My visitors today

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Insider knowledge

‘When the ‘you’ you have known all your life is no longer quite the same’

I would like to thank Gill Maguire for providing me with a wonderful read and a new addition to my personal library.

I have one more book for the shelf marked Personal experience memoirs

Written by actress Jane Lapotaire Time Out of Mind, If I am not myself then who am I is an account of her own life after she survived a cerebral haemorrhage and subsequent brain surgery, and a record of the long path back to an active life, a very different life to the life that she had been used to.

I unexpectedly had a few hours free so I sat in a café and finished the book almost in one go with two huge coffees and a sandwich.

When I read memoirs of this kind I learn much more about the hidden symptoms of neurological disorders than I discover by reading something written by the so-called experts and this book is no exception. 

Insider knowledge – that is what I like to call it

This insider knowledge is invaluable to me in developing my understanding of the problems many of my clients face in establishing a new life after surviving injury to their brains.

We are so lucky that so many people wish to share their experiences with the hope that they will by doing so not only help themselves but also other people, and their families, who are recovering from trauma. Of course this literature also helps people like me, those offering assistance to clients developing new and active lifestyles.

My client Waltraud Heußinger has also contributed to this wealth of insider-knowledge literature with her book – It came as a bolt from the blue.

Time Out of Mind – Jane Lapotaire, 2003, Virago Press

It came like a bolt from the blue – Waltraud Heußinger, 2011, Conductor, Nürnberg

‘When the ‘you’ you have known all your life is no longer quite the same’ – taken from the back cover of Time Out of Mind

Monday 22 July 2013

‘Let me tell you another story’…

'Twin collared doves' - my new neighbours are preparing to fly

… about the World Congress

Following on from Abstract Number Two here is my third and final Abstract for my second presentation at the World Congress for Conductive Education in October 2013.

It is my second story about Conductive Education and publishing.

'Let me tell you a story...' Part Two
Narrative, publishing and conductive lifestyle
S. Mallett

Background: At the last World Congress in Hong Kong I outlined how blogging my practice, ideas and experience enhanced my understanding of conductive pedagogy (Mallett 2010a). Abstracts from my blog have also been published as a book (Mallett 2010b).

Process: Alerted to the world of small-scale publication I noticed a self-published book by Bianca Jahke-Oppold. I took copies of both books to my conductive stroke group. Waltraud Heußinger, a member of that group, having looked at the books, left behind a note: 'I would have liked to have written a book but I cannot.' My conductive task became to show her that in fact she could.
This presentation is not about the book as such but about how working together with Waltraud and her husband Werner created activities to facilitate developments for an expanding conductive lifestyle. These included photography, writing in German, sorting photographs, reading in English, meeting designers, copy-editing and book-signing.

Outcome: Waltraud’s book has been written and published in parallel German and English texts (Heußinger 2011), by my own publishing house.

Discussion: Narrating my clients' lives helps me understand and describe my pedagogy. I collect and publish narratives to inform others and to encourage them do the same. Waltraud’s story shows the pedagogic principle that working together on a self-chosen goal and facilitating its achievement will help transform people's lives and those of their families.
In the tradition of Romantic Science (Luriya, 1997; Sachs, 2012) case narrative provides the foundation of holistic neuropsychology.

Conclusion: Any complex activity can be used to develop a conductive lifestyle. Writing and publishing are examples with benefits for others. Waltraud says that this project, begun for her own development, should offer motivation to fellow stroke-survivors and their families, striving to overcome what may seem at first insuperable hurdles.


Mallett, S. (2010a) 'Let Me tell you a story: narrative, blogging and conductive upbringing' (poster) VII. World CE Conference, Abstracts, pp. 299-300

Mallett. S. (2010b) Let me tell you a story, Conductor Nürnberg

Heußinger, W. (2011) It came like a bolt from the blue, Conductor Nürnberg

Jahnke-Oppold, B. (201o) Mein schneller Papa (self-published)

Luriya, A. R. (1979) The making of Mind, Harvard University Press

Sachs, O. (2012) Hallucinations, Picador

Sunday 21 July 2013

Singing while we work

Watching the sun go down after work


We do it a lot of singing with the little children and I also do it a lot with the adults, but with the teenagers it often gets neglected, I have to remedy that!

A cheering Sunday afternoon read from Suffolk –

‘A Suffolk teenager is setting up her own choir to show how music can be a form of therapy for people with disabilities like herself.
Courtney, from Mildenhall, said: "I have cerebral palsy, which means that my speech is slurred and my movement uncoordinated. Ever since I was a little girl I realised that I was not the same as my friends. But I have never let my disability hold me back."
She describes herself as "extremely active" and enjoys dance, art, and wheelchair basketball, but her main love is singing.
The 16-year-old believes singing helps with speech, co-ordination and confidence and wants to show that "with or without a disability, you can still enjoy life".’

The choir is being financially supported by a British charity called Fixers –