Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Blurb for the CP Association of B.C. . . .

For my family, as we live and love with our child who has cerebral palsy, the mystery has always been how to start learning and working in the area of his abilities. Conductors have shown my family not only WHAT his abilities could be, but HOW to get him actually developing those abilities. It’s very difficult to describe conductive education; but the results are easy to describe. He’s on his feet more. He’s taking part in every decision throughout his day. He’s willing and happy to try to use his hands and arms more. He knows that he has a part to do in every activity. He has more fun doing simple things. He’s involved and learning to do things that his regular team of professionals hasn’t so much as suggested in all his 13 years.

This means he has more belief in himself. I have more belief in myself, him, and my entire family. With CE we’ve moved into new, unexplored areas; and we’re still learning, every day. I love it because everyone in my house is learning, from every little interaction and activity every day. (At least the potential to learn is there, depending on energy levels and such) Because my son knows that this growing and learning and trying is happening all the time, he goes along with it. He always has, because early on we got some effective training through conductors. Come to think of it, it has a lot to do with simply setting the tone; for everyone. I have often felt that tone has been set far too low and far too ‘disabled’ for my boy with his usual workers. As a result, there are some glorious, happy differences; achievable only with the open-minded, smiling, curious approach I have come to know as conductive education. Over the last ten years, I have met a lot of B.C. families equally wonderstruck at the simple efficacy of conductive education; when they had the rare opportunity to try it out. This effective and amazing approach is now no longer a rare beast. There is a conductor here to stay and she needs your support. The whole idea of CE needs support; get involved.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Having had my niece and nephew over last night for a "sleepover," it comes home more poignantly tonight how large the effect of a parent is in a child's life. I love my brother and sister, and I am honoured that they'd trust us to have their kids for a night and a day. In the afterglow of their visit, I see how formative a parent's perspective can be. The particular differences between us and the parents of these children became glaringly apparent to the niece and nephew this weekend. They discovered the chasm of contradiction between the contents of our fridge and theirs. These differences are usual; but for a youngster, it's somewhat more revelatory.

What WAS revelatory to me was seeing how an "able-bodied" child can be so inflexible in the mind. "I don't like [insert any normal food here]," . . .

What? My son doesn't even TASTE food, much less EAT it with his mouth! Argh, and here sits a 'normal' child using the mouth to not only deny the existence of every vegetable on the planet, but also TELLING me so. I found new levels of patience I didn't know I had. When we go to the trouble of making home-made waffles, and the kid tells me, "I want pancakes," well holy smokes, I wanted to hand him the yellow pages and say, "Find the local IHOP and call a cab."

Is this how 'real' kids act? Lord, it makes me wonder even more what is going on in my son's head! If nothing else, conductors have taught me to pay attention to the cues from a kid and respond to that; instead of to what I hope they are trying to say. Now that my boy is having a birthday, I feel almost allergic to having any other kids over to celebrate with him. They only gripe about things he never experiences. Drives me bonkers; totally bonkers.