Month: October 2008

Anything on the history of rehabilitation?

A request today for information on the history of rehabilitation from Laszlo led to finding very few useful references. Looking at Amazon and Blackwells online bookshops, I found a multitude of books written on rehabilitation for animals, those with drug addiction of all types and criminals. Very little on the physical rehabilitation for those with a disability and then it appears to have been considered by each separate type of therapy rather looking at the whole picture, probably because it is such a large subject. Even so, I have not been able to track down many references and those below are for books held in this library. More could probably be found by doing a search of journal databases, such as Medline, CINAHL but I do not have full access to these. After a search on the internet, I have found similar results, that is history of a specific type of rehabilitation or for a specific condition. It is possible to find some general information if you click on the URLs.
This led me to thinking about the history of Conductive Education and the fact that there is very little available on the history of its development and Peto himself, and what there is can be contradictory. I compiled a list of items a few years ago but will now revise it and blog it shortly.

See list below for books and internet references on rehabilitation. If anyone can recommend any titles, papers etc, please let me know.



Partridge, C. (1996) Physiotherapy approaches to the treatment of neurological conditions – an historical perspective. In Edwards,S.(1996) Neurological physiotherapy. New York: Churchill Livingstone, pp.3-14.

Physiotherapy, vol. 80, no.A, 1994. Special issue on development of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

McGlown, D.(1990) The major schools of rehabilitation: historical perspectives and a critical appraisal In McGlown, D., Developmental reflexive rehabilitation. London: Taylor and Francis, pp. 14-46.

Turner, A. (2002) History and philosophy of occupational therapy. In Turner, A., and others ed., Occupational therapy and physical dysfunction. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, pp.3-24.


Conductive Education and spina bifida

Twenty years ago there was a spina bifida group at the Peto Institute and one of the first British children to go there was a little girl with the condition (Tippet, 1988, Ash, 1990). Since then the prevalence of spina bifida has been greatly reduced and children are placed in groups with athetoid children.

Consequently, some newly qualified conductors have not had training or experience in working with this condition. A request for help on the Conductive Community Discussion Forum made me look at what I have in the library. Not very much at all.

Here is a list which could be of some use and if anybody would like photocopies please get in touch with me. If you have anything else you are willing to let me have, please let me know.

Ash, A. and Ash, P. (1990) Our beautiful daughter has spina bifida. The Conductor, 2(4), pp.86-87.
Sutton, A. (1984) A note on the spina bifida group at the Institute for the Motor Disabled. Unpublished paper.
Sutton, A. (1987) Conductive Education and spina bifida. Ability, no.9,
Sutton, A. (1988) Conductive Education and spina bifida. Part II. Ability, no.10, pp.22-24.
Sutton, A. (1988) Conductive Education. Part III. Unanswered questions. Ability, no.11, p6.
Tippet, J. (1988) First experiences: Sophie Tippet. The Conductor, no.3,
Tippet, J. (1991) Life after Peto. The Conductor, 3(4), p84.
Whelan, K. (1986) Observation of the spina bifida group at the Peto Institute 16-18 June 1986. Unpublished paper.

Conductive Education and multiple sclerosis

Most people know that conductors work with children with cerebral palsy but less are aware of CE’s benefits for adults with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, head injury and multiple sclerosis. Last year the MS Society in collaboration with Neurosupport in Liverpool ran a pilot project for people with MS with the help of Laszlo Szogeczki, conductor and I have discovered that information about this has now been posted on the MS Society website. Thank you, Andrew.

This includes a short video of the participants and a downloadable booklet on the project. Both of these are also available in the National Library of Conductive Education

Let’s hope this raises the profile of CE with adults and leads to more projects.

Some of you may also be aware of Laszlo’s blog recently started at

The Bobaths and Conductive Education

The Bobaths’ and their system seems to be back in the forefront of things at the moment – well, in 2 blog postings over the past few weeks. Andrew Sutton mentioned meeting an old colleague who told him about Berta Bobath trying to stop CE being known outside Hungary

and yesterday Susie Mallet posted a piece about Bobath and CE.
If anyone is interested in knowing more about the Bobaths, the Bobaths and CE I have in the library a number of items. These include:

the article by Kate Hedges and the Bobaths’ reports of their three day visit to the Peto Institute in September 1966.


Balogh, E. and Hari, M. (1997) Berta Bobath in Budapest. Conductive Education Occasional Papers, no.3, pp. 19-26. This includes copies of letters sent to Peto by Berta Bobath.

Other papers attempt a comparative analysis of CE and Bobath and anyone interested in following up on this could look at

Campbell, P. and Finn, D. (1991) Programming to influence acquisition of motor abilities in infants and young children. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 3(4), pp.200-205.

Tatlow, A. (1987) Conductive Education and the Bobath concept: an evaluation. Paper read at a symposium held on 8 March 1987 by Duchess of Kent’s Childrens Hospital at Sandy Bay [Hong Kong]

Berta and Karel Bobath published a number of papers/accounts of their work including one , entitled The neurodevelopmental treatment, which was published in the classic text

Scrutton, D. ed. (1984) Management of the motor disorders of children with cerebral palsy. London: Spastics International Publications.

Incidentally this book also includes a chapter on Conductive

Wii and Conductive Education

Yesterday a conductor referred me to a piece on the internet, put up in May 2008, about conductors at the Peto Institute using Wii to motivate and stimulate adolescents with cerebral palsy. Thank you, Kati.
Using the Wii once a week has improved muscle tone, balance and standing and the short film shows how much enjoyment and satisfaction is achieved along the way. Conductive Education showing how adaptable it can be without losing any of its core principles.

If you log on to

You will be able to find out more about this development.

It is in Hungarian but use of the translator should help those who need it and just watching the film as I did, by clicking on the picture of the boy holding the wii controls, tells it all.

We seek it here, we seek it there

Trying to find information on the internet can be very frustrating , particularly when looking for Conductive Education, as there are so many choices of where to search, but there is not just Google out there. An item on the BBC News website today about the re-vamp of Ask to try and raise their hit rate

highlights the difficulties that other search engines have in competing with Google, which has very good search features and is almost everyone’s first choice now. But there are others, and a considerable number worth considering when searching the world wide web.

Before starting remember:

1. Every search you make produces a small snapshot of what is available at that particular time. Searching again later could well produce different results.

2.Search engines can be temperamental and illogical and results depend on the search engine, country version and time of day.

3. Some things are hard to find because they are poorly ranked or even ignored by some search engines.

4. Sometimes pages are changed or even deleted and a way of finding them is using the Wayback Machine at

5. Sometimes it is possible to find items by using BananaSLUG, a long tail search engine, which will combine your term with random words from a category of your choice at I’ve found some interesting material on CE using this that I didn’t come across elsewhere. 6. Perhaps most important of all, remember anyone can put any thing up on the internet, so it is up to you to exercise quality control.

So don’t stick to Google, use Yahoo, Exalead, Bananaslug, Lycos, Hotbot, AltaVista, Allthe web, Ask etc and help keep these engines alive. On trying a European engine, Acoona, this week I discovered that it was no longer operational ‘due to an overwhelmingly competitive search market’. Shame, as I had found this one particularly useful for tracking CE news.