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
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
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”.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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