Thursday, 19 January 2012


CE may have to be down to parents
Which probably means mothers in most cases

As part of a short discussion thread on Facebook yesterday, Nonye Nweke writes from Nigeria –

You know, what a conductor is asking for a week is more than the annual minimum wage in my country. I am finding it hard to convince sponsors to invest such money on "this type" of children... as they call our special children. Is there hope for our children here to benefit from CE? I just wonder.

By one of those happy coincidences, the self-same day Patti Herbst writes from Chicago, to inform of the following day event for mothers of disabled children:

I think immediately of course of Ákos Károly and Magda Ákos and their long-forgotten grand plan to spread Conductive Education across Germany, with very few conductors and a lot of mothers. Their slogan? A quotation from Goethe's Faust:

Doch gibt’s ein Mittel… Die Mütter sind es!
(There is a way… the mothers!)

Their little book, also apparently long forgotten in both its English and German editions, demonstrates how this might be achieved at the level of the family, in a way that is likely generalisable to a variety of contexts in similar societies – and possibly in many others too.

The answer to Nyomi's question is that the benefits of Conductive Education will never be equably available through the direct agency of conductors working with groups and individuals to all who might benefit around the world. That is a servicethat that only the already privileged will ever be able to afford.

In other words, an effective global future for András Pető's heritage might lie less with conductors, or even conductive pedagogy, and more with upbringing. I struggled, not terribly successfully with this question in Hong Kong a year or so ago:

Useful progress, however, will come only from practice.


  1. "Useful progress, however, will come only from practice". Very true that is. But can one practice that which h/she does not know? Are there some sort of chexaxp affordable hands on training for mothers, taking into consideration mothers in the low economic ladder that are also adorned with these beautiful ornaments of children with cerebral palsy?.

  2. When we had Conductive Education Support Services in Brockenhurts we run free Parents Information & Training Days. I am sure that there are other centres that still offer this facility.
    The best is to enrol to one of the centres which offer ‘free’ Conductive Education for children and work with the conductors closely to really learn.
    Susie also offers working with parents via skype.
    As for prices... not long ago a parent found charity funding and enrolled her child to one of our programmes.
    We were told by the accountant of that particular charity that sponsored the child that we charge less privately than one of the big national charities charges them which offers CE in England. I was asked why? I couldn't give an answer to that.
    There is no clear answer to this problem as we exist in many different life situations and circumstances.
    The world we are living in was created before we arrived here, and we lived long enough now to see how little power of influence we have over others really and how many different agendas each organisations and individuals within those organisations bring into the world of CE.
    How many different characters we have met over the years who took upon the responsibility to carry the torch forward?
    These things cannot be put right easily as it is hard to see what is really going on in each cases and circumstances.
    Widening the options of the availability of CE offered hopefully create enough contrast that it makes us all, and the future generation of administrators and conductors think long and hard where are we really heading with Pető’s and Hari’s life work.
    I am sure that we are all doing the best we can wherever we are and hopefully inspire each other to do it better and better and better each day.
    The true power of influence we have only over ourselves and once we accept that, solutions we have never thought of will find their way to our doorstep.

  3. Useful follow-up items on this, posted on my Facebook page:

    ‎"There is a way - the mothers!".
    Here are a couple of my postings that link to Faust, the Akosess and mothers:

    Thanks for the reminder,Susie, this cannot be said too often