Supported Living Based on CE Principles
Housing for people with disabilities in a Conductive Education setting is becoming more important as the first generations of young people progress through schooling into adulthood. Some young adults have had experience of Conductive Education settings but many have not. What is without doubt is that there is a clear and defined need for living space based on Conductive Education principles – particularly in the supported living context.
Giving general recommendations is of course difficult as every individual presents with different circumstances. This is further complicated when you consider particular national characteristics relating to funding and legal necessities.
Best practice is now clearly focused on delivering a home for people with disability based, where able, on holistic principles where as much autonomy, self-development and self-expression can be achieved. The hope is to deliver a supported housing environment where individuals can together create spaces where their learning can continue to progress and also discover solutions for living with others in a community space. Facilitating the ability for participants to further develop every -day life skills adapted to individual goals, movement and staying active are essential for this environment to be successful. Empowering and giving clients tools for living and leading a happy and fulfilling life is the paramount aim.
It is essential for learning from each other, relating with clients and staff and the motivation of their peers. Forming a group is dependent on a lot of factors such as abilities, disabilities, age and personality. It is the professionals’ task to choose a group according to their needs, picking them up where they need support and facilitation, working out individual and general goals and providing space for growth and learning.
A motivated team willing to learn new things is essential for a good basis for Conductive Education incorporating housing.
People of different professions such as conductors, carers, psychologists, therapists, social pedagogues and medical professionals – nurses, orthopaedics, doctors – and volunteers are in the required team. Some of these professionals are of course present in everyday life, others are not.
Another task of team members is to co-operate with advocates and legal services. This is particularly important where a client does not have the support of family members, but requires the intervention of healthcare, social and legal professionals.
The role of the Conductor is more than just planning motor-developing exercises – the focus of Conductive Education in this regard is often also relating to the application of finding practical solutions for everyday challenges in independent living.
Daily/ Weekly structure:
A structured every-day life routine helps organising activities and remembering key tasks. A repetitive daily routine – such as morning, afternoon and night time- helps the core structuring of any day.
Individualised programmes carried out in group or single settings form part of everyday activities. Planning tasks, fine and gross motor skills are integrated – especially in self-care and planning of leisure time activities. Housing tasks are part of everyday life, supporting the goal of providing independent living according to a persons’ abilities and needs.
Aids include material, manual facilitation and a Conductive environment which supports structure and clarity for living. Material includes Petö furniture like walker, walking ladder, wall bar, plinth or footrest as well as other material like specialised table and cutlery, adapted bathroom equipment and lifts. Assisted Communication systems also play a very important part of working successfully with adults in a housing environment.
Consultation with parents/carers:
Communication and consultation with parents form a very important part of the supported living role for the Conductor. Trust of parents and relatives in the team is essential for a good co-operation in order to get the best outcomes for the client. Especially for young adults, another key person and connection with the team is important. Planning family visits, holidays, important events or supporting medical interventions requires considerable interface between the Conductor and family. Clearly, if there is a positive and constructive co-operation between all key individuals, the best possible outcomes will be achieved for the client.