|Interview with French NBAS trainer, Dr. Drina Huisman, conducted by Amy Alberts at the 2002 International NBAS Trainers Conference at Children's Hospital, Boston.
Dr. Drina Huisman, France
When did you first learn about the NBAS?
I came to the Brazelton Institute in 1995 to train on the NBAS with Dr. Kevin Nugent.
How have you since incorporated it into your discipline?
As a Child Psychotherapist, I find that I do not employ the NBAS everyday. Rather, I offer a demonstration of the Scale to trainees once a week in the Maternity Ward. In this regard, I work as an expert of very early development.
Would you please share a vignette or meaningful moment you had while working with the NBAS?
I can remember an important moment that occurred during my visit to a Maternity Ward in Albania. After explaining the concept behind the Scale to the hospital team, I was brought to the Nursery to perform the Scale on several of the babies. I was particularly struck by the absence of mothers in the nursery and that the babies were identified by a number rather than a name. The first exam I performed was on a premature neonate, whose weight was very low. I held the baby in my arms, gently rocked her, and sang to her in French. As the baby settled into my arms, I knew that the baby would help me to show them how wonderful the NBAS is. Such was the case and, as a result, I felt indebted to the baby for being her partner in the administration of the Scale.
How do you conceive the role of the instrument in the future?
I believe that there is a strong need for the NBAS that extends across the world. NBAS trainers must reflect as a group on the ways in which this need may be addressed. I envision the NBAS as the first step to a greater consciousness of babies and all the things of which they are capable. My confidence about the tool stems in part from my belief that the NBAS may be adapted to serve a diversity of cultures and contexts. I think of the NBAS as a basic, first step following delivery.