Thursday, 14 January 2010

Conductive Education on TV in Maritimes

Established adults and children work in Canada

Conductor Beth Brydon writes –

Hello, Everyone,

For those of you who did not get to see Conductive Education Nova Scotia on Global we have now uploaded it on to YouTube. Please click below if you would like to see it. And please feel free to pass it along to friends and family!

I am pleased to oblige. You get two-and-a-half-minutes of nice, jargon-free learning-based commentary (just one unfortunate lapse, over aetiology of cerebral palsy), wth excellent points made by service-users and by conductors.

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  1. As you say, Andrew: "two-and-a-half-minutes of nice, jargon-free learning-based commentary". I'd be quite pleased to have such a piece about Paces on local TV.

    But there's a "But ..." you can probably hear already.

    Behind the TV presenter at the beginning is a screen with the single word "Health" prominently placed.

    If I'm not mistaken on one viewing, CE is described at one point as a "treatment".

    But what exercises me most is how we can represent on camera, the "education" in "conductive education", that is about aspects other than the physical achievements. I do not know the answer to that. I suspect that to most people who see this nice clip CE will come across visually as just another form of physical therapy.

    I think that's a problem inherent in presenting CE on public television. As I say, I do not know the answer.

  2. Norman,

    I think that you DO know the answer. You are already answering with it. Everyone involved in CE should take the line that you are taking, become hypersensitive to every mention of 'health', 'treatment', 'therapy'etc., correct EVERY instance where it is found.

    Yes, of course then one risks becoming a head-banger, a bit of a pain, even sometimes over-stating the case, but the existing imbalance is so enormous that one cannot put the contrary position too frequently.

    Just point it out, very explicitly, again, and again and again, that motor disorders are at most only partially explained as questions of heath, and the proper response to them has to be 'educational' in the widest sense. This should say something not just about Conductive Education but about the very genesis of physical diosability.

    In the Canadian report, I saw no passive treatment and 'hands on' (contrast that with the US TV report on robotic therapy that I have mentioned today). What I saw and heard was the triumph of the liberated human spirit.

    I particularly liked what Keith Sherwood said about his multiple sclerosis:

    '...when you've lost the ability to do it – at least when you've CONVINCED yourself you've lost the ability to do it – and you learn how to do it again, it's quite remarkable.'

    I am currently transcribing and editing something that Mária Hári said about Conductive Education for adults, about the first encounter between client and conductor, what she termed here the 'so-called assessment':

    'One can give the first time – and it has to be the first time – a perspective because, if one has no goal and one accepts the situation, then it is not easy to learn something. One has to get an energy that leads someone to work for this change.'

    She and Keith are saying the same thing. We ALL have to say this same thing, over the pictures of this action, and over and over again.

    Not the whole answer, I know, but surely an essential component.