Wednesday, 22 November 2017

YOUNG ADULTS: SHARING INFORMATION

Finding CE services for teenagers and adults



'Continuing Conductive Education' for teenagers and adults who have grown up with cerebral palsies or other motor disorders is emerging as a service category, and people are trying to find where such services are provided.

Gill Maguire's Conductive Education Information is receiving enquiries about this.

Gill is preparing a list of CE services of where this can already be found, worldwide. Click here to see more:


She is appealing publicly for information. She welcomes information from any source, from young people, adults, parents and carers, administrators and conductors. Even if you do not have full details, drop her an email and she will find out further details. 

Let her know even though a service is still only the stage of hoping or planning to extend its work with children up through the age-range. Receiving enquiries from would-be clients might help in making its case start work.

If you have any information to share on this, do please let her know at gmaguire1@yahoo.co.uk, and she can then share it with others, both in response to personal enquiries and publicly on the Conductive Map:


Everybody wins!

(And to save you asking, your name will not be shared)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

EXHIBITION

Judit Nyiri's Gobelin pictures

Judit Nyíri at her exhibition
Judit Nyiri is 44, she attended the Peto Institute in her first years, walked, then attended a local school.

Judit started working with fabrics as a child. She began with Macramé, then went on to table cloths and thread-drawing. Her grandmother suggested Gobelin cross-stitch technique, and Judit has drawn enormous joy and satisfaction from working this way.

This week she has an exhibition of some of her Gobelin pictures, at the Lencsási Community House in Békéscsaba, in South East Hungary.

Video


Reference

YOUNG ADULTS GROW UP – AND AWAY

And parents may need consideration too

 
Four years ago Ralph Strzałkowski looked back on when he left home, got a career, made his own independent life – 
I guess you never stop being the parent of a cerebral palsy child, no matter how old the 'child' may be...
...my new lease on life, as exciting as it is for me, took something from my parents – that I never thought about to a greater degree. I was happy to get started- they were letting go of something, and miss it.
Read what Ralph wrote on this, in full, at: 
http://blog.lawyeronwheels.org/2013/11/cerebral-palsy-parenting.html
A truly holistic conductive approach to young (and not so young) adults has also to include conscious consideration of this dynamic, among the others, across the life span, and it is also an essential component of a comprehensive theoretical position on conductive upbringing and pedagogy.
For a tiny bit of a discussion, see:
http://www.conductive-world.info/2013/11/the-other-side-of-independence.html
And every stage in any lifelong conductive involvement, never, never forget the fundamental human-developmental principle of reciprocity. 

Previous

Ralph's book, Never, Never Quit, can be previewed and ordered here:
http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/4642407-never-never-quit


His most recent item on Conductive World:
http://www.conductive-world.info/2017/11/victories.html







Monday, 20 November 2017

THE C-WORD

BBC's Children in Need
Watch your language?
Three-and-a-half-minute BBC TV fundraising video giving major public exposure. And not one mention of the C-word – or the P-word either for that matter– and no account of what is going on:


One-minute radio interview from a different part of the UK for a centre that 'supports children, adults and families', with no mention of conductive or of conductors:


Someone presumably made a decision not to mention what these two services do. Perhaps this was what the two services themselves wanted. Or perhaps it came from Children in Need.

Perhaps there were appeal items featuring other CE services that did mention what they do. Do tell if you know.

Not mentioning conductive/Pető at all: is this good, or bad; a step forward, or a step back?

Does this matter enormously, or not one jot?


NEW TRAINING CENTRE FOR CONDUCTORS

A million Euros from the Hungarian Government
In Romania

Albert Levente felvétele

Opening day

PAK's new conductive service centre for adults and children, and conductor-training school, in Transylvania, Romania, started operation at the beginning of September, and was been formally opened at a ceremony last week. Read more about the background and some of the questions that it raises, and see a video:


Conductor Pál Csuka, who is now responsible for PAK's external relations explains that services for children and adults have been provided at a number of Transylvanian locations since 2014, on a pattern of a three-week conductive experience every three months. At Illyefalva the recently commenced services are already on track. In September, ten students started their university training and held their first three-week practical development programme. The training course lasts for three years.

(Pál Csuka also stated that PAK is happy with continuing use of the widely used name of 'Pető Institute'.)

More on this story
  • the Hungarian government has supported the reconstruction and equipment of the former Illyefalva children's village buildings with a million euros.
  • The work will take place in the mother tongue of those concerned. (It is not yet stated whether this will also apply to the conductor-training.)
Attending the opening ceremony
  • Károly Szász, Chancellor of Semmelweis Medical University (chancellors in Hungarian universities are responsible for theirs institutions' management and financial control; they are appointed by the Government)
  • Andrea Zsebe, Rector of PAK (the university's CE faculty)
  • Balázs Hankó, Minister of State in the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources
  • Réka Brendus, from the Hungarian State Secretariat for Education
  • Bishop Béla Kató – this project had begun at the initiative of the local Diocese of the Reformed Church
  • Representatives of local government.
Sources of information

These include the following:


I found some of the different takes on the same story confusing. Any corrections gratefully received.

Friday, 17 November 2017

YOUNG ADULTS

One year

I see that it is a year since Conductive World specifically focussed its attention on young adults' who have grown up with motor disorders: 


Practice around the world was already ahead of me and this year the topic has been moving on further:


Not a bad haul for a year. This one-year list of personal blog postings certainly does not provide not an all-inclusive review of what young adults are doing, experiencing and being offered in the world of Conductive Education, but there does seem perhaps more going on now than might have been in the case in the past.

And am I being over-optimistic? Is there new, fresh optimistic air to be smelled here?

One expects more to come, and anticipates great things...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

MEETING MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

In Székesfehérvár...

Ádám Makk among educators in Székesfehérvár

In the old Hungarian city of of Székesfehérvár a meeting for educators from local schools and other educational settings providing for of a wide age and ability range, on the subject of 'Conductive Pedagogy for Inclusive Education', marking the 50th anniversary of András Pető's death

The aim of the conference was to outline the situation, indicate professional opinions, present pathways, and design options for cooperation...

The principle of conductive pedagogy is that a someone born with brain injury can be developed and taught too. He never considered the condition definitive, and he achieved improvement in movement through learning. This makes the daily lives of children who are limited in their movement easier, and those of their parents, teaches and integrates their carers into society, and helps find a place in the employment market. Conductive upbringing is the intellectual legacy of András Pető (1893-1967), a physician-teacher who has set the goal for disabled children to learn to live, to care for themselves, to study, work and provide for others.

https://www.szekesfehervar.hu/a-peto-modszerrol-tanacskoztak-fehervaron-az-alapito-halalanak-50-evfordulojan

So far so good, a nice overview presented in a framework that seems, one good model for the much-needed dissemination of Conductive Education amongst educators for consideration elsewhere in the world.

(I wonder what of the considerable experience of conductive educators working in most diverse, inclusive settings outside Hungary is aired in such Hungarian contexts.)

And if you do try this at home...

The report quoted above perpetuates a misleading assertion that Hungarians should most seriously examine and which repeated publicly outside Hungary could well raise incredulous or even derisive laughter, most especially perhaps amongst educators: that Conductive Education is 'world famous'


András Pető... founded the world-famous Pető Institute...

A word to the wise – lose this.

And  do also check on the meaning of the Latin verb conducere. Its real meaning is far more indicative and interesting in this context than 'to lead' (Latin: ducere).




Tuesday, 14 November 2017

VICTORIES

Violations


Ralph

Ralph Strzełkowski's book, Never, Never Quit, an edited compilation of postings on Conductive Education from his blog Lawyer on Wheels., was published in 2013, Following the book's publication Ralph continued mentioning Conductive Education on his blog, and  Conductive World is pleased now from time to time to remind its readers of what he wrote in those later CE blog postings.

The adult voices of those who have grown up with Conductive Education should stand as an important perspective amongst the understandings of all those others who have taken part in Conductive Education over the years.

CE prides itself on its 'human factor', but how do its processes and the alternative look to those who have learnt and developed under its influence? The point of view of its learners virtually never finds public expression. yet their numbers likely far exceed those of any other group to have contributed to all this activity.

Here Ralph writes here about how one important consideration of conductive pedagogy and upbringing looked to him.

A personal victory moment

Michael J Fox is back on TV this season and this time the character – just like the actor – has Parkinson's disease. A lot of the show's intended humour comes from his coming to terms with disability and interacting with the outside world, as the man he plays decides to return to his successful newscaster career and is not about to let his condition stop him. You may want to catch this NBC sitcom as soon as you can as the ratings so far don't warrant a second season.

Before you say that it may be that an American audience is not comfortable seeing art imitating life and someone with such visible disability. Let me say that I've seen Fox, who was a comedic genius of the eighties and nineties, in much funnier things than this.

Either way, before the show premiered the network decided to promote it with a scene that has the family at the table having dinner together. Fox is reaching out slowly but surely to put food on everyone's plate. Focused, he gets on target – 

Can you not have a personal victory right now? his wife interrupts... We're starving.

It's intended as comedy of course and it shows that Fox is comfortable making fun of himself. But it made me think of my own personal experiences. A lot of times when I was a child and even a teenager, if we were in hurry my parents would just do things for me, because there wasn't a time for me to do it myself.

Sometimes this involved finishing dressing me up or putting on my shoes, although I could always do it myself. Sitting me in the car or grabbing me from the car although I've done it myself a million times. Sometimes it was about getting me out of my bath or rinsing my hair. Because it was quicker and they did not have the patience.

It's odd to think of independence as something you need to find time for, something that isn't practical, something that gets in the way. My mother has always thought of me doing things for myself as some kind of demonstration. Something I did to show everyone that I could. She didn't quite understand that I've done it, because that's what people do. Not to prove to anyone that I can, not to have a personal victory moment. I can either function in the society by myself and do all those things or I can't, and there are no short cuts.

It was not being stubborn, but having people do things for me didn't help me do the things I needed to do on my own. And in ways I felt violated. Not only because someone would literally walk in on me having a bath. But they would override my independence and often violate my personal space because at the time it wasn't convenient. Because you obviously are allowed to flourish when everyone has time for it. And when that happens it undoes so many things that I've done for myself with one move or a harsh remark.

I had had very few avenues to express myself, very few moments that were only mine. Not a lot of moments that you can keep private, because for a lot of things I had to rely on other people. The more I felt dependent the more independent I wanted to be. It wasn't a hobby or something I did for show. I wanted to live my life. And in life people dress themselves and feed themselves and go places. Do dishes, laundry and shop and clean. I wanted to be normal, but how in so many ways I felt abnormal. I didn't do it to be cute.

12 November 2013

References

Strzełkowski, R. (2013) Personal victory moment, Never, Never Quit, 12 November



Strzełkowski, R. (2013) Never, Never Quit, Birmingham, CEP

http://www.blurb.com/b/4642407-never-never-quit



Ralph's CE writings

Book of a blog

On his growing up with cerebral palsy, his life as a pupil at the then Pető Institute, and starting a new, independent life in America 

His book 
Never, Never Quit is a rare bird indeed. You can preview it, and order a copy, here:






Monday, 13 November 2017

GHASTLY VERSUS UPLIFTING

Prosaic versus poetic

Ekiwah Adler

Norman Perrin draws attention yet again to dread public squalor waiting to be found at the hands of the welfare system:


'Assessment'. Such a sordid word, with so many appalling associations. A barefaced front of pseudoscience. I cannot see how anyone can bear to utter it without a deep shudder.

'Both appeals heard by the same panel'. Against natural justice? Judicial review? Cheaper to buy the e-wheels oneself?

Bureaucracy. Jobsworths. Fairness. Humanity. Where stands the individual soul, the passion, the humanity? The poetry?

Inadmissible evidence

Poet Ekiwah Adler performs his 'Love song to my electric wheelchair':


Sunday, 12 November 2017

BEHAVIOURAL

A different analysis
From a different age

When Conductive Education first 'landed' in the UK as a public issue in the late eighties it butted up against a special educational system where questions of instructional technique (the word 'pedagogy' was never heard) were still a leading professional concern.

Behavioural approaches particularly were very much to the fore among special educators and educational psychologists

Following a visit to the satellite institute in Kiskunhalas, in 1990 educational psychologist John Presland wrote a letter to The Conductor magazine –

Dear Editors,
One of the problems that I have found with Conductive Education is the absence of a reasonably comprehensive theory to help me understand what is happening.
On a recent visit to the Pető Institute in Kiskunhalas, my observations suggest that almost everything could be interpreted in terms of something that has had a major influence in schools for children with severe learning difficulties in our country (i.e. a different population from that provided for by the Pető Institutes).
For instance, Conductive Education establishes general aims (orthofunction, integration) and derives more specific objectives from them (sitting, standing, walking etc.). It utilises task analysis – the analysis of a complex task into smaller items to be mastered in sequence. I saw many examples of what we would call prompting (i.e. such methods of guiding children in the action required for learning as verbal instruction and explanation, demonstration and gestures indicating action, and physically moving parts of the body in the ways required. Their systematic use of praise could be interpreted within our concept of reinforcement as some consequence of behaviour use in a planned way to change the frequency of a behaviour. The building of one task upon another in Conductive Education echoed with our own concern to teach in such a way that the results of learning transfer from one situation to another, so that generalisation of the learning occurs.

Overall the impressive work that I observed seemed to have much in common with approached which I have described (Presland, 1989), which were based on a combination of research findings, practice in schools for children with severe learning difficulties, and the work and writings of physiotherapists. Could it be that a combination of our theory and Hungarian practice could bring benefits to both countries?
     John Presland, Wiltshire School Psychological Service
To an outsider (as I now am), at least within the United Kingdom, it looks like the concerns of 'special educational needs' have replaced those of special education – with concerns for behaviour in the sense of 'challenging behaviour' now very much to the fore, and bureaucratic time-wasting seemingly sucking the soul out of everything. Conductive Education in this national context anyway, does not stand up and butt explicitly against education, special or otherwise, in any visible context.
That is a shame, for everyone involved. After all, back in the nineteen-eighties the concerns of the pioneers were very much involved with replacing the then system of special schools and by implication the superstructure of ideas that came with it. This not a unique position by all means behaviourists, early integrationists and others wanting major changes in the existing system in their particular ways.
It just might have led to such a creative and innovative future. As Mária Hári used to say around that time, 'There are many roads to Rome', and other paths might have emerged. In the event, there were bigger, more powerful social forces at work, and this was not to be. Oh well, so it goes.
Reference
Presland, J. L. (1989) Paths to mobility in 'special care': a guide to teaching gross motor skills to children with very severe learning difficulties, 2nd edition, Kidderminster, BIMH Publications
Presland, J. L. (1990) Letter to the editors, The Conductor, vol. 3, nos 1-2, p. 8