Over the years, I have often found myself making the case for the conductive education of very young children with cerebral palsy, in the face of doubt, disbelief or downright dismissal that education has anything to offer. Surgery? Yes. Drug treatments? Yes. Therapy? Of course.
But education? I am not aware of any mainstream schools or nurseries that offer specialist education programmes, led by specifically trained teachers, for the very young with cerebral palsy. Perhaps somewhere there is but I am not aware of it.
Surgery, drugs and therapy are the "givens" of "intervention" for very young children with cerebral palsy. That the case still has to be made that such children need teaching seems to me to speak volumes about the failure of mainstream provision for these children and their families - and why making the case is such an uphill struggle.
However, there is, apparently, an international trend to a focus on the early years education of the very young. It's not just confined to Liz Truss, Minister for Education and Childcare, it seems. The Economist today publishes an article "Learning for the very young: Little Steps" which considers this international trend. Even in America:
BARACK OBAMA likes to call education “the currency for the information age”. His presidency has brought a big shift in America’s priorities, devoting more effort and resources—and an extra $2 billion—to children who have not yet started their formal schooling.
I wonder this: if, all over the world, politicians are focusing on "children who have not yet started their formal schooling", might this be the time to make the case for children with cerebral palsy to have their specialist (conductive education) share?