Monday, 25 May 2009

A world in a grain of sand

An epitome

I have only just come across a very good news article from February, in Gazebo News, the electronic community newspaper for Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, Illinois. So who cares? The giants of the US press certainly do. Such well-written, grass-roots, back-home journalism is an important factor in the present collapse of the traditional US newspaper industry.

The article that I have just read, written by journalist Adrienne Fawcett who established and runs Gazebo News, is a typical story of parental determination to access CE, so why mention here yet another of its kind?

Firstly, because it is compellingly written. If you want an example of a CE story like this (say for an assignment or to add to a portfolio that you are building up to make a case), then hang on to this one. It's well worth reading in full and you'll find it at:

Secondly, though, the human quality aside, crystalysed here in a single story are what by 2009 appear to be well established tendacies in the development of Conductive Education across the United States. Here are some points. presented in the order in which they occur.
  • small-town America
  • holistic therapy, leading to problem-solving and self-sufficiency
  • no state or federal funding
  • not covered by most insurance
  • family started CE in a centre that subsequently closed
  • well-organised community fundraising, to help others access CE
  • leading to establishment of local non-profit foundation
  • five-week local summer camp + visiting Hungarian conductor
  • works best in groups
  • now 15 to 20 children attend

Plus a nice parental analysis:

  • Conductive Education is not a cure, but its benefits are profound... I could tell the difference in her whole disposition... There's no limit to what she can do in our house...'

Along with not unexpected misemphases

  • muscle co-ordination
  • 'blends physical therapy with a Montessori approach'
  • conductor has a degree from the 'Peto University'

In a nutshell

Rugged and generous determination, a window created for CE where there was none before, triumph and disappointment, hope and persistence, strong local community support... This does seem the story of a sizable section of CE in the USA.

The story so far, anyway.

Reference and note

Fawcett, A. (2009) Basketball, Balloonist and Snow Cones, Gazebo News, 6 February

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