“I want to walk”, said Amanda Grieshop from the very beginning. And she did, not by herself or with a baby walker, but holding onto her parents’ fingers, and later, walking with a walker with assistance. Amanda was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 3. Outside of therapy, she is often in a wheelchair due to challenges such as lack of balance, lack of strength in her limbs, and later, scoliosis.
Despite these challenges, Amanda has always been very determined! As years went by, she was in all kinds of therapy, something she willingly engaged in for the most part! In her preschool years, “patterning” was a big part her life and ours. Once she started regular school, traditional OT and PT within the school system with additional therapy outside of school became the norm. Amanda has also made use of massage therapy and chiropractics, amid the other therapies. This, however, usually only resulted in maintaining her health. When her therapy programs were not diligently kept up with, she often regressed.
It was not until Amanda was 15 or 16 that we learned about conductive education and soon a non-profit organization was born to raise money to get a “conductor” here so that our loved ones could get the therapy they needed. Money was raised for conductors to come one, two, or three months each year. It didn’t take long for Amanda, me, and others to see a difference. We were swept off our feet seeing how the children were taught, in a deliberate and well-planned succession, a series of skills which allowed them to progress in ways they had never been able to before! In time, Amanda went from walking with a walker that used mostly her upper body strength to be able to effectively utilize her legs. We witnessed the conductors teaching her how to, for the first time, take proper steps.
It was not until 2013 that Amanda was accepted into Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati, as the first adult. We believe that Amanda was made for Conductive Education and Conductive Education was made for Amanda. One part of Conductive Education that Amanda receives at the center, the “standing/kneeling program”, is a critical part for her. She yearns to do this daily as it gives her so much relief from the pain of being spastic. She describes this as, “it breaks my tone”. There is nothing like this moment that gives her relief from the spasticity, yet only in Conductive Education does this occur.
Amanda tells it like this: “Without Conductive Education, I do not feel whole. ” Amanda says that in her dream world, she would be able to attend Conductive Education daily Monday through Friday. “I would be better and have less medical issues,” she says. This is where she needs to be on a regular basis to break the tone of the spasticity and make the progress becoming the best person she can be. The conductors are her heroes, understanding what needs to be done and having the vision and the willingness to “walk” her through the process of success. Donna Speigel is a hero for undertaking the school and making it possible for all the children/adults to be able to benefit from the conductors and their expertise.
Location: 325 W 19th St. Covington KY 41014
School Hours: 9am – 2:30pm