Day Structure using the principles of Conductive Education.
As adolescents are reaching an age when they need to identify what provision they will transition into, it is essential that we are able to offer continued CE provision. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is through a structured service using the principles of CE. It is vital that these young adults are given the opportunity to maintain and further develop their physical health and skills. We recognise that through the application of skills learnt through CE there are many possibilities to adapt and use these skills in a work type environment. This allows adults to participate in a meaningful way continually building greater self-esteem.
Ideally any adults attending a day structure would be grouped according to their needs and abilities. The number of people in a group is dictated by the space available, the number of staff and the level of support each client would need. The many benefits that children experience from working in a cohesive group are still applicable in adulthood. However, the interests and desires of adults have to be taken into consideration to deliver a person centred approach.
It is essential that all team members work within the Conductive Education Framework using and applying the principles of CE. In a school environment the group is very much led by the Conductor who is responsible for planning and delivery the daily routine. In an adult setting other professionals with specific expertise can add value to the service delivered, providing that other professionals and conductors work in collaboration with one another. It is the responsibility of the conductor to disseminate their knowledge with regards to applying the principles in CE into all programmes.
Conductors must liaise with health professionals to ensure that the health and wellbeing needs of the clients are met at all times. As clients’ age their health needs can become greater and it is important that this is recognised and people work in collaboration. Sharing of information is vital to ensure that this process occurs successfully and the recognition that the needs of clients will change over time must be taken into consideration.
The type of support needed by a client will alter as family and personal circumstances change. We as professionals must recognise this and work with clients to facilitate them through their adult life. We must also plan with our clients for their future anticipating any significant changes to manage the impact of these.
We should offer a structured daily routine that still allows adults to engage in activities that enable them to maintain and develop their skills. The daily structure has to include CE programmes e.g. plinth programme, sitting programme, hand programme etc. as well as opportunities to develop ADL skills and skills for work related activities adapted to the needs of each client. Encouragement and opportunities to transfer skills throughout the daily routine are essential to maximise the effectiveness of the programme. Opportunities for age-appropriate sports, leisure and social activities are also a vital part of a balanced structure.
The conductor has to manage the use of multifunctional aids, communicating the needs of individual clients to all staff members. It is important that the use of equipment is consistent at all times irrespective of who is working with the client. Equipment should be used to facilitate clients to be as independent as possible. The use of equipment should be built into the daily routine which must be adhered to at all times. It should be noted that as our clients change over time the need for additional pieces of equipment may be necessary. This should be monitored at all times.
Staff working in a day structure must liaise with any other professionals/family members involved with the client. If clients are living in a ‘Supported Housing’ provision communication between staff in both settings is essential. Any key information must also be shared with any relevant family members. In contrast with children, adults should be encouraged and guided to make their own informed choices. Family is no longer necessarily the most significant factor in a persons’ life. Sometimes support is needed to encourage family members to allow clients to be more independent in their decision making and act as a support rather the driving force.