Monday, March 1, 2010

PROBLEM SOLVER! Bridges Binder - a review

My experience with clinics and non-profits who serve families of children with disabilities is not exactly balanced or positive. Some of those organizations have added frustration to my days because the staff members simply do not understand the day-to-day challenges of the families they serve. It's a perspective-taking problem.

One therapy center that shines brightly in my mind because the staff "gets" families with a child (or children) with a disability or developmental delay is
Building Bridges Therapy Center. They offer families quite a few therapy options, including developmental approaches to autism and other challenges with Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment and Play to Talk. We've done FIE there in the past.
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How many times have I been asked to complete paperwork (sometimes repeat paperwork) for an application or a new therapy? Too many times to count. The questions are usually the same, and yet I am stumped by the same questions again and again. If only I had the answers in front of me. When did my daughter sit up? Crawl? Walk? Babble? First words? I had three littles when those firsts were happening, including a set of twins. The answers to those questions are not simple for me to answer -- one twin did some things first sometimes, and sometimes the other twin did.

I have papers and files in multiple places at home - not quite organized the way I'd like. Finding the right set of documentation to use as a template for a new questionairre would take time to find. I've felt frowned-upon by more than a few clinics because my paperwork was not as complete as they'd like.

Apparently, I am not alone with this problem. Building Bridges Therapy Center has seen parents scambling to recall information enough times that they created a product to address the obstacles to having the information at our fingertips.

The insightful staff at Building Bridges has come up with a product that is a problem solver for moms like me: the Bridges Binder.

The binder is a canvas-covered, zippered three-ring binder. There's a handle on the spine so that I can carry it like a briefcase if I choose. The front inner cover of the binder has a large pocket for loose papers (a report to bring from one professional to another, perhaps), one pocket for pens or pencils or smaller papers, post-it notes, or photographs (I'd probably go as large as 5 x 7 photo or legal pad here), and two smaller pockets for business cards or something small. The back inner cover holds an 8 x 10 legal pad.

Bridges has prepped the binder to include a

Contents Section with suggested uses for each section

Contact Log
Communications Log
Biomedical/Therapy Log
Document Log

Each section is separated by tabbed divider pages. Each section is color coded. The Contacts Log section includes a place to store/display business cards followed by 24 blank forms for parents to log six contacts to a page (three front/three back). The Communications Log section contains 40 one-sided blank forms, three to a page. I like that the back is blank so that I can continue notes on the back of the page if I need to. There are 10 one-sided log forms in the Biomedical/Therapy Log section and 10 one-sided log forms in the Documentation Log section.

I smile every time I think of this sweet little tool inside: a three-hole punch! BRILLIANT! NO MORE LEAVING A MEETING WITH LOOSE, UNORGANIZED REPORTS!!!

You may be thinking, "This is something I could make." and I'd agree - yep, you can make it yourself, but WILL YOU? I never did. I never had the time to find the right binder, the right forms, never even *thought* of adding a 3-hold punch -- for myself. And apparently, a lot of clients at Bridges Therapy are like me. Bridges saw a need and filled it. Gotta love that!

The binder and contents are priced at $39.62; the contents alone are available for $20.75.

Click HERE or call (734) 454-0866 for ordering information.

Service providers: the binder is also available with your organization's logo on the binder cover.

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