Watching the Internet
I am not 'an academic' but I do still expect information to be not just practical but also coherent and valid. Information about Conductive Education, in which good is scrambled in with bad, has been a long-term, major impediment to take-up and implementation of this approach worldwide, a problem now exacerbated by the Internet. This leaves parents and adults with disabilities (and professionals in adjacent fields) facing possible confusion, disappointment and snake-oil.
Viktoria Szolnoki and Donnie Brainard have spoken out strongly about notions of 'therapy' for cerebral palsy:
I admit to having been rather gentler and more oblique when it comes to mentioning misleading/confusing information about Conductive Education,
Perhaps I and others have been too gentle, too oblique. Recently I have been urged to greater frankness of expression. I acknowledge that people mean for the best when they look to inform others (well, a lot of them, anyway) and when they do a franker response may serve especially to offend, in which case I really am sorry. Alternative suggestions of how to resolve this dilemma would be most welcome.
Ultimately it has to be the responsibility of the informed conductive movement to police the Internet, an impossible task in any field and one that no individual wpould be be wanting to do, even if it were do-able. Meanwhile there will be a stratum of sites left stuck in the middle, knowing that there is an important job to be done in informing those who really matter in al lthis, but not having the means to pick their way through the minefields. I am so very glad that I do not have to begin from where people are now. and then try to consolidate all that I find into some sort of sense.
A couple of weeks ago Conductive World commented critically upon a parental-information blog from British Columbia in Canada:
The site offers rich access to conductive upbringing on the Internet, but adds in hang-overs from rather balder, off-key ideas (motor acts/skills, furniture), mixed with existing understandings of cerebral palsy (and Down's syndrome) from outside the conductive tradition. To arrive at your own judgement you can see the posting referred to above at:
This morning came a reproach:
Very well worth reading.
Conductive Education seems to be really hotting up again in British Columbia (credit presumably to James Forlitti). Just lobbed to me is another page of Internet links that includes a section on Conductive Education, this one from the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC:
Check what parents might find at the end of some of these links. So it goes
I have no time now, immediate or longer-term, to continue commenting and correcting upon the specific content of URL after URL, the Cottonism, the long-closed programs, batting back every ball of this sort that Google Alerts lobs over my net. The numbers and the confusions are likely only to grow. I have already promised as a Christmas present to myself that I shall be closing down all my Google Alerts, and that this gift will be not just for Christmas. I doubt that anyone else will be daft enough to take up this cross, nor should anyone necessarily try. Good luck to you if you do – but please don't call me.
There must better ways. One way might be through local collaboration and action. Perhaps in British Columbia, for example, there is now approaching a critical mass of people interested in Conductive Education sufficient to take on the challenge that, in British Columbia anyway, citizens might in future might be better informed on this topic.
I suspect though that, important or even essential as this might be, more will be needed than that. What do people think that to be...?