Thursday, March 13, 2014

Conductive Education: A wrong question asked.

I feel we've been asking the wrong question all along. It's not "Is Conductive Education a scam". Those who support it will support it. Those who don't know about will continue to be in the dark about it. The issue is rather "Is it unreasonable for a person who is not familiar with the mechanics of that rehabilitation method to think that it is a scam." Has the Peto community been transparent and approachable about what it does and how it does it? My post caused one of CE practitioners to comment with frustration about parents' "unreasonable"  expectations. That they are there to "make their child walk" "like a form of therapy". Let me ask: who should be educating the parents about what the method is likely to do for them? Should they just educate themselves, preferably online? I think that when you take a child in the very least you should do is explain what is likely and not likely to happen. Let me say this again: I've spent a considerable amount of time in the Peto Institute. We were hardly the new arrivals there. And all throughout the little under four years that I spent there they have believed that the point of me being there was to make me walk. And they were chased away from the rooms with exercise sessions every time they appeared, so they wouldn't see anything. God forbid my dad would try to take a picture. I see this happen over and over again. A controversial posting questioning the validity of CE appears online. Conductors then discuss among themselves how ridiculous and frustrating the allegation is. How the person misunderstood the basic principles with CE. And after having convinced themselves and each other the problem disappears. They're content and move on. Well, if you're a Conductor you don't really need convincing. Nobody needs to tell you that your world has merit. And the world needs to know. Put yourself in the shoes a parent. I don't mean to say the Conductors who are scattered around the world are necessarily the ones to remedy this problem. They have an institution with a tradition with many decades of practice and training behind them that gave them their skills and sent them off to the world. I will never understand how it's not the Peto Institute in Budapest were the CE approach originated that has the loudest voice, produces volumes and research based on decades of case studies and puts together big events. Why was the World Congress in Munich? Why is it always the lonely conductor in Omaha, Nebraska who feels he or she needs to defend their work? And I'm a bit surprised how CE now seems to present itself as something that the community passion keeps alive. Almost like an open source rehabilitation method if you will, constantly under attack from all the naysayers. Let's  be honest. In the 1980's the Peto Institute was a money making machine. In a time when Eastern Europeans were not allowed to have foreign currency, this facility from a sister Eastern bloc nation accepted only dollars. When I was there, the Peto Institute had kids from all around the world. Israel, England and I believe America. And it was very expensive. But at the time, it was the thing to try, the hyped method. Some people went to great lengths just to give their child a chance of improvement. Mine would go off working in some Western countries, not always officially, if you know what I mean. Because at the time this was too important to give up on. In return, the Institute never even gave them the courtesy of explaining the process and chase them off the floor every time they showed up. It's a simple as : if you don't fill inn the blanks for a parent, somebody else will. Unlike many people connected to the CE world I see its faults. And after 25 years a lot of it still isn't clear. As much as I support it, I prefer maintaining an outsider's position. I prefer looking in from the outside of a tent than defending it like a fortress under siege.

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