Thursday, 26 August 2010

More duff information

And no interaction for punters

The European Parkinson's Association has put up a page on Conductive Education (at least for those Europeans with developed English-language reading skills). In bold, red letters, the EDPA's page is headed

Freezing: websites & links
Conductive Education

Looks promising. If I or one of mine had Parkinson's, or if I were professionally involved in the field, whether or not I had ever heard of Conductive Education, I might well wish to learn more. Presumably, in posting this page, it is the Assocation's goal that I should do so, and it is gratifying to think that this should be so.

Primarily this page comprises a link to a website, explained as follows –

This web site is aimed at helping provide an understanding of conductive education, pass on information and create a point of interest for not only those involved with conductive education as professionals, parents and children but also for those people who wish to find out more about the subject.

Sounds most promising... except, I might wonder at this point, what is that about children and parents?

What a let-down

The website provided is:

Ge read it for yourself, and wonder at how people can be so unthinking – or should that be unfeeling – as to provide anything so disappointing. And remember, that one day this could be you, or me, or somebody dear to us looking to find some hope in the face of a terrible disease. Instead of hope, this is what you willfind, if you persist right through it you will be readingnan undated site. possibly from some ten years ago, and with the unfulfilled promise of regular updates:
  • There is a hotch-potch on 'Andras Pëto' [sic], of perhaps greater-that-usual inaccuracy. You will be offered a 'principle hypothesis' forConductive Education. This might seem a useful start for a concerned adult but in its place you will be give aims, that include 'provide a programme that in some cases can be built into the framework of special and ordinary school'.
  • Then we come to that familiar $64,000 question, 'What is Conductive' Education?' Reading it, I have to smile, because initially I know the words. I should do, for a very long time ago I wrote some of them. No reference given, nor is there one for the strange thoughts that are then grafted on to them, for example Conductive Education 'uses only well-designed, good-quality furniture' – and it has 'FIVE main elements to facilitate the process.'
  • There follow some goals, I am not at all sure what you might think of these. But if you are hoping to see how they might be achieved you can move on to the 'five important elements to facilitate the process'. These are Ester Cotton's familiar and mistaken 'principles of Conductive Education' (though here they are called 'elements'), with supposdly helpful explanatory annotations, such as 'Each days [sic] programme starts with waking and ends with sleeping'.
  • You now come to the hard sell: Smirthwaite's own furniture catalogue (children's gear only), But why have you have been diected here by a Europe-wide Parkinson's organisation, via the shop front of site of a .org URL. Does nobody bother to read what is being given you?
  • Finally comes a list of six CE centres around the world,one in New Zealand, two in the UK and three in the US. Two of these URLs are defunct and of the remainder only one site makes the briefest mention of working with adults. It then rounds off with a 'noticeboard', with no notices.
What does all this say?

It speaks of carelessness – and lack of care.

Whoever put up this page seems not to have bothered. I am sure that this does not mean that nobody was bothered about people with Parkinson's – rather to the contrary, I suspect.

So, by default, nobody was bothered with Conductive Education as a possible positive force for people's benefit. It is not presented as something to be taken seriously. And if the European Association cannot be bothered to put up a serious case for CE, why should those who consult it think any better. If I were to read this as my introduction to Conductive Education, I doubt that I would bother finding out more. I might just discount CE as Mickey Mouse and irrelevant.

I cannot of course imagine myself into precisely that position. But I can conceive of other devastating, chronic, conditions that I might contract at my present stage of like. If I do, I shall no doubt use the Internet heavily! If a given approach is prenred to me in the bove fashion by a well-funded, apparently authoritative Euro-site then I shall draw my conclusions – and move on. Won't you, if/when your time comes? 

That is not how I should wish people to be told about Conductive Education.

What about freezing and such?

And what about some of the things that Conductive Education says that it does for the benefit for people with Parkinson's?

Nothing on this page from the EPDA, but wander around that site, pick your way through all those 'exercises' (so important as to justify presentation in nine languages – including Japanese) and you might find yourself directed to RESCUE:

If it were me doing the looking, I suspect that this might appear rather more plausible that Conductive Education.

A passive browse or an active response?

The EPDA's page on freezing and Conductive Education has nothing to say about – freezing. Careless website development perhaps, or just work in progress and there might well be something along soon – if I ever go back there to check.

Meanwhile,  there is no obvious way for me, the punter with a concern about the content of this webpage, to raise my interest interest and respond. Am I expected to be a wholly passive consumer of information? This is  strange and discourteous assumption about the likely client group, a thousand miles (in Europe, kilometres?) from my overwhelming experience of those with Parkinson's disease.

I could find no obvius immediate means whereby to contact the Assocation and gently point out the error of its ways with respect to perpetrating such duff information about Conductive Education.

In the morning maybe I shall find a way in.

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