Thursday, 20 October 2016

My thought for the day

Team work

It is the link that I had on my last thought for the day, a posting from February 2010. Perhaps I would not write all of it in the same way if I was writing it today but the gist of it, the ideas and the wish to communicate them remains today just the same.

No cook book for CE

" ...but there is cooking in conductive upbringing"

I do have such lovely work, so enjoyable and so variable.

Sometimes I have the feeling that I am always a student, constantly learning and trying out new things.

I am me

This week I had several “conversations” about my “Weil ich bin ich” posting from last week: email communications, telephone calls and face to face.

One of the themes of these discussions was questioning what did Littlie mean. Does Weil ich bin ich really translate to “Because I am me”?

It was lucky that I was on the spot when she said it and had time to ask what was meant. Because Littlie can now talk and communicate well enough she explained it to me, but still with the help of her eyes and facial expression.

She took the time to explain because she wanted to and also because she realised that she was being pretty clever! It was important enough for me to have asked her the question and she realised this straight away.

This little girl speaks so differently when she comes out with her gems of wisdom. She is so clear and self-assured because she knows when it is something that she knows better than anyone else.

She laughed a lot during this conversation. She was wobbling around so much while laughing, but she was so sure of herself, that she knew that even though talking and laughing she was in no danger of falling over.

We both ignored the wobbling while I asked lots of questions. We managed to establish that she meant that she knew what she needed, better than I knew, because she is who she is, and I am not. I do not live inside her body and soul, she does.

She definitely didn’t mean “Because I’m me, that is how I am”.

Personal communications

When answering one of the communications that I received on this weil ich bin ich subject, I wrote how important this kind of communication is between client and conductor. I also wrote how important it is for me to be observing every second of the day, otherwise important moments go by unspoken. I also mentioned how, although group work is good, it is not the be-all-and-end-all and, even in a group, moments spent alone with an individual are very important.

It is a ray of sunshine suddenly appearing in this grey winter to have clients like all my littlies and my stroke clients who explain things to me. They tell me how they experience life and how a conductive life-style helps them.

This ray of sunshine turns into a shower of presents. I receive wonderful snippets of information from my clients, or I am shown by them how to change how we do something together, because they realise that it is better that way. Sometimes the changes are so small that only they can indicate to me what is needed. I would not know it otherwise, as the changes may only be feelings, feeling safer maybe or understanding their own body’s movements better, things invisible to my eye except perhaps for the look in the eye or the smile in the soul.

Personal gifts

I store away these presents. I will at some time in the future have a need for them and I can then adapt them to use in my work with other people. I shall never, though, be able to use again the solutions that I have found together with individual clients in the form in which they are stored. But I can be more aware that there are possibilities to do things differently.

Every one of my clients is different, their lives are different, and all of them are constantly changing. How we work together has to be changing with them. Because of these differences and changes it is so important for all conductors, clients, carers and parents to know that there is no recipe. There is no CE cook-book. You cannot buy CE off the peg.

A theatre of spontaneity

Conducting is very much like acting in improvised theatre (Stehgreiftheater), where the audience throws in a word or two, suggests ideas, and the actors use their stored skills to bring the work together. That is what we conductors are doing all day. We have a base of knowledge that we use to form new programmes for the children and adults. We start to build, depending on what gets thrown at us each and every day. Each day a new tasty meal is put together, and each day we are surrounded by lots of happy souls.

We are observing, listening and using what we see and hear and feel, in order to create a hundred different dishes a day, each one suiting a client in a specific situation. One child may need the scissors upside down, another may need to hold them in the other hand, a chair may need to be higher or lower when used to do this or that. Things do not stay the same for a minute, so there is no instant recipe.

This is an important area for discussion in Conductive Education. It is certainly something that conductors providing a service need to explain clearly to parents, carers and clients.

Creative cookery

All too often it is established that there is a problem. Unfortunately, then, also all too often it is believed that a recipe can be found to solve the problem with a peek in a cook book. Then perhaps a conductor will be brought in to cook the chosen recipe. But then again, perhaps not.

Conductive Education does not work like this. There is certainly no cook book and certainly no free gift taped on the cover, there are no wooden plinths and no 1,2,3,4,5. These are not the ingredients we need. They may be our utensils, but then again, maybe not, just as sometimes when we cook we think that we might “need” a rolling pin or a baking tin, when a glass bottle full of cold water and a flower pot will do the job just as well.

A conductive upbringing most certainly does not come in a book of recipes.

I can at times feel that I am working to a recipe, but then I find that there are ingredients missing, the grandma or the sister or the dad, the home life or the school. Then often the recipe does not work. The cake does  not rise or the dish has an odd taste to it. A conductive upbringing needs to include everything in someone’s life and must be always changing to accommodate everything new that takes place.

Of course there are lots of ideas that we can pass on from conductor to conductor, from client to client. There are, however, no recipes to write down, saying that this will be suitable for such and such or for someone else in a similar situation. more often than not it
is not!

All change, all the time

CE is about change. It is about observing the changes, and listening to communications about making changes. It is about making new changes because other changes have taken place because of the last changes....

If a child can stand up and then discovers how to use the hands while standing, then next time the opportunity arises the same child can have a go at baking bread, or playing with a dolls house standing up instead of sitting on a chair or on the floor.

Ask any cook

But we cannot choose any single recipe to fit the bill in our work, we need to create and adapt and be spontaneous.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Another thought for the day from Mária Hári

Autumn happened over night!

... and perhaps with a mention of those specialists. Once again from ‘The short story of Conductive Education’


‘This unified programme is determined naturally, by the level of the development of those participating. By gradually increasing the level and its requirements, the content and characteristics of their work, dependency and self-responsibility show an ever-changing picture and, in accordance with this, the entire daily programme alters. This is how the programme is determined by the level of development. In the introductory period (after admission9 the main purpose is to adapt the child to the group on the basis of his individual capabilities, using observation. The child can be switched over, but only gradually, to the new daily programme (to do the so called ‘work’) and to take responsibility for himself. This can take six to seven days or up to two or three months. In the subsequent work building of a good connection is of greatest importance, both between the child and other children and between the conductors who get to know the child. From the beginning gradual decrease of dysfunctional practices, their change and the building of new habits, are made constantly step by step. The child is examined by a paediatrician, neurologist, orthopaedist, audiologist, neuro-opthalmologist, dentist etc. who make suggestions regarding the child’s needs. Thus a picture of the child is drawn using these along with our own observations and the next aims to be achieved are recorded.’[1]

No recipes

As I have always maintained there are no recipes in CE, (, what works in one situation does not necessarily work in another. We need to have our eyes peeled to make use of every opportunity available for teaching and for learning and make sure we are always ready to be spontaneous and to adapt.


 Hári, M. (1970) The short story of Conductive Education, Mária Hári on Conductive Education, the Foundation for Conductive Education 2004, page 57

BBC Radio 4, Thought for the day – 

Mallett, S. (5 February 2010) No cook book for CE, Conductor Blog