Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Or 'Conductive Education Lite' at home?

A recent brief thread on the website of the English organisation Scope –
Peto Institute – Anyone been there?
Posted on 23 July 2013
My 2 year old son has recently been diagnosed with CP (diplegia, mostly affecting his legs and his ability to walk. I am taking him to Budapest on Thursday 25 July. Anyone been there? Any hints or tips? Anything special I should bring? Thoughts and suggestions would be welcome  I have never been there before. Many thanks.

Hi. I read a book recently –
Posted on 30 July 2013
I read a book recently  called Dana's Walk  and the was quite a bit of info about the Peto Institute. The author took her daughter there several times ...although that was some years ago. It might be an interesting read for you. The author also has a website with an email address contact, so I guess you could ask her advice. She spoke a lot in the book about how most of the info she got was from other parents, so I would imagine she'd be willing to help. if you google the title of the book you should find her website.
I hope that helps x

Hiya I do a lot of Conductive
Posted on 7 August 2013
I do a lot of Conductive Education with my 3 year old son Tom who has quad c.p. We attend 2 sessions a week at a group called Whoopsadaisy in Brighton and a session a week at the Dame Vera Lynn School for Parents in Billingshurst in West Sussex. We hope that Tom will attend Scope's Ingfield Manor Conductive Education school when he starts school next year. We also use principles of Conductive Education at home to help enable Tom to continue his motor learning. I was just wondering why you are travelling all the way to Hungary to the Peto Institute if there might be Conductive education schools within easy travelling distance? I know that UK Conductive Education might be considered 'Conductive Education Lite' in terms of it embracing some but not all the Peto methods but I don't know much about Peto to be honest so I don't know what they offer over and above what the UK CE centres can offer.
I'd be really interested to know how you get on!
Maria xx
A bit late to be asking!
Presumably the anonymous enquirer had already been trying hard to find out what she wants to know about where she has booked to go.
  • Perhaps she asked the Pető Institute. It has had nearly thirty years of accepting paying customers from the UK and other countries. Surely by now, she might have reasoned, the Pető Institute knows well the sort of anxieties and most reasonable questions facing parents in her situation and, knowing them, is able and willing to put her mind at rest. Surely.
  • What about Scope? It too had an extensive history of contact, including for some time helping the Pető Institute actively recruit UK families through 'Pető UK', and it surely has the corporate knowledge and the urgent desire to help someone with this problem. Even this late in the game its staff could step in and put her mind at rest. Surely.
  • What about the Internet? She will have surely tried searching for answers on line. I doubt, however, that she will have found much useful. Despite the large but unknown numbers who have taken their children to the Pető Institute over the years, I cannot recall anyone's sharing on line the sort of information from personal experience that I guess that this lady would have liked to know. If nobody writes and shares, then nobody will be able to read.
  • What about the UK 'conductive community'? There isn't one, and none of the formal organisations appear to feel responsible for such a matter.
In 1990 the then Department of Health and Social Security had given a grant to prepare and publish a boxed information pack for parents facing this predicament. It was written by Janet Read and of course referred to a world altogether different from the Budapest of 2013. I have just checked the usual sources on line. Perhaps fortunately, given all the changes of the last 23 years, there seem to be no second-hand copies available, anywhere.
Conductive Education Lite?
I know the established German expression Petö pur but I had not previously come across the English 'CE Lite'. I like it as an expression, and the third posting quoted above is quite right in suggesting that much of what is said to be 'Conductive Education' may be very Lite indeed, and not just in the United Kingdom.
She is right too in restating the old dilemma that has families weighing up the relative advantages of CE accessible to home or CE provided in some distant place.
But the dilemma is not a simple one:
  • What in 2013 is 'Conductive Education Heavy', or Petö pur, if that is what short-term foreign visitors to the Pető Institute can be said to receive? How suitable is that for the long-term developmental needs of those children and their families? What is its persisting benefit?
  • And in 2013, is what the superficial observer might understand to indicate Lite actually in some cases a shrewd, relevant adaptation of fundamental principles to distinct social and personal circumstances – not so much Lite as affordable (and therefore sustainable), effective and appropriate?
Again, where can today's concerned parents turn for help in forming an informed judgement.
So, the situation is more complex and nuanced than 'Pető Institute right versus Conductive Education Lite wrong' – complicated of course by the persisting possibility that some of what you might meet under the rubric of Conductive Education' may be neither educational nor conductive at all – for which the frequently met English term is not Lite but Mickey Mouse.
Intelligent love
Parents take many roads to access Conductive Education – going to Budapest, attending a local CE centre, buying their own conductor, whatever. There is choice for some, and there are benefits to be gained from shopping around.
Like it or not it's a conductive market place out there. Shop around, check the experiences of those who have bought before – and caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Just like in everything else really.
And when you do make up your mind, and act on it, be one of the very few who leave a trail by writing down what you did and what you felt about it, for the benefit of those who follow behind.
Another book
I had not previously heard of the book Dana's Walk, by Sera Johnston. I have ordered a copy via Amazon and will report on it anon.
Meanwhile, you can find some good prices here:

Read J. (1990) Going to Budapest, Birmingham, Foundation for Conductive Education

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