When you are faced with adversity and obstacles, how do you respond? This is one story of an entrepreneurial grandmother looking at serious adversity, her special needs grandson not making any progress with typical treatment regimens, and deciding to overcome the problem – even when she knew nothing about the solution. But, she did have an entrepreneurial mindset and that made all the difference in the world. This is Part 2. Read Part 1 here.
Ms. Donna Speigel, Founder of the Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati (CLCGC), was interviewed by Radio WMAP for the show “The World’s Most Amazing People.” They discuss the origins of CLCGC, the reasons, and pathway to starting the school, overcoming obstacles and “Making Meaning” in one’s life.
Radio WMAP, founded by KC Armstrong, is a station dedicated to inspiring and celebrating the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The show features interviews of people who have faced incredible hardships only to become a greater version of themselves in the process, sharing their stories from the first-person perspective. There is no better way to describe the journey of the soul as it meets and defeats life’s challenges but to say – Simply Amazing.
Making Meaning – Part 2
DS: Good question. Well, as an example, if you wanted to be a great tennis player, you wouldn’t take one hour per week lessons, would you? No. You would invest much more time every day and week. With neuromotor challenged kids and adults, insurance only pays for about one hour a week for medical therapies – and you net only about 40 minutes of that time in treatment after you check-in and check-out. This isn’t enough. You have to have more.
We focus on helping the whole person with real-life tasks and skills. It’s based on the idea that everyone has the capacity to learn. We target daily life skills that include sitting, eating, walking, toileting and dressing independence and we work with them three to five hours a day, three to five days a week in a group setting just trying to make a difference.
Ms. CP – WMAP: That must be such a rewarding experience, opening up your own organization, the Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati and bettering the lives of children and adults. And, doing something good for people to better themselves in life and their future. What was your reaction when you were able to finally open up this business?
DS: It’s so rewarding. We’ve had hundreds of children do something their parents would tell us that they had never done before; Stand up. Roll over. Tie their shoes. Walk with walkers. They would make progress. Progress fuels hope. And that’s what we promise. Progress.
(Several case stories are provided at the end of this interview).
Ms. CP – WMAP: Wow, how long does this process take? So, when you get a new child that comes to your facility, how long does the recovery process take place for?
DS: Well, it tends to vary depending on the severity of the neuromotor challenges. We have four-week sessions and it takes some time to make progress. It’s work. Hard work. You participate in a four-week session and then usually the parents will sign on to come back for more treatments. During the summer months, we have a lot of out-of-towners and out-of-state kids and adults.
Ms. CP – WMAP: You said earlier that you had people from the Hungary school come over and they’re teaching at your facility right now too?
Ms. CP – WMAP: How long has Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati been open for?
DS: The school has been open for 13 years, and we’ve had hundreds of children enrolled. We also had young adults come where you run the gamut of what therapies you can go to, what’s available for you. We have Amanda coming who is 37 years old with cerebral palsy. She is thriving socially and emotionally. She’s stretching her muscles. She is moving. She is walking with a walker. It’s made her life so much happier. Of course, we have my grandson Dayton, and a little girl named Lourdes that is really special, her parents think its worked miracles for her. Real miracles. Then there’s Gus, Ellie, Chloe, and John Paul. I could go on and on.
Ms. CP – WMAP: That’s truly incredible. Where are you guys located?
DS: Actually right now we’re located in Northern Kentucky, and as I said, there are 34 schools in the U.S. and if anyone listening has a child that needs help or has a neighbor or relatives that need help, you can search the internet for Conductive Education to find a school nearest you.
Ms. CP – WMAP: You know what? Thank you so much for coming on this show. You are truly doing something so incredible for people that really need the help. I mean do you ever plan on opening any more facilities kind of like on the eastern side of the United States, or any in New York?
DS: Well, our school is still growing, and I have my business with 11 stores. So, I’m somewhat capped out except for our own growth. And with my grandson Dayton, I want to say that now he walks around at the zoo and the local amusement park without assistance. He’s happy and is now 17. Dayton was the inspiration for this school and he continues to be my inspiration every day.
Ms. CP – WMAP: Yes. Congratulations to both you and Dayton, I mean you are truly doing something so incredible and we love having people like you come on the World’s Most Amazing People because you’re really trying to impact others’ lives for the better. I’m so very happy to have spoken with you today. Once again, this is Donna Speigel I have on the phone. She is the founder of the Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati. Donna, if any of my listeners were interested in contacting you, where would they be able to find you on the internet?
DS: Go to our website at www.clcgc.org. It’s the quickest way.
Success Stories – Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati