Today, I started off working with a new client. I meet her for an initial consultation over a month ago. I was excited and a bit nervous. However, I do love this time. This is where the conductive magic starts, if I do my job right. The first session usually gives me a clue how long and what it will take to gain the trust of my client and their family. It’s the start of building a relationship.
This young child is not what you would call a ‘typical’ CE child. I mean she doesn’t have the diagnosis of CP. She has a genetic defect, which not only affects her body tone (hypotonic), but also her bone structure, vision and hearing. So, I was a bit careful before meeting her and I remember warning her mother that I might have nothing or not much new to offer. We agreed to meet anyway and I am very glad we did.
This little girl just loves songs and thinks I am hilarious. Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to motivate her. So, that checked off we are working on her trusting me. She has a quite painful knee and is scared bending it. She can do it when she is playing and no one else is around. This tells me that she knows her limits and that she had bad experience with other people trying to help her. I made sure I didn’t push her and mainly verbally encouraged her to crouch down, earning her trust. It seemed work out and she tried.
I asked her to follow my movements and follow simple instructions. Her mother tried to show her hand over hand. I told her to hold of a tiny bit and see if she would attempt to follow them without hand over hand (I looked as she tried to figure out what I wanted from her) and after a little while she did quite well. I could see her mom being quite excited in the background. After the session I asked if she (the mom) had any questions. She said no and that it was pretty clear, what I wanted. She said that I worked with her daughter a lot on the next level. She feels that the therapist that knew her daughter for a while kept having those kind of expectations and that she now has to reset hers to higher ones, too.
This is not the first time I heard this. And please don’t get me wrong, I do not post this to clap myself on the shoulder (although feedback like this feels damn good). Or to cause further stress to the relationship conductors have with other professionals. It’s more to say that firstly we conductors do have something to offer to our clients and families even if it’s only to show them to step up their expectations. As well as see it as a warning to us/me to not get sucked into the current level of development, therefore always look for the next step of development (yes, in case you wonder it’s Vykotskii).
Anyway, it looks like we had a great start to do some conductive magic with this family.