I am so ready to start! I have wanted to train for Conductive Education for 6 years, since we found CE as an alternative therapy for my little brother Jeremiah. For this reason I have come 4,122 miles from my home for a forever long time (3 years) to train. We start Tuesday! I have group placement on Tuesday and Friday. I will be observing in the adult program about 10 hours a week. On Wednesday and Thursday I have lectures. I am excited for these too. I am that strange students who just absolutely loves school. (University that is! If you tell people you’re here for school they look at you funny, because school is for children. University is for students.) I have been off for what seems a ridiculous amount of time. Almost four and a half months! I am so ready to start. I was kind of hoping for a placement with the children first, as I am quite missing my siblings 😦 But there’s next semester. A few of us snuck in to watch the school group for a while the other day, just precious. Have I mentioned how excited I am!
In the States my conversations about university usually go something like, “What are you studying?” “Conductive education” *Hesitancy* “Oh ok.” “Have you heard of it?” “Umm, no actually.” And then I explain. It’s somewhat better here, especially being that the institute is right in this area. More people know what it is, but I still find myself having to explain it quite often. The other day someone (jokingly) said, “Oh, Conductive education… that’s where you put electricity into children.” Haha, I said yes. If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you know me, and if you know me, you probably have heard my rant on Westernized therapy and know what CE is. However, in case you don’t, I will try to explain. Actually, I will let NICE, the institute, do it for me.
“CE is based on a belief that every participant has the capacity to learn and develop irrespective of any neurological condition. Whilst this will vary between individuals, conductors will work to ensure that each participant moves closer towards their potential.”
To me, the biggest differences I see in conductive education compared to typical therapy in the US are expectation and intensity. In my experience, the expectations of people with disabilities in the US are painfully low. Children (especially, though CE is for people of all ages) rise to the expectations they are put to, so if there are only low expectations set upon them, often this is all they will attain. In Conductive Ed, it is the expectation that they will work hard in the class and that they will learn. I have friends who have been told by therapist all the things their children cannot learn, and have watched as their children learned them in just weeks in a CE classroom. The Conductors responses were always, “Of course they can learn!” Children and adults with disabilities, strokes, Parkinson’s, etc, learn to adapt to their environment, rather than professionals adapting the environment to them. As far as intensity, I get so frustrated with the US and the hour to two hour a week therapy time allotments people are given. Realistically, what are children going to learn in that amount of time? Because CE is not just therapy, but also education, it is run more on an educational schedule, 5-8 hours a day. This makes much more sense, and children can make much more progress. There is much more to CE, but I will not get into all of it just yet. Hope this at least clears up some questions for now.
Have I mentioned I’m excited? 🙂