A friend has forwarded a Google news alert to me about a new initiative for Conductive Education in New Zealand. Craig Nielsen, parent of a child with cerebral palsy hopes to establish a new centre at Taranaki, a region in the North West of North Island.
“We want to establish a centre or a facility that can deal with children from birth or a young age through to include their school age,” he said.
There are currently three families travelling to Hamilton. “We know of, through our research, between six and 12 that could use a centre here. That’s why we want to try and find others in the community that we don’t know of.”
I wish the best of luck to all concerned.
Quite a few years ago I had contact with Patti Herbst when she started up the Conductive Education Center in Illinois with her husband, Chuck.. She had a son, Justin, with cerebral palsy and discovered Conductive Education which she was determined he would have. She wanted ‘independence for Justin’ and wrote about his journey in Intelligent Love, published by Conductive Education Press.
Since then the center has gone from strength to strength and so has Justin. He attended Southern Illinois University and after graduating found employment with UPS (United Parcel Services).
Yesterday I received the latest ACENA Newsletter which reported on the US Senate Committee hearing on Fufilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-sufficiency for People with Disabilities.
This hearing took place on September 2014, and Justin gave evidence along with several others. His presentation can be downloaded as a pdf and watched on the video.
Justin’s achievements are a fantastic example of what Conductive Education can do to transform lives and enable those with cerebral palsy to achieve their potential. His hard work has paid off and he is now willing to stand up for others and put the case to the US government to update its disability policies, for the Government to make sure that true independence can become a reality.
Patti and Chuck, enormously proud of their son, are still working hard to make Conductive Education better known, and practised in the US.
After all the stories about the urgent need for funds, The Rainbow Centre in Hampshire is in the news again, and this time for a good reason. A few days ago, The News ( the local newspaper) published a piece about the help received and the progress made by a little boy in Portsmouth.
He has come on in leaps and bounds and the future looks brighter for him, and the centre. Great to see!
Over the years of compiling my lists of news items on the Internet I have searched under Conductive Education and cerebral palsy, as quite often items which didn’t mention CE, would appear about CE centres.
I have now begun to notice that, like Conductive Education, most of the items are connected with fundraising, rather than information or developments about the condition itself, and most of this fundraising is aimed at raising money to pay for operations (mostly in the US) which will ‘enable the child concerned to walk’, and sometimes intensive physiotherapy is required afterwards. Other options that parents are choosing is stem cell treatment or one of the body suits which are available. I have no idea how successful these treatments are, in the short or long term.
Are parents not checking out all their options? Occasionally these parents live very close to a Conductive Education centre and may have already tried it, or perhaps this means that the option of Conductive Education is not so well known as it used to be. Maybe centres are not able to publicise their services or encourage parents to visit and see what they have to offer. Perhaps cost is a factor as the average amount needed for an operation is £45,000 – a substantial payment, but it should only be needed once. Conductive Education is not like that, but can involve a lifetime of learning – and therefore financial input.
Can that be one of the reasons?
Today a posting on Facebook by Andrew Sutton refers to a discussion thread about Conductive Education that has been written by mums of disabled children. Their knowledge of Conductive Education is patchy to say the least, with some of their comments based on hearsay rather than experience. Definitely inaccurate too, as ‘pain’ and ‘therapy’ are frequently referred to.
I would like to hope that they come in contact with the mother whose latest blog posting gives a more accurate picture of Conductive Education and a clear description of it.
This Canadian mum speaks for a lot of mothers I am sure, and I hope others will publicise their own experiences of just how good Conductive Education can be for a cerebral palsied child.
The latest TAC Bulletin has now been published and is available at
The editorial looks at the new English government plans for special needs and discusses the use of a variety of interventions for a child with cerebral palsy, including Conductive Education. Interesting reading.
Also included is information about a publication for parents called Disabled Children; a legal handbook along with details on how to obtain a copy .
A article has been published in the Daily Mail today as a response to controversial statements made on a television programme on Sunday.
I would imagine that most parents of disabled children would heartily agree with the author, Ian Birrell.
I have just received the following Google alert, as Scope has updated its website.http://www.scope.org.uk/services/early-years/conductive-education-1
Scope, a charity working for the disabled in the UK has created a network of Schools for Parents that offer various Conductive Education Services. A charity was set up by parents of cerebral palsied children in the 1950s to support and care for those with cerebral palsy and it was called the Spastics Society. In the 1990s it became involved in Conductive Education but this was not developed and sustained as suggested at the time. It has now changed its name to Scope and over the past few years has gradually widened its support to include all disabled people and their families. A network of Schools for Parents has been created over the years that offers various Conductive Education Services. A list of these can be found on their website at
Twenty-six schools are listed alphabetically by name and not geographically. These are a mixed collection and consist of centres operating for some years, e.g. The Rainbow Centre, STEPS Leicestershire Conductive Education Centre, The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and some part of established special schools e.g Percy Hedley, Villa Real, Horton Lodge. along with small centres such as the Norfolk School for Parents.
Some centres have conductors and some offer the principles of Conductive Education, one even says that the staff have been trained in the Peto method, but not where or how. This makes it difficult to understand exactly what is on offer, but I am sure any parent wishing to find CE for his/her child would follow up on this information and find out more about each School using the contact details given and probably making a visit.
A thought provoking and potentially distressing article was published in the Daily Mail (UK) today about options offered to parents of premature babies who will be severely disabled.
I have just had an alert from Google for a website I believe is new this year and it looks very interesting and different from the usual.
Set up by a father of a cerebral palsied child it states its aims as:
Exceptional Family TV is the online home destination for families raising children with special needs, bringing together all the social and multimedia elements in one location.
COMING SOON MAY 2010- Internet based weekly TV show Focusing on the realities of raising children with special needs. Sign up for “Sneak Peeks” of the show.
eFamilyTV Store- Scheduled to launch March 2010. Our online store will feature products specific to the special needs community. Adaptive toys, adaptive clothing, equipment, travel, and so much more. What would you like to see in our store?Click here to make suggestions.
Family Networking taken to a new level- April 2010. Bringing families together locally and internationally by allowing you to search and connect based on child’s age, diagnoses and location. Make friends online or choose to meet up locally for play dates
A request for parents to discuss their experiences and knowledge of Conductive Education has been made at