My young client in northern Germany, the one I usually refer to as Laddo, tells me, more than most do, that it seems like magic to him when he discovers a new trick to help him gain greater control of his out-of-control athetoid limbs.
Many other children and adults have said that is seems like magic when we discover a way of doing something that gives them success. I always try to convince them that it is their hard work and not magic that does the trick but, just like all of us, they generally like to believe that a little bit of magic is involved.
Whatever they choose to believe that it is, it always makes them smile. As they use their new-found “magic” trick more and more in their lives, they smile more and more. They are really happy with the new-found freedom of movement that they have discovered. This is the hard work that "magically" transforms their lives.
A copy of the London Evening Standard fell into my hands yesterday. There is a lot more to read in it than in many of the British national papers so my perusal took quite some time. Eventually I reached page twenty eight, where a headline caught my eye:
“Magic therapy for youngsters”
“Card tricks help patients with motor disorders”
Whenever I make a presentation about my work, I always begin by explaining that the most important thing for me is to discover, for a conductive upbringing to be successful, is what motivates my clients. When I can motivate my clients, when I can find out what it is that sparks off their lust for life, they become active and their souls become healthy, they begin to be able to motivate themselves. As we all know, with healthy souls all activity becomes easier. The will to live active lives becomes the motivation to be active.
There goes that conductive spiral again!
There before my eyes in the London Evening Standard was a lovely story about children with motor disorders attending a “Magic Camp” at Guy’s Hospital in London. It sounded just the right kind of exciting stuff for motivating little boys and girls and developing healthy souls! This article reminded me very much of my recent stories about "Papier Maché Camp" and "Dinos and Aliens love Underpants Camp".
Magic, dino, painting or papier maché camp, call it what you will. Whatever the name it all comes down to the same thing in the end, finding out what motivates clients.
The article begins:
“A boy of eight whose hand was paralysed by a brain condition has been helped “by magic” after undergoing pioneering therapy.”
I thought the wording a bit misleading in this first paragraph, it suggested to me that the child was “undergoing” something passive, something was being done to him, but I have been reassured that this is language used these days in England when talking about "therapy". I suppose that I really would have rather liked the headline to read “Conductive magic camp at Guy’s hospital”. Maybe one day!
The young boy attended a ten-day camp during which he learned “tricks developed for children with motor disorders by Magic Circle magicians”. Presumably the same tricks that children without a disability would perform, but adapted how and when required.
We are told that this child left the camp able to throw a tennis ball and to eat using a knife and fork. He could also complete complex actions, such as opening a packet of crisps or undoing a sweet wrapper.
I am still thinking that the title would have been better if it had said “Conductive magic camp”!
At the camp children were taught card games and circus skills and magic to make them use the affected limbs.
The Magic Camp followed on from a pilot project when Magic Circle magicians worked alongside the occupational therapists from Evelin Children’s Hospital to develop exercises.
I think I may be putting my Paper Maché Camps on the market soon, as we thought that they were quite magical too.
I have written about magic before:
London Evening Standard
Magic Camps at Guy’s Children’s Hospital
Guy’s Children’s Hospital