This is Yewande, a beautiful young lady who has Cerebral Palsy. I met her in the Peto Institute where she was attending the Conductive Education Summer Camp. I asked her to share her experience with us and I am so thankful to publish it! Read her thoughts with LOVE! :)
My name is Yewande and I have Cerebral Palsy. I started doing conductive education (CE) in August 1998. My mum heard about it from a friend, and I was 7 years old at the time. We travelled to Budapest from our home in London for the summer camp session. When mum told me about it, being so young I didn’t really understand what it involved or know what to expect. I had been having physiotherapy since the age of 2 in England, so I thought it would just be similar to that. When I arrived in the group, I had no idea it would be so different from what I was used to. To go from one hour of physio a week to doing exercises from 9am until 3pm was a big shock! It was definitely difficult and there were lots of tears, especially in the first week. One thing I really enjoy about CE is working in groups with other children and young people, which does not really happen when you are doing physio.
It helped being in a group and sharing experiences with other people who had been through similar things. I have made some lifelong friendships with people that I have been in groups with. I have also learnt many skills that helped me towards my independence. Even the little things have made a difference to my life. An example of some these things include: being able to help myself in the bathroom, learning to put a shirt on and being able to wear my socks by myself. I would not have been able to do these things if it had not been for CE. I could not have achieved these goals if I did not meet good conductors. After meeting many conductors over the years, for me the best conductors are the ones who motivate and encourage people. They try their best to make it fun, by recognising that each person is unique and that they will progress differently.
Thankfully, I have only worked with one or two conductors that think it is ok to constantly tell a child or young person what they are doing wrong, which is unhelpful. The majority of conductors I have met are patient, supportive and help you to keep on trying your best. I am 22 years old now and several people have asked me why I still go to Budapest and continue with CE and my answer is this: I want to come to a point where I do not need to rely on others with helping me to do tasks such as getting dressed or cooking dinner. These things might appear simple to others, but they hold a great deal of importance to me. I have gained skills from CE that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I want my own independence because once you have that; it can never be taken away from you.