Therapy School Lights the Way

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), August 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

Therapy School Lights the Way


Byline: SINEAD McCAVANA

CHILDREN with cerebral palsy from across the UK and Ireland are enjoying their last day at a unique summer school in Donaghadee today.

The kids have spent the past eight weeks in the local church's parish hall getting one-on-one therapy from highly-trained specialists - conductive educators.

The Lighthouse Trust Summer School is the only centre in Ireland which provides this type of treatment during July and August each year.

Conductive education, which was developed by Dr Andras Peto at the renowned Peto Institute in Hungary in the late 1940s, aims to develop a child's mobility and social skills such as washing, feeding, toileting and dressing.

It combines aspects of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and has proved beneficial to children with cerebral palsy and some other conditions.

This year the school, which is run by parents of children affected by the condition, has helped to treat 11 kids between the ages of four and 13.

If conductive education was not available in Donaghadee during the summer, parents would be forced to travel with their children to Budapest to receive this treatment.

Chairwoman of the school's management committee, Joan Bruton, whose son Thomas attends the centre, told the News Letter of the benefits experienced by children.

She said: "This system emphasises the child's abilities, rather than their disabilities. …

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