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Posted by Chris on February 06, 2000 at 13:02:17:

I am the mom to 4 year old Erin. Erin has moderate spastic diplegia due to her very premature birth at 25 weeks gestation. We do all the traditional therapies, at school and at home, her schedule is very full. The down side of these therapies is that after 45 minutes of working on something, therapy is over. Although we try to practice in between sessions, we don't always follow through. I have discovered a form of learning that is helping motor disabled children from around the world. I sure some of you know all about it. It is called Conductive Education. I have found lots of info on the web, mostly from other countries. Canada, Hungary, and England use Conductive Ed quite frequently with kids with motor disabilities. The therapy is somewhat similar, but the intensity and frequency is different. Also, the WHOLE child is taught. The children are taught how to problem solve in a new situation. "HOW" to work with what they have. The child works with a conductor for 5-6 hours at a time, 5 days a week for a session of 4-6 weeks. When the children learn a new skill, they practice and practice. And they SUCCEED! The kids are cheered on to succeed by the conductors and the other children in the group. They gain confidence, self esteem and are proud of what they CAN do. The work is hard, but the kids learn through songs, games and tasks. The progress can be much quicker than traditional therapies and therefore children become aware of the changes and are motivated. Conductive Ed is note a cure, but an alternative. It makes sense to me, the brain is able to from new pathways faster. The kids focus on what they can and want to do. I watched a tape from Ability Camp in Canada and the results were amazing. Some kids started camp on walkers and left 5 weeks later on canes. Kids who were doing traditional therapy at 1 or 2 hours a week for years, learned new skills in weeks. I would love to hear from anyone who has done a conductive ed camp, or anyone interested in learning more and spreading the word. We need to make this available to all children.

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