Thursday, 15 July 2010

You ain't heard nothing yet

America points its way to further diversification

You do not have to look to China and its burgeoning programs and research studies in the name of CE to wonder where and what 'Conductive Education' is in 2010 – and where it might be going. Look instead to the quite different process of diversification afoot in the United States (you know, the country with a strong record of leading the way in social trends).

Little reminders have drifted in this week, straws in the wind, perhaps of little significance in themselves but continuing reminder that whatever else happens in that very diverse country, people pursue their own individual paths towards their own personal dreams – and that this occures not just at the level of family life and professional practice but at the infrastructural level too.

Americans do their thing, whatever turns them on.


On Tuesday I received notification from, an American body that announces itself as the authoritative guide to on-campus and distance-learning universities and colleges. Amongst thousands of opportunities I am offered the following:

Certificates/Less-than-1-year Certificates in Education + Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic and Other Physical Health Impairments:  A program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with orthopedic and other health impairments which adversely affect their educational performance and that may prepare individuals to teach such students. Includes instruction in identifying physically disabled students, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising students with orthopedic and other health impairments, counseling, and applicable laws and policies.
Provide an overall understanding of the philosophy and main tenents of Conductive Education (CE). 
CE is described as habilitation through learning. This unique group method of active learning allows individualsliving with motor disorders opportunities to maximize their functional independence. The intervention technique provides a cost-effective, time-efficient group program, which promotes success and personal goal achievement.

There is more...

This advanced training offers the practitioner higher level clinical knowledge and experience as well as hands-on clinical skills with conductive education. Additionally, the certificate program provides the opportunity for the development of evidence-based practice, which may lead to further studies supporting CE.
Why Pursue This Certificate?
Conductive Education provides a method of intervention that maximizes a practitioner’s time with the client. Based on clinical practice settings, CE can offer a variety of advantages.
CE for School-Based Therapists 
educationally relevant model 
maximized client function and independence 
time-efficient and effective 
contributes to a systematic change in the way that services are delivered 
intensive motor training within the school environment 
CE for Hospital-Based Therapists 
intensive rehab model 
maximized therapy time 
cost effective 
time effective 
CE for Long-Term, Residential-Care Settings 
group model 
maximized client independence 
enhanced rehab service delivery 
increased socialization opportunities


I had heard that the Inter-American Coinductive Education Asssociation is an ex-Association (I was told this at the conference of the Association for Conductive Education of North America a couple of years ago).

On the same day this week as I heard from, I received another rmissive from the States, this from a body called Razoo, which informs me that it seeks to connect donors with inspiring nonprofits – and tells me about the IACEA

The Inter-American Conductive Education Association, Inc.
A US registered nonprofit
Roselle Park, NJ USA
Mission  This system of education was pioneered in the 1940's in Budapest, Hungray by Dr. Andras Peto (1893-1967). Our purpose is to Disseminate information to families with disabled children throughout North America to bring the public up date and create groups in all 50 states & provinces of Canada to teach this procedure and eventually to be instructed in the school systems. We now have over 50 centers in North America. 
We were founded in 1992 as a national & 1994 as international group for the Disabled with Cerebral Palsy & Spina Bifida, adults with Parkinsons & M.S.
Programs  We are presently assisting over 50 centers in North America with approximately 6,000 children and Adults. We have been network all over the world to find Conductors to bring to North America for these groups as well as providing up to date information to all members in the progress of our centers. Advising parents in where these groups will best suite there families in any of 50 Centers. Provide information to the first College outside of Europe (Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI) Children as well as students AND PROFESSIONALS for the up coming training program at this location.

The IACEA sprang from NJ/NY; ACENA ('representative of the programs and professionals providing conductive education services within the North American Continent') centres on Grand Rapids.

Confusing, isn't it?

We are not going to restrict the use of the term 'Conductive Education' – we have to accept that this horse has well and truly bolted! Instead, each circumstance, situation, program ought to define explicitly what it is that it does (it won't!). Neither are we going to restrict the freedom of individuals and groups to do things in their own way things for themselves, not just Conductive Education as practice and theory but Conductive Education as social phenomena and institutions (as they do, and will continue to do so).

Models of practice, theoretical statements, goals, programs, the nature of Conductive Education practitioners involved, service models, business models, client-groups, interest groups etc. are already so diverse as barely to overlap and no single formulationor maifestation any longer serves a useful function in defining the field (as for a time the Peto Institute and its predecessor did on all these dimensions).

The present rush of events and change makes it harder and harder to envisage the possibility of a common core between these even at some far deeper level.

The discourse is going to have to change. It has been just about acceptable to ask questions like 'What is Conductive Education?', 'Does it work?', 'How does it work?' – with all sorts of implicit assumption about the 'it' . Is is increasing hard to maintain this convention, perhaps actively misleading, for beneficiaries, providers, researchers, politicians, everyone and even more so to offer and answer on the terms of there being such an 'it'. What questions, givens etc. might come after? Who knows? The answer to this question will more likely come from what happens on the ground in these changing times than of anything that people think in 2010.

Of course, what is happening in America is part of a wider international scene that is yet more diversified still...

None of the above is to say that what is happening is 'a good thing' or a 'bad thing', just that it is happening and that where it is all going is anybody's guess (and yes, I do remember that I have agreed to present a Plenary Session at the Hong Kong Congress, entitled 'Conductive Education in the twenty-first century').

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