Sunday, 5 August 2012

Its summer-camp time again

'Preparing for a fest'

'Eating alone at last after seven years work practising'

'Baking from my Grandma's recipe book!'


'Making chocolates'

'Making stuffed toys'
 
'Our summer-holiday activities'


‘Let’s be Wheelistic’

I have just been Google Alerted to a blog that is new to me –
 

This blog is full of information, advice, first-hand experiences and tips on living in a family with a child with a physical disability.

Below are a couple of quotes from the blog –

‘My daughter’s journey to independence has been a long and often difficult process.’

There is no doubt it’s was hard work for her, but it’s was very beneficial and she enjoyed learning with others in her group.

I watched my daughter do things I had never seen before.’


PS

It is a shame about the references to Conductive Education being therapy. I can understand this confusion when families first start to research conductive work online as there are many instances of the use of the word therapy in articles about Conductive Education. But how this confusion continues once families have attended a conductive camp for five week is something that I have more difficulty in understanding. 


However, this is another positive report from a summer-camp, but I see the underlying problem that often presents itself to many families who travel huge distances in the summer-break to attend camps and wish to follow a conductive lifestyle at home. They return home with many questions. 

These questions often include —

‘What happens next?’

‘What can we do at home?’

‘Where do we turn to for help now that we are hooked?’

‘Where is there a conductive centre, or a conductor nearer home?’

As I often say, there is always Skype, and other amazing  possibilities with modern technology.


3 comments:

Andrew Sutton said...

There is an even deeper underlying problem here, I suspect, the very perception of CE itself.

Practical questions such as you pose here are understandable and indeed essential for people caught in this situation, and this ought to include those who provide such services at least as much as those who purchase them. I know that some users and providers have found and tested out some ingenious and personally helpful solutions but I have suspected over the years that there will emerge no generally satisfactory answer.

This is surely because conductive upbringing and conductive lifestyle comprise the primary situation to aspire to, supplemented by direct pedagogic experience with conductors if and when possible – not the other way round.

Emergence of the summer-school model (or 'intermittent Conductive Education', to use an awkward jargon expression) has created a quite contrary position in which families seizing at little, direct CE experience as their primary goal, then wonder what to do to hold things together in the time till the next one (to maintain how conductive pedagogy brought them together over a brief duration).

This it putting the cart before the horse and the human problems that almost inevitably ensue will continue till conductive upbringing/lifestyle become the primary goals, with conductors' pedagogy holding an important role within this (not instead of it).

I think of Dina...

A.

Norman Perrin said...

Let us for the moment view the world from the parents' perspective and consider the school-age child.

If they cannot choose, for whatever reason, for their child to attend a full-time conductive education school, is it better that they do not access conductive education at all? Or, is it possible that 'something is better than nothing'?

If the latter, then we need to begin to develop a menu of options which might better suit the circumstances and choices of the parents, the child and the family.

One implication might be that when summer school is over, the work of the conductor and the CE centre is not but that there is a continuing need for contact with the family, a reference point for the family for further continuing advice on conductive upbringing.

Andrew DSutton said...

Not only now but for any foreseeable future, even in what some might mistakenly regard as a country with 'a lot of Conductive Education', the UK for example, only a fraction of one percent of children with relevant conditions will ever 'attend a full-time conductive education school', This applies and will apply however generously (slackly) this phrase is interpreted.

In the UK anyway, and I suspect almost everywhere else too, parents cannot 'choose … for their child to attend a full-time conductive education school.'

Put it another way, for economic and social-policy reasons nearly all children who might potentially benefit from receiving Conductive Education delivered in the way that Norman applies will be denied this for the duration of their childhood. So will generations to come. I suspect that the same will be so for most other places too.

Now for those specific questions...

Is something better than nothing? This simplistic notion is understandably seductive. But think, for example, of a discontinued course of penicillin. Or a motor-car engine that is 90% complete, lacking only the carburettor. Almost certainly, if something works as a system, it will not work with even one vital bit missing. With respect to Conductive Education, there is no a priori reason to think that any of the usual quick-fix substitutes will work, nor empirical reason either. There are many reasons for people to offer such interventions, and for clients to take them up, but these are another matter.

CE developed in a particular social context to fulfil particular roles. Why expect it to 'work' in other contexts, to fulfil different roles. Of course the conductive system is flexible, as are some of the people who carry it within them, but how far can this stretch without distorting and weakening its effects?

Something more radical is needed. There was precedent. In Hungary in the late forties, AP himself found that he had created the radical concept of 'groups' when he had so many people apply that he could no longer deal with them individually. And the Akoses' parent-based service model, when there was not a single conductor as far as I know in the whole of Germany in the late sixties, was no less radical.

Norman writes –

'...we need to begin to develop a menu of options which might better suit the circumstances and choices of the parents, the child and the family.

'One implication might be that when summer school is over, the work of the conductor and the CE centre is not but that there is a continuing need for contact with the family, a reference point for the family for further continuing advice on conductive upbringing.' 

Begin? In 2012?

On might start by questioning why anyone who works with disabled children and their families should consider it appropriate to staff services according to school terms. And by questioning whose are the primary needs that CE services are established to serve.

I reiterate:

'...conductive upbringing and conductive lifestyle comprise the primary situation to aspire to, supplemented by direct pedagogic experience with conductors if and when possible – not the other way round.'

A.