Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Scope for improved awareness in UK too

Is the paid help up to the job?

An instructive correspondence on Scope's Early Years Discussion Forum:
Posted on 04 August 2010
I've been googling for over an hour looking for someone that sells the ladders, tables, non slip mats, bear hug velcro straps etc that they use in conductive education classes. Can anyone help?forgoodnesssake
Posted on 05 August 2010
Smirthwaite were/are the stockists of this stuff but I suspect they have a lot less of it than they had a few years ago. I don;t think it even features in their web pages any more. You'll get non-slip (dycem) mats from any number of special needs outlets - and you can find an even cheaper option in caravan shops!! (stops cups etc ralling around) I have 2 quick release horizontal handles for either plinth or stool that I am trying to sell and I also have a slatted stool. No plinth, sorry!
Posted on 09 August 2010
hi if you are still interested ebay has a conductive ladder in the auction but only 2 days to go
Posted on 24 August 2010
my son attends stick n step in wallasey, they would be able to advise where you are able to get conductive equipment from.
their website is www.sticknstep.org
Value for money?

Scope is the nearest that England still has to a national cerebral palsy organisation. It rarely gives explicit attention to Conductive Education nowadays (there's a story to be told there, for sure) and CE does not loom large in its Early Years Discussion Forum.

This enquiry seems largely to have been answered, in the terms it was stated. But this interchange raises further questions:
  • Why has it even arisen in this form? Why does somebody want to get kitted out with wooden furniture etc? Is it hoped that this stuff will work some oracle? If there is a conductor involved, why is this conductor unable to advise on these questions as part of what I assume is a paid service?
  • What sort of shambles is Conductive Education on the Internet? Is there no longer a CE supply industry? Or do people just not know how to search? And by the way, Smirtwaite's does seem to have largely abandoned a declining market, though its rather misleading information on CE still stands as the second item of the second page of a Google search from the UK for “conductive education".
  • Or is it that the umpteen CE centres in the UK are just not capable of answering simple telephone enquiries?
  • Why could the answer not be provided much more quickly by just asking Scope? The organisation costs enough money to do whatever it does. Responding to simple information requests such as this one, and to offer some elementary guidance, would seem a basic enough function to provide in return, rather than leaving this to the serendipity of self-help (that self-help worked to a degree in this instance is no excuse).
Conductors, centres, charity staff, lots of highly paid people, all no doubt terribly busy doing important things, and no help at all where a small and informed helping hand might save somebody a lot of misguided effort and expense. Multiply this up and consider some if its implications...

Doing it better

This posting follows immediately on from a recent thread here on Conductive World that was sparked from the United States but has much wider relevance:

Criticisms implied most certainly do not apply to all institutions and and individuals involved. They might regard what they do to combat this trend very much for granted. It would be nice to know how they manage it.

1 comment:

  1. I just came to this as I was looking for some Conductive education bits and bobs for my son, to use at home. I was totally confused about the question posed in the 'article' above 'Why does somebody want to get kitted out with wooden furniture etc? Is it hoped that this stuff will work some miracle?'. What kind of question is that? The whole principle of 'School for Parents' for the 0-5 year olds is that we learn conductive Education skills that we then practice at home with our kids. We don't need a Conductor there - we just need to integrate aspects of CE into our lives. Dycem mats to stick our childs plates and cups down so they don't fall off the table when the child tries to grab them, grab rails on the table so we can practice sitting in less supportive chairs and work core muscles, slatted stools to sit on when we practice our self dressing skills instead of being laid down on the floor and dressed like you would a baby. I don't think the woman who was after this stuff was cricisising anyone and I don't think anyone had failed her - she was just trying to find what she wanted without having to pick up the phone and ask someones advice. Smirthwaite do the basic stuff you might need and their name comes up when you Google 'Conductive Education Equipment' but they don't do all the stuff you might see in a CE school. I think there's a need for a broader selection of equipment to be sold including some of the accessible items you might find at School For Parents including specialist scissors, rolling mats, standing ladders etc.