These are parent quotes from around New Zealand, taken from the 180 Degrees report, an independent survey done on Conductive Education in New Zealand.
“The unbelieving love and care to do the right thing for my son. The day they said “yes we can help” was bittersweet, I wanted them to say “He is not severe enough” on the one hand and then the other I wanted to know there was an option to help him. I owe the Conductors and what is now GlowKids the world for what they have enabled for Jack. He is now a mainstreamed 8 year old in year 3, at school with 760 kids where he went in only just able to take a few steps without falling, determined not to need a walker. Now he can walk with his own school bag on to class independently and embraces everything that life has to offer. We have a kid that is differently abled, who has some challenges and always will, but he is not what we label a disabled kid and this is the mindset that Conductive creates”.
“I remember getting so excited when my child started clapping hands – huge milestone!”
“My son has achieved all that he can do through the teaching of CE. We started at the age of 11 months old and we are still attending at the age of 21 years. He is still developing and making progress – that is why we are still attending. i.e one particular movement of his leg that has been practiced for years, was achieved by my son last year independently – this has a flow on effect to help with his walking in his frame and movement. Their support and knowledge they have of my son is huge and I feel he has developed many life skills to carry him through to his next phase in life – after school.”
“I had a little girl who was terrified of her own body and crippling anxiety. Probably the most memorial moment was seeing my girl walk unassisted for the first time in her life. There were lots of steps here and there …. but that day she walked off…. for 5 minutes I must add… on her own, in and out of rooms, was incredible and I recorded every step. Reka, the Conductor, slowly built up Ruby’s confidence by pushing her boundaries slowly and then off she went and she has never looked back.”
“I would say it is an intensive programme that has a holistic approach. It is a very family orientated, supportive and encouraging environment. Conductive has a “Can Do” approach. They are always encouraging the kids to give it a go. In our time at Conductive our children went skiing, swimming and ice skating, along with the supermarkets, libraries and Willowbank trips. They are teaching the children how to live with their challenges and to never give up. They always involved us as a family (parents and siblings). They were always seeking options for us. We had access to the Conductor, a speech language therapist and Occupational therapist and a Physiotherapist who came to the centre. No stone was un-turned for the benefit of our child. They always made us feel important and always made us feel they were continuing to find options for us.”
“A fond memory I have is when my son was at the pre-school and was just learning to walk with quad sticks, Anna-Maria looked up and saw him walking towards her using them and said that he was going to make her cry. To me that just demonstrated that it was more than a job to her and that she genuinely cared for the children.”
“I still think it’s interesting that we chose Conductive Ed and when we left we went full mainstream. From something so specifically for a child with a disability to “the big wide scary world!” That just goes to show how empowering they were for us as a whanau. I loved how they supported us culturally; the Conductors learnt some Maori and became familiar with our traditions. The admin there at the time were soooo amazing as well. They recognised my grief but didn’t pander to it, Sally Thomas was a huge support for me there because she new exactly what I was going through.”
“The Graduation ceremony when our child left Conductive Education is something to be remembered. A very emotional occasion.”
“My son has been attending CE since it first started and it has had a huge positive impact on his life. People think that it is all about learning to walk but the most valuable things that we got were about learning to be social, feeling comfortable with who you are and having a positive outlook on life (for him and us as parents). Our son has surpassed what we ever imagined was possible and is now living in his own place, making his own choices. Don’t get me wrong, he still needs a lot of additional support in his life – but he is controlling as much of his own life as he can.”