Wednesday, 10 March 2010

It is all going so terribly wrong

As Dr Frankenstein might have said

Here are a few extracts from a lovely human posting from Janet 'Grammy' Harrold, who writes today on her blog –

Conductive Education

  • As many of my friends already know, my family and I have been seriously looking into an alternative therapy for Hailey. Unfortunately we have decided to wait until next summer...

  • Conductive Education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy.

  • It is generally a five week program and it is not covered by insurance. We have enough savings for the first session but eventually we may need to look into having some kind of fund raiser for repeated therapies as it usually takes more than one session.

  • Because there isn't a facility in Boston we had to look out of state for this and we have looked into three different locations.

  • We now have a year to continue to explore and raise money before we make a definitive decision.

  • In the mean time we will start to take our cue from Conductive Education Therapy and attempt to make some of the furniture that they use in their programs.

  • If anyone has any information on CE or comments please post a comment.... looking forward to hearing from you all soon.
I do so hope that I have not misrepresented the sense and meaning of the original posting by quoting as I have. Judge the whole for yourself and draw your own conclusions on this.
Fellow-mother Renee Charlan has already responded to Janet's posting–

The thing about CE is it is more than a therapy it is a way of life for these kids. They expect them to do things that we don't even think about teaching them. We have started doing a lot of what they teach in the home and it is going really well.

She refers Janet to a posting that coincidentally she had published on her own blog, just over a week ago:

How many professionals in the field will offer a hand of guidance?

What have we done?

So much love, so much hard work, so much money all around the world, over more than twenty years now ... and to what end? With the best intentions in the world, what Frankenstein's monster have we – the conductive movement – managed to create, to lure and mislead decent loving parents, with perhaps no means of finding their way other than from the hand that other individuals can extend? What a chastening professional and institutional failure!

No particular criticism here of the particular centers/prgrams that Janet has heard of and mentions in her posting. No single person or institution is to blame – all of us are. This comes from the USA but the Conductive Caliban is certainly not unique to North America.

At one time, not so long ago, the idea that the 'international period' in the development of Conductive Education was heading for an internal historical crisis might have seemed a bit of an intellectual conceit. Of course, the crisis will be experienced in different ways and at different times according to circumstance, but does not the perception, the concept that that have overwhelmed one good-hearted and well-meaning mother here, and the conceptual tools made available to the other to help her spread a better word, – do these not indicate a crisis of substance in anybody's book?

And the failure of everyone within such system as there is in Conductive Education, to resist and rectify this – is this not a moral crisis of extraordinary dimension? Surely people in droves know that the present situation is not right – yet it behoves almost everyone not to mention it.

Or is everything actually just hunky-dory, in the best of all [possible worlds?


Charlan, R. (2010) Conductive Education, Massager Mommy, 1 March

Harrold, J. (2010) Conductive Education, Painting for Hailey, 9 March


  1. I would love some feedback please!!!! I would love to be corrected where I have been taught incorrectly. I do not want to be sharing any information that is misleading to other parents/grandparents/caregivers.

  2. You are 100% spot-on in what I have quoted here. CE is NOT a therapy. It is not even 'more than a therapy', it is something completely different. It is, as you yourself say, a way of life. Embrace this philosophy. Don't immediately contradict it by bringing back talk of therapy. Stick with 'expectations'...

    Elsewhere you have written: 'I try and do as much as I can in our home at least once a week'. I see that you have now been introduced to the concept of conductive upbringing. Think of this as bringing up your child to be 'conductive' (i.e. in a philosophy or a way of life). Think about bringing him up to be a Christian: ' least once a week'? I think not. In everything that you all do as a family? For ever? That's more like it. And, though others can help you in this, they cannot do it for you.

    A little feedback for starters. Does that begin to orient you? Specifics are for later.


  3. Thank you Andrew,

    Yes this does help very much. You probably picked the best example for me to understand and I thank you for that.
    I guess I was saying "as much as I can, at least once a week" because at least once a week for a full day that is all I do is work on skills with Zach. For the rest of the week I just go about our normal routine but help him to do things on his own.
    I thank you again for helping me to better understand.