The BRAVE model provides parents of children with developmental delays with a framework that they can use to understand their child’s needs and strategies to adapt to ensure they are doing the best they can for their child. The BRAVE model can help parents to gain the courage, resilience, and confidence they need to help their child to become as happy, healthy, and independent as possible. The model was devised by a Pediatric physiotherapist, Emily Hayles.
B – Be Aware
The sooner you identify your child’s needs and get help, the sooner your child can improve. Families should be able to get help as early as possible, both at the time of identifying concerns or diagnosis and throughout the therapy sessions.
R – Recognize your child’s needs
All your child’s needs are interconnected. Parents should recognize their child’s unique strengths, as well as identify and get help for their needs, across all areas of development.
A – Assist but do not insist
Helping your child to develop involves helping them to become as independent as possible. Families should explore all the available options to maximize their child’s independence.
V – Validate your child
To lead a happy and fulfilling life, your child needs to know who they are outside of their diagnosis or disability. Families should support their children to follow their passions, connect with others in the community, and balance their therapy with free play throughout the day.
E – Empower yourself
Parents and other family members need to be supported equally as much as the child. Parents should look after themselves, find their support tribe, and fit their child’s needs into a life that they choose.