Letter: Conductive education may not be a cure, but it helps

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The Independent Online
CLAIRE TOMALIN'S well-argued piece adds a great deal to the debate about services for people with disabilities. However, she is in danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water in dismissing conductive education out of hand. One of the parents quoted in the article said of conductive education's effect on his daughter: 'It was worthwhile, but it's not a magic solution.'

The Spastics Society and all responsible organisations with experience of conductive education have never claimed that it is a magic solution - we are far too conscious of the dangers of building up false hopes in parents to do that. But we have seen from our own experience that conductive education benefits many children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities.

The Department of Education research from which Ms Tomalin draws her conclusions was based on a tiny sample group (just 19 children) in a new scheme working with inexperienced trainees. It cannot be regarded as a study of conductive education and certainly not as a basis for dismissing the system. We believe that conductive education should be available as one of many services for people with disabilities.

Robert Hancock

The Spastics Society

London W1

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