Friday, March 7, 2014

Conductive Education: An offer turned down

I think I may have ruffed a few feathers. I was as polite and respectful as I could, it was not my intention to offend anybody, but when ACENA- the American association focused on Conductive Education offered me free membership in exchange for a speaking engagement I had to decline. I credit CE, a once-popular rehabilitation method for kids with Cerebral Palsy with making me as functional as I am today. And I stand by it. And I always said that I would proudly speak about my experiences growing up with the method. I just don't have much to do with it anymore. I'm sure organizations like ACENA are a power resource, for parents eager to help their children, CE practitioners-  the Conductors or other educators involved in the community. I'm neither- although I've been called a Conductive Education success story. Three years ago my response would have been different as I worked for the Jordan Klausner Foundation that run a Conductive Education Academy in Gainesville. Back then I had a vested interest in bringing as much attention to the method as we could, getting as much support and resources as we could in hopes of attracting parents and kids and showing them this a method they should consider. Perhaps it would have saved our school from closing. But as I have moved on, much of it is in the past. That said, I've always tried to make it clear that I would always be willing to do fundraising and speaking engagements for Cerebral Palsy and Conductive Education causes. And I'll always talk to ACENA members about pushing shared interests when and if they reach out to me. I'm an open book. I'm excited to do things for a living that allow me to impact people's lives- as I'm an open book and talking about what it was for me back then and what I think about it now gives me great joy and I love to travel.  I just don't feel I should join an organization of any sort to do that. Truth be told, I don't believe in joining something just for the sake of being a member. I only sign up for things I can be actively involved in. The thing with ACENA is, I'm not even sure what they do and how they do it and why would they want me amongst them. I'm sure that it is a wonderful institution and people that deal with CE on daily basis. I always feel bad about turning an offer down- because it comes from passionate people wanting to make positive change. I just feel that it's as practical as me offering a free American Bar  Association membership to a Conductor- it just would not be of much use to them. But then, on another level- I prefer to be neutral and maintain the ability to criticize from the outside looking in. I think that's what the CE world is lacking most. I also feel membership implies at the very least involvement if not- endorsement of what you're signing for. I wish them all the luck growing their organization. I just don't know how and why I'd fit in.    I'm at the stage in my life right now where I reevaluate my life goals, the type of career I want to have with who I want to do it with and how. If I ever end up working with a CP cause, which is an exciting thought- without a doubt I'd join as many associations that supports it, and  be as active in them as they let me.


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