Month: February 2009

Now is the time to say goodbye to an era

I worked for the Foundation for Conductive Education for eighteen years and was there as it grew, faltered, grew again and is now struggling to deal with the effects of the economic downturn leading to my redundancy this week.

I was employed to establish, run and maintain a Library that would hold information about Conductive Education that would be available in one place to anyone who wanted to find out more. Initially its basis was Andrew Sutton’s own collection, held in a single but overflowing filing cabinet and this has developed into a unique collection of books, manuscripts, articles, conference papers, conference proceedings, press cuttings, dissertations, videos, CDROMs, DVDs and Internet links – all about Conductive Education.

Over 2,000 of them.

Associate material on educational systems, special education, motor disorders, therapies, child development, psychology, neurology, anatomy, physiology, disability issues, disability experiences, disability fiction, history, has swelled the collection to 8 thousand items.

It has not been easy to bring all this together. There is very little published material on Conductive Education and tracking items down and obtaining copies has been quite a challenge at times, but worth it. Finances have been very limited and donations rather than purchases have been heavily relied on. Resources and equipment have also been minimal and lag far behind the big public and university libraries . There is no security system and items get ’lost’, no self-service photocopying, no self-service issuing and returning system. But its size and set up have also been one of its strengths, enabling ease of access to the material and the librarian.

This library has developed an international reputation and received many visitors not just from the UK but from all over the world, and enquiries, other requests and all sots of problems to be solved come in regularly via email and telephone. Along the way the Library has helped bolster the collections of other Conductive Education institutions around the world.

Initially I was apprehensive about taking this job on but went on to derive great pleasure and satisfaction from building this Library. In the process I learnt a lot about the conductive system, about running a library, publishing a journal and editing books, and most of all, myself. I think I can say these years have been my conductive upbringing. This has only been possible because of the support, knowledge and encouragement of Andrew Sutton. Thank you, Andrew.

But what now? All things must come to an end and my time is up. I want this Library to develop even more, continue to be a worldwide resource and help further the knowledge. At the moment there is no one to hand over to and its future is unknown.

I am sure that I will have more to say. Please continue to watch this space.

Internet, Adults and Conductive Education

What is available on the Internet to read and download? In particular, what is there for those wanting to find out more about the services available and the experiences of those who have made use of them?

There is not too much available but I hope that the links below will help those wanting to discover more.


In the UK

At the moment there are eleven centres in the UK offering services for adults.

Conductive Education Support Services, New Forest

Hereward College, Coventry

International Therapeutic Initiative UK, High Wycombe

Independent Conductive Education Services, Wirral

Megan Baker House, Leominster

Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wessex and West Branch, Cheltenham

National Institute of Conductive Education, Birmingham

PACE Centre, Aylesbury

Paces, Sheffield

Path for the Disabled, Exeter

Percy Hedley Foundation, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

QCET, Rotherham

Around the world

It is proving very hard finding out where CE is being offered for adults around the world. Here are services presently known. Information on others would be very much appreciated.


Spastics Centre of New South Wales, Sydney


March of Dimes Canada, Toronto

Movement Centre, Manitoba


I will post these when I have finished researching what is available.


Pető Institute, Budapest,

I am looking for more services in Hungary, any information?

New Zealand

Integrated Neurological Rehabilitation Foundation, Auckland


A previous post on this blog published the fascinating account by a lady in Australia whose life had been enriched by her Conductive Education sessions

An English conductor working in Germany posts her thoughts and experiences on her blog. These often include her work with adults and with teenagers ‘in transition’ to adulthood.

So far no blogs have been found written by adults or their families on their experiences of Conductive Education. They might be out there. Please let me know if you know of any.

Videos on line

These focus on multiple sclerosis:

Personal experiences on line

There are several reports of adult experiences of Conductive Education on the Internet.

Library services

The National Library of Conductive Education’s blog has covered work with adults and will continue to feature it on occasions in the future.

On the Library page of the Foundation for Conductive Education’s website there is a bibliography entitled What Conductive Education has done for me. This lists published and unpublished materials by people with disabilities who have experienced Conductive Education, classified under Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and strokes.

Usual plea: if you know of any other items, please do let me know and I will add them to the lists.

What has Conductive Education done for me?

Further to my previous posting on adults, I have looked at the library’s holdings of experiences of Conductive Education written by adults. These are very powerful accounts, making the strongest recommendations for Conductive Education, and have been used to influence the financial supporters of the system over the years.A bibliography of these is up on the library page of the Foundation for Conductive Education’s web site but in need of updating so I have published the updated version below. If anyone knows of any others, please let me know.

Conductive Education: what it’s done for me

BROWN, M. and MIKULA TOTH, A. (1997) Case studies. In Brown, M. and Mikula-Toth, A. Adult Conductive Education. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes, pp.175-198.

READ, J. (1995) A different outlook. Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education.

READ, J., comp. (1990) Travellers’ tales. In Read, J. Conductive Education? Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education, pp.13-30.

SMITH, A. (1997) Moving to a different rhythm: Conductive Education; disabled adults transforming their experience of living with impairment.Unpublished thesis.

Parkinson’s Disease

ARMISTEAD, L. (1991) Thoughts on having Parkinson’s disease. The Conductor, 4(1), pp.3-4.

CHISHOLM, P. (1986) Visit to the Pető Clinic for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Unpublished paper.

ESSEX, L. (1988) Some experiences of Conductive Education for the patient with Parkinson’s disease. Unpublished paper.

ESSEX, L. (1985) A report on a course of Conductive Education at the Pető András Institute for the Motor Disordered. 2nd draft. Unpublished paper.

HUDSON, J. (2000) In control after 20 years with Parkinson’s. Birmingham Post, 6 September, p11.

JONES, A. (1994) Fighting back. Birmingham Evening Mail, 25 January, pp.18-19.

MARSTON, M. (1995) Conductive Education. Yapmag, Summer, p20.

RAYNER, P. (1990) A visit to the Pető Institute. Unpublished paper.

TWEED, B. (1995) Conductive Education for me. The Parkinson, no.95, p19.

WILKINSON, J. (1985) Conductive Education. Unpublished paper.

WILLIAMS, J. (1989) Conductive Education and Parkinson’s disease. The Conductor, 2(1), pp.12-13.

WILLIAMS, J. (1989) Conductive Education and Parkinson’s disease. Part Two. The Conductor, 2(2), pp.46-47.


CHRISTIE, J. (1987) A stroke victim’s report. IFVHSF Newsletter, no.15, pp.8-9.

Multiple sclerosis

BOYD, N. (2004) Two steps forward. The Guardian, 13 April, pp.8-9.

CORNELL, S. (2001) How Conductive Education changed my life. New Pathways, July/August, pp.24-25.

READ, J. (1993) Conductive Education and multiple sclerosis; a new development at the Birmingham Institute. The Conductor, 5(2), pp.23-26

SAMUELSON, M. (2003) Conductive Education. New Pathways, May/June, pp.26-28.

Cerebral palsy

CLIFTON, E. (2005) Lessons in life through Conductive Education. In Maguire, G. and Nanton, R., ed. Looking back and looking forwards; developments in Conductive Education. Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education, pp.83-87.

DALMON, M. (2008) Conductive Education has given me my very own ‘pocketful of tricks’. Unpublished paper.

GUYATT, J. (1998) Learning to live again. Yours, May, p69.

HESSELMANN, F. (2004) Stumble or sprint – what comes after the ‘S’ is up to you. Recent Advances in Conductive Education, 3(2), pp.28-31.

HIDVÉGI, K. (1999) The Institute. In Forrai, J. Memoirs of the beginnings of conductive pedagogy and András Pető. Budapest: Új Aranyhíd and the Foundation for Conductive Education, pp.41-44, 58-59, 137-143.

LILJEROTH, I. (2006) Anders reser sig upp och går; konduktiv pedagogic som redskap för en ny livsstil. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

LLEWELLYN, A. (2003) Elliot, an Arts student talks to… Special Children, January, pp.38-39.

McDOWELL, G. (1987) An experience I will never forget. Unpublished paper.

O’HARE, S. (1990) Report of visit to Pető Institute. The Conductor, 3(3), pp.49-50.

SAVAGE, J. (1986) Memories of Budapest. Special Children, 1(1), p12.

SMITH, A. (2004) A personal account of life since Conductive Education. Recent Advances in Conductive Education, 3(2), pp.24-27.

STOYKA, D. (2004) Plastic feet. Recent Advances in Conductive Education, 3(2), pp.32-34.

ZEMLÉNY, Z. (1987) Hoppárézimi! Agytakaritás. Budapest: Mecenas, pp.92-93.

Where are all the Conductive Education projects ?

Yesterday whilst searching the Internet I found something interesting that I had not been looking for, as often happens! This was a dissertation by a Brazilian, at do Vale do Itajai University, which I was unable to print off as that facility had been blocked. I do not know why. Andrew has posted a blog about this work at

It made me think that there must be more projects, studies, dissertations, theses, out there on Conductive Education that I do not know about and do not have copies of in the library. There is a growing collection of such material in the library, regularly added to by the student conductors on the undergraduate course run here in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton. Their final year dissertations have covered a wide variety of topics connected with Conductive Education over the past ten years and would provide a good base for anyone wishing to follow up on their initial investigations. I have a list of titles if anyone is interested in finding out what has been done. Two of these (by Hilary Nelson and Ben Foulger) have been reported as articles in Recent Advances in Conductive Education, the Foundation for Conductive Education’s journal.

Such studies must be happening all over the world now and I would love to have copies of as many as possible in the library along with information, papers, reports of any other research, investigations etc carried out by centres or health professionals.

If you know of or have completed such a piece of work, in any language, please do get in touch and let me know so I can obtain a copy if possible. Authorship can remain annonymous ( as has happened occasionally in the past) if wished.

I would also like to know of any on-going projects, any projects not started or not completed for any reason, (for example lack of funds) – all useful, interesting information to get a full picture of Conductive Education research worldwide.