Abigail Payne

Course: BA (Hons) Conductive Education

Background

"After teaching in a summer camp for special needs in America I knew that a career within special needs was for me. I started to introduce myself into the special needs sector by getting a job in a mainstream school working as a Learning Support Assistant for a girl with cerebral palsy. She also attended a Conductive Education centre once a week. I had also been working part-time with care for adults with learning disabilities.

"I spotted the Conductive Education course at the University of Wolverhampton, applied for it and was accepted. I absolutely loved it from day one.

The course and resources

"The course was intense, because of the relationships that you build with conductors and service users. The social life is a bit different compared to some students, as the hours from the first day involved practical placement and theory, so our hours are very different, so it does require a certain amount of discipline. Everyone on the course had such a passion for what we did that friends for life were made.

"The provisions at the institute where most of the training takes place are really good. We always received constant feedback, everyone knew your name and you became part of the team. I had good contacts and friends at the university as I stayed on campus with the first year, which is good to meet people from a range of areas, who can support you and advise you, as I can them. The library and its resources were also good for studies as Conductive Education can be categorised in many areas.

What next?

"Whilst doing the course, I have gained contacts within Conductive Education and worked alongside my studies. Whilst studying for my degree I assisted the running of summer programs for children in London and the New Forest.

"During my third year I worked for few children from the National Institute for Conductive Education (NICE) providing Conductive Education based sessions and general babysitting and care. One little boy who was 2 had travelled from Ireland to have Conductive Education at NICE. The mother of the child asked me to go and work with her in Ireland training up her carers and helpers, and providing a more intense programme for her son. This being a success I went to Ireland several times during the school holidays whilst still studying for my degree. I have since travelled back to Ireland to not only work with this little boy but another who travels to Birmingham also. The staff at NICE and I have arranged for the boys to get together and I provide a group session for them both.

"Now based in Mauritius where a small Conductive Education  centre has been set up, I am working as the conductor there alongside teachers and assistants. The contacts I built at NICE were excellent and I thank them all so much for getting me where I am today.