Frequently asked questions
We’ve included most of the questions that parents often ask us about our services, or about their child’s development or disability. If your question isn’t answered here, you email us your question and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Q. What exactly do you do at School for Parents?
A. Please read the What we do section of our website to find out more about our services, about Conductive Education and if we can help you and your child. If you need more details, please contact us.
Q. How much does it cost to attend School for Parents?
A. Thanks to a generous funder, for the financial year April 2012 to March 2013 we can commit to providing free sessions. During the past 12 months we have asked parents for a contribution of £10 per session to help towards the cost (this does not meet the real cost per child per session, which is £55+). Contributions are always welcome though - as an independent charity, we’re always looking for new ways to raise funds.
Q. How will my child and I benefit from attending School for Parents?
A. Everyone benefits in different ways but in a nutshell, you and your child will start living a more fulfilling, better quality life. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to help your child at home and play a key part in developing their personal, social, cognitive and mobility skills. Ultimately, you’ll help your child unlock their ability to achieve their potential. And when it all gets a little too much, we’re here to provide emotional support as well as practical advice and information on how to care for your child.
Read our success stories to find out how we’ve changed the lives of some of the children and parents that we’ve worked with.
Q. How often will my child and I need to attend?
A. The number of weekly learning sessions will depend on your child’s age, disability and exact needs. We’ll discuss this with you during your initial assessment. School for Parents doesn't follow the normal school calendar. Instead, we're operate on a cycle of six weeks on and two weeks off throughout the year to make sure the children have enough breaks whilst continuing to learn throughout the year. You can find details of when we're open on our Events Calendar.
Q. What’s involved in a typical Conductive Education session?
A. Again, this varies according to your child’s age, disability and learning needs. Typical elements might include:
- A specialised series of tasks to teach controlled body movements and motor planning in various positions and to enhance the child’s active participation.
- Day to day self-help skills such as eating, drinking, dressing, toileting, as well as practical support for parents on how they can keep helping their child at home.
- Swimming sessions
- Specific programmes to develop communication at the individual’s level, using rhythmical intentions (repeated words to help intentional movements) with lots of fun songs and rhymes.
- Using play to teach pre-school skills and conceptual learning, for example colouring, listening to stories, counting and telling the time.
- Pre-reading and writing activities, starting at a very basic level with play including movements.
Any academic work that’s included in your child’s learning sessions will always follow the government’s guidelines for an Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
Q. Will you teach my child to swim?
A. If possible, yes, as part of a specialised swimming programme. These include a swimming award system for each child and limited use of a hydrotherapy pool. Swimming offers lots of benefits for your child, from improving mobility and muscle tone to gaining confidence and strengthening the parent/child bond.
Q. How do I know if my child is developing normally?
A. All babies and children develop different skills at different times, but there are certain milestones that you can expect them to achieve at various stages from birth to the age of five. You’ll find an interactive guide to these milestones, including videos and advice, at the NHS Choices website.
Q. What should I do if I think my baby or toddler may not be developing normally?
A. Talk to your GP as soon as possible. If there’s a problem, an early diagnosis can make a big difference to your child’s ability to lead a normal life, so don’t delay. Remember that you’re entitled to a second opinion if you’re not happy with your GP’s diagnosis or non-diagnosis. And don’t be afraid to ask for a hospital referral to a developmental paediatrician.
Q. If my child is referred to a development paediatrician, what can I expect to happen?
A. The paediatrician will carry out tests and an evaluation to assess how your child is developing against the standards for their age. They’ll probably look at the following areas:
- Physical and motor development
- Ability to communicate verbally or by other means
- Social and emotional development, e.g. social interaction and behaviours
- Self-help skills such as trying to feed, wash or dress themselves
- Cognitive skills such as problem solving or recognising words and letters
- An interview with you about what you've observed about your child’s development. Give as much information as you can, but don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers.
- A review of your child’s medical history.
Q. My child has been diagnosed with a motor development delay, mobility disorder, communications problem or other associated condition. What do I do now?
A. Your GP or paediatrician should arrange a care package for your child, which might include services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Now is also the time to contact School for Parents. We’ll arrange an assessment to decide how to structure your child’s learning sessions and identify the support you’ll need to help your child at home.
Q. Where can I find more information about my child’s specific condition?
A. The websites listed below offer advice, information and support for the conditions and disabilities that we meet with most often at School for Parents. Your GP or paediatrician should also be able to help, and there’s a wealth of more general information at the NHS Choices website.
Head injury or stroke
Q. How do I get help with my child’s educational needs when he or she starts mainstream school?
A. You’ll need to get a statement of special educational needs for your child. We can help to guide you with this process.
You can also find more information at these websites:
You can also contact the education department at your local authority for advice. Parents living within Nottingham city boundary can find information about local services here.
Please also read our leaflet, 'How to get the best education for your child and organisations who can support you' for more information. - Download PDF
Q. Where can I find more general support and resources for parents of disabled children?
A. Give these websites a try:
The staff help you to achieve your goals – and you will, if you work at it. They help you get on in life. I enjoy it at School for Parents. Most of all, it makes me feel proud of who I am.
Brandon, aged 12, pupil
I know for a fact that if School for Parents hadn’t taught me how to perform passive moves on my daughter's limbs and joints, she would certainly have needed surgery by now to correct contractures.
School for Parents will help you find a way to work with your child by using their experience to solve problems in ways you may never have thought off.
The instruction, advice and support we receive from School for Parents has given us the confidence, knowledge and direction to help Sophie achieve her best at home and out in the wider world. We don’t know where we’d be without it. Thank you.
Tim & Lynda, parents
Having the opportunity to meet other parents going through similar experiences on a weekly basis means I feel supported and less isolated in dealing with Gideon's Down syndrome. I've also made some great friends. Thank you.
I feel so grateful to School for Parents for everything they did for Holly. They provided a vital role in the pre-school years. The staff members were absolutely fantastic with the children and as a parent, I always felt ‘looked after’.
We don't know what we would have done without School for Parents. It's a fantastic place for children with various needs and we can't praise all the staff and what they do enough.
Andrew & Alex, parents
School for Parents has given us hope. We came for a visit and have never looked back. I was excited and relieved to find a service that offered hope and support, where my son wasn't going to be the odd one out.
School for Parents is the only place where I feel supported as a single parent of a child with a disability. I would say to other parents…Go and see for yourself!
To see your little one blossoming in front of your eyes is a very rewarding experience, especially in the context of parents' initial worries and fears about their child's growth and development.
When our son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy we were told he would never walk – today he came 4th in his school's sports day race! We can't thank School for Parents enough for everything they have done to support us.
Chris and Katie, parents
More about Conductive Education
You can find out more about Conductive Education at these websites: