Mum says son ‘flourished’ thanks to Conductive Education

Mum says son ‘flourished’ thanks to Conductive Education
Posted on 3 months ago

Susan Williams is impressed with the results of the Conductive Education program that her son Alex, three, has been attending. Here she explains why.

Earlier this year while attending an National Disability Insurance Session information session I heard about Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Conductive Education program for the first time.

As soon as I learnt there was a program with a learning model which provides fun, playful opportunities to increase life skills and independence I knew it would be beneficial for my son Alex. I enrolled Alex and he now attends two Conductive Education classes a week with teachers Miss Rita and Mr Gabriel.

During each session Alex – along with his new friends – participates in a structured program with free play, news, songs, craft, stories and morning tea. Parents don’t take part in the classroom session, which is different to the other therapies he has attends.

The children undertake age-appropriate activities designed to improve their fine-motor, mobility and play skills. They also practice self-care tasks like dressing, eating and toileting.

There is a different theme each week, such as “sun safety” or “home”, with the children encouraged to bring an item of “news” relating to the theme to share.

Impressive benefits

One of the big benefits of Alex attending has been incorporating goals from other types of therapy into his Conductive Education classes.

For example, with a speech therapist, we have been working on expanding the range of food that Alex will eat. Foods that have been rejected at home are packed for morning tea. With the gentle encouragement from his teachers and the motivating classroom setting, Alex has started to eat foods that I had given up hope of him trying. Alex has also become more confident on his scooter, with “wheels day” featuring regularly on the Conductive Education calendar.

Toilet training practice is another feature of the program. The children learning to toilet train have sticker charts on the bathroom wall to their track progress. Again, this is very motivating for them.

I am very happy with the results that I’ve outlined, but as a parent I see the social skills that the children gain from Conductive Education as one the program’s greatest strengths. The children are encouraged to speak in clear voices and make eye contact with the people they are conversing with. They learn to wait their turn in class and how to share toys with their friends.

The teachers are so encouraging, to both the students and their parents. A brief verbal update of how the students went during the class is provided at the end of each lesson. This helps me to focus on goals during the week, whether they be social, behavioural, toileting or eating related.

Since beginning conductive education I have seen Alex’s confidence grow, both in attending his classes without me and in everyday interactions with family and friends. This makes me feel more confident about Alex starting pre-school and school in the coming years.

Alex has flourished through attending Conductive Education and I would encourage any parent to look into whether it could benefit their child too.

You can use your NDIS plan to fund Conductive Education and similar programs under Improved Daily Living Skills. Contact your local CPA office to learn more.

Katie Booth joined the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Junior Triathlon Squad in 2017 and her mother, Melissa North, says the benefits “have been truly amazing”.

Teens and young adults up to the age of 25 can learn to increase their independent living skills with two camps organised for the 2018 April School holidays.

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Conductive Education (CE) is an educational based learning program which provides a holistic approach to the development of children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities. Your child will find a nurturing, safe and secure environment to learn.

The first five years of your child’s life are critical in laying the foundations for all areas of learning and development. Introducing carefully designed activities and learning experiences at this time of rapid brain development helps children to form new neural pathways much more readily.

Early special educators will plan an individual education program for your child to help them develop skills and strategies necessary for successful learning, and to be able to participate as fully as possible in preschool, childcare and school.

We'll help your child to manage the challenges associated with dysphagia and saliva control, and enjoy a range of different food tastes and textures. 

Help your child to feel comfortable in social situations, understand their emotions and learn how to overcome specific behaviour issues.