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Sunday 30 January 2011

Foreign correspondence

" Snow again!" by Susie Mallett
Germany, January 29th, 2011

I correspond regularly with a parent and carer, of a son who was born with cerebral palsy.
She and her son spent a lot of time at the Petö Institute learning how the family could live what has turned out to be a long, successful and on-going conductive life. They were already well travelled on their chosen path before most of us had even heard of the Petö Institute and conductive pedagogy.

In our communications about all things German, Hungarian or conductive, my friend often passes me valuable snippets that I can add to my blog.

Conductive, non-conductive and those between

While reading the last of our correspondence I was encouraged to think a little bit about those families that I have met who do not feel that they are cut out for conductive living. The parents that cannot identify with the stories I tell about clients who are being brought up conductively.

My friend said she learnt too, over the past few decades, that some parents are estranged from attempting a conductive upbringing because they believe that it is something that helps others, people like my friend and her son, and not themselves.

Some families, my friend explained, feel that they are just not cut out to introduce conductive pedagogy into their lives. Some decide this when they have a good understanding of what it is about, but most decide it after receiving incorrect information.

I have met all sorts of families over the past twenty years. There are those who get hooked and “take up the gauntlet and help themselves”, as my friend puts it. There are those who get hooked only as far as wishing to send their children to “Petö” but not to live conductively twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. There are those who prefer to stay with physiotherapy once a week and a string of other therapist on the other days or the week.

It is not only parents and children who either take up the gauntlet, or come for “Petö” for a few hours, or reject it completely. Adult clients can fit into these categories too. Some of my adult clients live conductive lives, keeping contact with me for individual follow-up sessions and home- visits between our block sessions. Others forget about what we have done together as a group as soon as they walk out of the door, but they always come back for more. Then there are those who come for a few weeks and do not get hooked at all, despite the work done by the group to persuade them to stay with it.

Learning from people

I enjoy my correspondence with this long-standing conductive parent, now a friend, very much. I am not sure she realises quite how much I learn from her experiences. I use much of the information she passes on to me about her experiences in my work, especially in my work with young adults.

It really is possible to learn so much that is useful in my conductive life through email, the Internet, Skype and I get to meet new people with new experiences all the time. I write about my own experience and skills too for anyone who wishes to read and share in them.

It is because of this wealth of valuable communication that I experience through cyberspace that I think that we must not be despondent and ponder too long on nonsense out there in Cyberspace about conduction, conductive pedagogy and conductive upbringing. There is a lot of useful information being shared too, both publicly and privately.

Oh dear! Again

I know I have written a few Oh dear! blogs recently but I do try to fit the happy surprises in too.

I keep trying to tell myself that today’s alert from Google is perhaps a bit of both. It is a conversation between mums and it really is an Oh dear! and it has some Oh, oh, dear, dear moments! too. Luckily there is a mum who writes well about the Pace Centre and hopefully clears up some of the confusion.

I was alerted to this site where CE is described as a "painful therapy" that “requires the administration of paracetamol” and it is reported by a parent that “I have seen miracles happen before my eyes”. This is followed by reports on experiences at CE centres in UK. All of the conversations on this site as far as I can tell are between mothers of disabled children on a posting that begins:

Conductive Education
Title says it all really, can anyone explain it to me? How is it different from Brainwave for example?

You can read the conversation that followed here:


Of course after reading through this I took a look to find out what Brainwave is.
I discovered that it could be one of two things.

It could be a method of training yourself to be brainier in some way, maybe more clever or quicker witted or more creative than usual, by getting your brain in balance.

Balance your brain
Change your life

Brainwave Therapy or rather brainwave meditation is the simplest, most affordable way to directly tap into your higher potential and unleash your power to think, create, heal and to change. There’s no training necessary, no need to travel anywhere, or spend hundreds of dollars on complicated home training programs that take up a lot of your valuable time. Just 30 minutes a day will bring outstanding results.

It probably is not this one; it is more likely to be this:

For over 26 years Brainwave has been working with families to deliver individual home based therapies and exercises that help children with disabilities reach their full potential.

As my friend and I discussed this week in our correspondence, some parents get it and take up the gauntlet, they help themselves and often others too, but there are also those who do not. There are those who wish to understand, to have it explained to them and those who do not.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Historically, Brainwave sprang from the Doman-Delecato system but has developed into something more family-oriented and psycho-social (though it does still wax on about 'neural plasticity'):

For many young parents, it is easily tangled up with Conductive Education:

And so is Bibic (another Doman Delecato spin off).

And Snowdrop...

State systems should not be snooty about any of this, but take it as index of how poorly they may be doing their jobs.