Emma McDowell has asked me to publish this comment on my latest blog "Research, or spam?", I could not get it to go up there either so I am posting it here on the blog instead. I hope that this is OK with you, Emma.
Thank you to Emma, and also to Andrew, Laszló and Freddie for all your comments.
"We only had some “furniture” at home when George was young that could help him to maintain, or practice, proper positions. An ordinary little wooden chair without arms, a coffee table put in front of it, when he was reading, eating or watching TV. Rings and small wooden bars to hold in his hands as much as possible. The same “furniture” (table and chair), was later used for brother Andrew, a normal toddler, for the same purposes.
Andrew also loved all the learning toys, including the low, but strong wooden shelves (attached to the wall, made up by Dad) where all George’s toys used to be, in order to encourage him to stand up to reach them, by holding on to the shelves. All the neighbouring children loved these shelves.
When George could already walk independently, we carried in to the house an ordinary ladder. We put it on the floor of the long living room. Dad nailed ropes to the windowsill that were at the right height for George to walk. George held on to the ropes (not bars) and walked back to us, across the lounge, stepping over the rungs of the ladder. The “conductor” (= Mum or Dad) would have sat on the little chair at the end of the horizontally lying ladder, opposite the window, encouraging George to walk back to him/her, stepping over the ladder. If he fell, he got up. Much later again, when “Peto-fever” broke out in the UK, and George was a teenager, yes, we actually had a full-size plinth made, and visiting conductors had George do proper lying exercises (a programme) on it. (The plinth is now a bed, with headboard and mattress.)
As a rule, conductive exercises were done in a group, either at the Peto Institute, or here at home in suburbian Belfast, in the Church Hall, for the few feverish years when we organized conductive summer schools.
Of course, the plinths, chairs, rods, steps, etc. were all very important for the work there, and – learning from what we saw – Robert also made some low square boxes that George could practice (usually outside, in the garden) his stepping up and down from them. This is how he learned to step off a curb outside in the street. (He practised that in the street, too, with me, for which I was often “told off” by passers-by, for torturing the poor handicapped boy, me, heartless, cruel mother.) He also used a stout wooden bar (a flagpole, actually) to lift up over his head with his outstretched arms.
All in all, yes, the specific helping aids for C.E. learning were (and, I am sure, still are) very good, and I do regard them as part of the teaching/learning process. If someone has a special interest in them (as part of the whole, complex system) well, let them research it. Naturally, only with the understanding that these are learning aids."
Research, or spam? -