Sunday, January 13, 2013


My parents didn't know much about the Peto method when I first arrived in Budapest in the late-mid 1980's.  I don't think we ever learned or cared to investigate the theory behind it, what and how it was believed to have worked or who the man behind it really was to any considerate extent. I was there to exercise, to do my daily routines, rather than to dwell and  uncover the purpose and the meaning behind it.  I remember flying to Hungary for a weekend, a month or so before getting admitted for the first time  for something that seemed like a consultation or an interview. My dad hardly spoke any English. I remember there was a lot of signs, hand gestures and pointing. "My son no..." and then he made his hands "walk" on the table. I'd assume a lot of information and discussion, all the paperwork was exchanged with the aid of a translator from back home. But as we were there, very few details came up. All that mattered was I had Cerebral Palsy, they had the experience and were equipped to help. The Peto method was something recommended by other parents, word to mouth. I think it was Dr Sinczuk, who specialized in CP cases while having a child with that condition as well, that first shared the news of it with the group of mothers at the clinic and it spread like wildfire. But then, this is exactly the same way my parents tried all the other different methods that followed or showed up in between. Somebody said something and we were running on very little information, clinging to every ounce of hope. This is how my mom ended up doing a Doman principle training in Philadelphia and also  gone through quite a few bioenergy healers, a priest and a nun doing Japanese massage. This is also how we ended up considering a brain surgery in America to install some form of neuron enhancer transmitter gizmo under my skin. Theory was not really important. How crazy it was didn't matter either. What did is whether or not it would work. /I'm not exactly sure I knew who Peto was. I think for a while I even wondered if he had anything to do with the the Institute at all. The communist system used to name facilities, factories and institutions after famous party members, military "heroes" and activists. I do remember seeing his bust in bronze. Quite frankly, he might've  been a historic figure, but he wasn't there. His history didn't really matter, all that mattered was can I beat  Cerebral Palsy with what they do there. I mean no disrespect, but it wasn't until I've met some English speaking conductors that I've noticed how highly regarded and quoted he is by them and it wasn't until I've seen some Western facilities that I've seen a strong emphasis on the theory- not only what it accomplishes nut how.

 What I find extremely dangerous is seeing a lot of Conductors and other CE professionals stating with certainty what Andras Peto would do and how he would feel about certain things. I said  dangerous, because as the man has been dead for decades unless you conduct a seance, you have no way of knowing what he would do. You also can't predict if, with advances in science and rehabilitation and the understanding of the human body his own views would not evolve. What he had access to in the 1940's might have been quite limited compared to what we see today. But mostly, even if he said or believed something, it doesn't necessarily mean, he was right. Yes, it was his method, but times and views change. In science everything is subject to peer review and critique. The biggest names throughout history faced the greatest challenges from newcomers and nobody was immune. "Peto said.." and "Peto believed.." simply cannot be the final authority on the topic.  Everybody can have an opinion, who states it can't make it any more or less valid. Peto's teachings are a starting point, an interesting man who lived in interesting times The danger that I see for Conductive Education is it reducing itself to those small closed off communities, raising the creator to a cult like status, that cannot be challenged, dissecting words and disputing semantics. Such  approach is not open to the outside world and not really helpful to parents, who want to try anything, anything that can help. If CE doesn't become wide open, it will never in my view be widespread. And it should mostly focus on convincing  the mainstream medical community that it is a valid option. To do this, it needs to be ready and able to submit itself to the scientific method. I remember when a Waldorf school opened in my Warsaw neighborhood. Mysterious and quiet, nobody knew much about it. Few trusted it. Few knew what went on behind the closed door. Shouldn't education be about trust and openness? What would Andras Peto say about this? That's the alternative.

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