News of my arrival in Germany in 1993 seemed to have travelled ahead of me. The phone never seemed to stop ringing, families and new centres searching for conductors. One such family lived not too far away, they had heard about me in the Petö Institute from other German families.
I began working together with this family in April 1994 when the child was 4 years old, she was already a "Petö Child", having been in Budapest 3 or 4 times in her short life. I always went to work with her at home with her family. This was another case of the family not wanting to be split up for weeks on end while the child was away for "therapy", another case where the family learnt together and the whole family had a conductive upbringing.
In the early years we met regularly, working together for one week each month. As school started this began to change and we had to make good use of all the school holidays.
We learnt to walk, eventually to stand up from the floor, we learnt to play, we practised skiing in the garden (she later went on a special course in Switzerland and now joins the family on skiing trips).
We learnt to swim in the pool, we learnt to ride a bike and a scooter, we learnt to cook and sew and of course to paint. At the end of each week we would put on a play to show all the family what was new, always written and produced by my client and including a whole range of fluffy toys as extras!
We had a lot of fun, we worked very hard.
By 2005 Gymnasium (high school) was demanding more and more time. After a couple of visits for post-operative work , during which time I was lucky enough also to be able to observe her bio-feedback sessions, our work together slowly came to a natural conclusion for the time being.
Follow up work 2008
My client still does her regular 30-minute exercise programme, up to 3 times a day, and she visits the Ukraine for manual therapy at least once a year. She attends theatre groups, the love of her life, she goes on ski holidays and she is doing very well at school, soon coming up to her Abitur.
How do I know all of this?
Through follow-up work.
Unusually I do not do this directly with the child but with her mother. We keep in regular contact and I am always available to offer any help or guidance I can whenever she needs it.
Discussing problems coming up at school, finding books written specially for adolescent girls with handicaps, talking over the pros and cons of boarding schools. Anything and everything and sometimes just the weather!
I always eagerly await news of exams passed and of new interests and achievements. I share any experiences I have gathered through my work with teenagers, that may smooth the way through the current stage she is going through!
This week I received the lastest news from this family, about my client and her siblings, their studies, work and future plans. Almost as an after-thought, at the bottom of the letter I found the most amazing news of all.
The little diplegic girl I met at 4 is now a young lady of 18 and is moving on to yet another stage towards her independence.
I emphasize 'diplegic' here as, with many diplegic children, there were/are many hidden problems, which can (and did) lead to problems with learning mathematics, physics and chemistry at later stages in school.
We had struggled with distinguishing between right and left , in and out, over and under, on top of , inside, straight ahead and round the corner. We practised and practised and practised, everywhere possible, on the bike, indoors , in the street, while skipping, running, hopping, jumping, playing, eating or being creative.
It has obviously paid off as this young lady has just passed the theory part of her driving test. Well done! Now she begins on the practical lessons. It may take longer than with her siblings, she may need more lessons but as ever she is following in their footsteps, refusing to be told "no that is not something for you". She always knew at what age her brothers and sister started different activities and demanded to do the same, whether it was tumble tots, theatre group, recorder or piano lessons.
Early on in my work with this family we often discussed the need for the parents of a handicapped child to keep their expectations as high for this child as for their other children. It didn’t take long before this, and all other aspects of Conductive Upbringing, entered into and slowly became the life of the whole family.
My client now has higher expectations of herself than anyone else has!
I congratulate her on this new achievement and wish her as much patience and determination in the second stage towards a full driving license as she has shown in all aspects of her life until now.
Biofeedback Therapy nach Dr Brucker
Dr. med. Peter Bernius
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