Monday, 15 September 2014

US CE: RAISING THE SIGHTS

Local hero to national contender

I guess that there is rarely a single US anything. The country is just too vast and too diverse.

As far as CE programs are concerned, is it possible to spot central tendencies emerging, or are the circumstances in which CE is being reconstructed to suit very different circumstances just too varied to permit a sharpening focus?

Good news

CECO (the Conductive Education Center of Orlando) has been in the news to mark its move to much bigger premises. Its long life and growth are remarkable, as is the degree to which the local community seems to have taken it on board. I have spotted CECO doing well at getting stories into the local press, and being media-savvy might be an important factor in its success. It does look like CECO is here for the long haul.

But...

Apart from the particular good news about the Center's new premises, what more general message has gone out about CE through its local press?. In the Orlando Sentinel reporter Lauren Roth writes –
Its focus is a method that builds pathways from the brain to the body, helping children with conditions including cerebral palsy and spina bifida better control their movements... The method is called 'conductive' education because it involves leading a child, not doing things for them... a conductor trained to combine physical and occupational therapy with educational methods... one adult to every one or two students, children get therapy throughout the school day...
Is that really the sort of special-educational understanding still awaited to raise Conductive Education up from the status of local hero to that of serious national contender?

Granting that the reports of newspaper reporters are a stage removed from what parents and providers might actually think and say, the problem remains: how to get better understandings formulated and then out into the public domain?

This is not of course a problem unique to the United States but special education and rehabilitation in the US are especially sophisticated and critical fields, powerful too. Whether or not they fully deliver real-life benefits for children with motor disorders and their families, they will set the bar very high if CE is ever to break through into  public consideration as a serious alternative.

Straws?

Meanwhile, oh dear (again) –
...pathways from the brain to the body... combine physical and occupational therapy with educational methods one adult to every one or two students... therapy throughout the school day...
If only public media could be persuaded to report a higher vision and to link very real good news about progress on the ground with a wider excitement that here is something new and different that potentially raises discussion to a quite different, educational level.

Only a straw in the wind – or another for the camel's back?

Reference

Roth, L. (2014) Disabled students get more room to roam at new school, Orlando Sentinel, 4 September







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