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.


Austimdad 2015-06-12 13:32:14



Dear DDK,

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.!


iceagemom 2015-06-14 22:57:25


Hi Autismdad

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 ?


ashu07 2015-06-15 10:35:05


Hi icemom if you are not satisfied or confused with BMI then you could try com deal, Octave, Stepping stones or creative smile as well

ashu07 2015-06-15 10:37:53


Explain your concerns get answers for your doubts, ask them weather they allow us to observe the kids from day one? How often we can discuss about the progress and programmes.. if you satisfied with all quaries then you can choose one of those above centers.

mitaali 2015-06-19 19:02:04


Well am a parent whose child is not in BMI , but I myself getting trained in ABA currently in this institute.
Though I am not trying to compare my experience here , however onething for sure,  I got extremely benefitted with the workshop they organized and currently the BCBA course they are running.
The training they gave to parents in last year's workshop and kind of scope they are covering in BCBA course (which I took up this year , due to the impact workshop created in my life last year ) is quite thorough...I was able to start with ABA with my child with whatever tidbids I was gaining here in training and key is I was able to see results , and that in turn boosted my confidence.
And if they are taking up similar training with therapists (which am sure they would be ) hope they would have good team of interns

During the course/workshop, I got a chance to meet the faculty there and I could say , they are really experts in their subject, esp Smitha .
Coming to being business minded , well I would like to give benefit of doubt here. No organization  runs w/o money and I could see Smitha has a vision which brought this center to its current status. I believe she is trying to create her team with actual BCBA certified therapists , and thats the reason she has introduced this course in India (no other indian education institute offering it).
If you see many therapists in field who are not even certified , giving therapies to kids (and believe me I didnot even knew therapists should be certified by BCBA before I attended this workshop.)
No doubt course is expensive and a lengthy one, but worth given a try , since have realized a bitter truth , you may not get as dedicated therapist as a family member would be to child.

( I don't want to sound as if advertising for BMI or course its offering  , but wanted to share my experience here  :)))  ).

da123 2015-06-19 19:48:23


Actually all these so called Institutes  wants to encash their education in special education. Its like earn degree(BCBA)  and then further hire quacks who doesn't have basic understanding about child psychology and charge  parents exorbitantly. Its same story across pan India. Even you feel sometime they don't want child to move on fast if he/she has potential .  If change is noticed in child  its due to solely parents efforts and just you have to pay them for guidance only. Later on after spending 2-3 years you got to realize that its not rocket science but till that time they milked you and now are ready with next lot of parents. Good business with no accountability :))


Joe321 2015-08-22 14:12:57


Read the complete post, it looks like a initial post to last is fictitious any time I visit this website but I find promotional campaign in disguise revolving around few centers, few doctors, Homeopathic, therapist without identity being revealed in this forum, this forum is useless to believe.

jjb27 2015-09-19 20:38:42


Hi mitaali ,
How is it BCBA training coming along? Wanted ur feedback as I am interested in taking parent training in BMI myself .


swethasri2005 2015-12-02 20:56:12


Hi moms and dads any recent experience about BMI Jayanagar. I saw autismdad shared his experience, I am thinking to join my son as I cannot travel more than Jayanagar. Or please let me know any other centers in and around bannerghatta rd.

thupimom 2015-12-03 02:23:57


Dear swethasri2005,

is BTM layout convenient for you? if yes, then i can recommend a good therapist there.

swethasri2005 2015-12-03 08:10:05


Thupimom, Ian looking ABA center that has 1:1 ABA therapist, OT and speech. Are these available in the center you are going to refer me or please let me know what are the services available in that center. Please let me know. Thanks for your reply.

mitaali 2015-12-04 06:25:29


Hi Thupimom, can u plz mention abt the therapist in BTM ?

@jjb27 , sorry for late response , I saw ur msg only today  on BCBA certification . Currently I have put the course on hold , and will resume after few months.
.As I have mentioned somewhere in my posts , BCBA is equivalent to post graduate course , and hence comes with project and field works , which in my current situation was not becoming possible . I though intend to complete it , but may be once my son starts with longer hours at school( it can be completed within 5 years of starting the course).
If your intention is to learn ABA in practice , I believe you can enquire with centers who run ABA for our kids for parental workship with actual demo sessions . ANd u can go ahead with BCBA certification if you have really time and dedication to complete a full blown degree course (BTW apart from BMI , there is a course run by Florida Institute which is onlinne , and you can complete the course wrk at ur own pace, however there as well , field and project work criterias remain similar)

thupimom 2015-12-05 22:49:57


Mitaali I will inbox you the contact number

sansa 2016-04-12 11:25:06


Thank u so much for ur post. It was really helpful. 

Welcomeboy 2018-08-21 08:03:09


Hi Mitaali,

we are planning to move to Bangalore . Please suggest me someone in bangalore to start ABA therapy for my son.

For speech therapy, Is magpieslp best?  whats your feedback on them in speech therapy


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