Friday, 15 October 2010

Nice plug for CE

CE in Arkansas

I do not follow football.

Indeed I would cross a busy street to avoid it. That goes for any kind of football – Soccer, American, both kinds of Rugby, Australian, Irish and whatever other kinds there might be. Strange, therefore, to find myself skimming hastily down a report from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

I was in fact reading the blog of its author, Dana Kelley, a regular columnist in her local press. I was reading it not for the football but for what comes next. I take the liberty here of reprinting what she has written because I want to take my hat off to her for about as good a short piece of writing about CE and its circumstances as I have read for ages.

One of the most effective management approaches for children with CP is a concept called conductive education. The term originates from the Latin verb conducere, which means to connect, to unite, to gather things together.

Hungarian physician and educator Andras Peto developed his conductive educational system in 1945 after World War II. Conductive education represents a breakthrough and a new paradigm in the treatment and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.

There are 22 states listed as having members in the Association of Conductive Education of North America. The only program here is located in Northwest Arkansas and was founded by a friend of mine, Leslie Porter, in 2001. It became a part of UCP of Arkansas in 2002.

Porter’s story still serves as the “About Us” section of the Conductive Education of Northwest Arkansas website, where she provides a better than-textbook description of the system and its effectiveness in children where motor skills are diminished but brain development isn’t.

In researching conductive education for her daughter, Mackenzie, Porter wrote that she originally got her information on the Internet, reading testimonials from other parents. When she and her husband Phillip decided to first place Mackenzie in a month-long conductive education program in Dallas, they “were impressed by the knowledge of the conductors (teachers), the intensity of the daily routine, and the overall positive and encouraging atmosphere.”

Realizing that Mackenzie and others would benefit from a conductive education program here, the Porters hired the first full time conductor in September 2001. The school moved into a larger facility in 2006, allowing the expansion of classrooms and addition of more students with motor disabilities.

“Today, our classes are full of excited and determined boys and girls and we continue to grow every day to reach our highest potential of independence,” her story concludes.

Good news doesn’t get much reporting sometimes. But it’s still out there, with its unique power to warm the heart and wet the eye.

I do hope that others will take a similar libery and use her words (with due acknowledgement,of course).

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