Taunton Conference for Parents, March 2008
Inclusion, Behaviour and Life with hemiplegia were some of the topics covered at our Conference for Parents in Taunton in March 2008.
Lindsay Brewis, Acting Head of Early Years at Scope, spoke about inclusion for children with hemiplegia in schools. When hemiplegia is referred to as a “mild” disability, children’s “invisible” learning difficulties can get overlooked. Lindsay’s talk covered the concerns that parents have, outlined the process of getting assessments from speech and language therapists, OTs and educational psychologists; and how to speak up for extra support. Her presentation also detailed the typical educational needs that children with left and right hemiplegia often have:
Left hemiplegia: spatial-perceptual tasks - the ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form and how parts relate to wholes.
Right hemiplegia: More likely to have problems with speech and language. Apart from language problems, these individuals tend to be cautious, hesitant, anxious and disorganised when faced with an unfamiliar problem.
Lindsay and Neil Clark, Head of Stepping Stones School for children with hemiplegia, then took questions from parents in a dedicated seminar.
Hemiplegia, Behaviour and the Amazing Brain
Dr Ian Frampton is Consultant in Paediatric Psychology in Cornwall and Clinical Co-Director of the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research at the University of Exeter. He gave a presentation on behaviour, and led a seminar where parents could ask questions.
Life with hemiplegia
Jen Wright, an Adult Member of HemiHelp, was diagnosed with left hemiplegia at the age of one after not crawling but "bum shuffling" and failing to use her left hand. Her talk focused on the positives of life with hemiplegia – marriage, kids, horse riding and more!
And something for our younger delegates...
The conference also incorporated a Drama Workshop for kids, meaning that parents could come along, safe in the knowledge that their children were being entertained – or in this case, entertaining!
Special thanks also to Dr Andrew Tandy, Melissa Wheeler and the Drama Workshop leaders.