Month: October 2009

Announcement of Interesting National Seminar in London

I have received notification of a seminar in London on 27 November which should be of interest to parents and professionals working with babies and young children. The following was sent to me :

This Interconnections seminar in London on Thursday 27th November 2009 is for multi-disciplinary practitioners and managers who support babies and young children who need ongoing multiple interventions and their families. We will address the questions:

Do we offer some vulnerable infants
too many practitioners?
Do we give some infants too many separate therapy
and education programmes?
Should we assess the infant’s emotional, social
and psychological readiness before asking him or her to relate to so many

As seminar facilitator, [Peter Limbrick] will argue that it is not always appropriate to assume that ‘multiple’ disability needs ‘multiple’ practitioners. The Team Around the Child model will be offered as the forum for creative solutions when a baby or pre-school child is being overloaded.
The venue is

Friends Meeting House near Euston Station and the cost varies between £75 and £120. There are free places for parents.

For more information and booking form please contact Peter Limbrick, Interconnections – the home of Team Around the Child. Tel: 01497 831550 E-mail: Web:

Conductive Education Communications Center is nearly here

t is nearly the end of October when the new portal being set up in the US is due to be launched.The announcement of its aims and content has now been extended and updated. For further details go to

The portal, Conductive Education Communications Center, hopes to provide information for all those interested and involved in Conductive Education and ‘will allow you and others to learn more about Conductive Education and share what they know’.It will provide, amongst other services, articles and information obtained from libraries, (I hope copyright has been looked at here), a discussion forum, a blog, access to videos and news, sample forms, correspondence and strategies to help support Conductive Education in your area, webinars, and advertise centres, services etc for a fee.

This is a lot of information to be kept up to date and accurate, so I wish the CECC the best of luck and look forward to posting about the launch soon.

Presentations from the Finland ‘European Conductive Education’ conference

In May Susie posted a blog about a ‘European’ Conductive Education conference in Helsinki, Finland happening in October this year.

This took place on 19 October at Ruskeasuo School in Helsinki from 9am-4pm with an hour break for lunch. I cannot find information on who organised the conference and assume it was Ruskeasuo School which I believe has been ‘applying the principles of Conductive Education’ for some time now.

There were parallel presentations in two halls, six in each and two plenary speakers. Franz Schaffhauser, director of the Peto Institute, started the morning programme with Ideas and Methods in Conductive Education and Logotherapy and Melanie Brown the afternoon sessions with Conductive Education an unchanging philosophy and changing methodology.

Nineteen people presented, six of whom were conductors. Three from the National Institute in Birmigham, England, one from the Norsk Forum for Konduktiv Pedagogikk, Norway and two from Joriel School, Stockholm, Sweden.

All presentations (except Franz Schaffhauser’s) are available in their Powerpoint formats at

It seems to be the trend at the moment to talk to Powerpoint and consequently the presentation is not written down for publication in proceedings or to give interested parties. As a result there is no written record for those who could not make the conference to read, or to archive in libraries for future reference. Perhaps this conference will be different. There is no mention either of a report on the conference to follow, but again perhaps that will come later.

Susie made the point in her blog that finance can play a big part in whether conductors can attend such gatherings or not.

It would be interesting to know how many managed to get to this one.

New portal may still help parents find out more about Conductive Education

Two things have been sent to me today which made me think about the lack of accessible accurate information for parents on what Conductive Education is and what it could do for their child.Firstly, a discussion forum for parents had a posting asking about CE and received two very limited responses. Perhaps parents or centres would like to elaborate on these and help the mother make an informed decision.

I imagine there may be other forums with similar requests; it is difficult to keep track of them all.

Secondly, two stories in the Texas press highlight the success of Conductive Education for one child and relate the process of finding out about it and the setting up a centre by this child’s parents. This may provide publicity in Texas but that doesn’t necessarily spread out from there.

How this lack of information can be remedied is a moot question. The proposed CE website,, announced earlier this year failed to meet its launch dates in April and May, but now hopes to launch on 30 October and intends to act as a portal for all those interested in CE at all levels. See-

Maybe this will go some way to providing answers.

Conductive Education videos

It is great to receive emails passing on information to me about sources of information in Conductive Education. Today I had one from Susie about a website which has a list of Conductive Education videos on the Internet. No indication of the compiler is given but the URL does include a reference to fantasy football!There is a substantial number listed and the title, source and brief description of each is given. Some have been produced by parents highlighting the progress of their child/children receiving Conductive Education and some by conductors who wish to demonstrate their work in a particular session, group or centre. This could be a useful source of information for those wanting to see ‘what conductors do’ .

Also included is a selection of news items.

Please keep such emails coming and I will blog the details.

Honorary conductors

I received an email re the exact date that Marion Fang was made an honorary conductor and it set me thinking about honorary conductors in general. In the process I remembered having seen a list on the Internet in the past and have managed to track it down on the website of the 5th World Congress of Conductive Education, 2007.

Here it states the criteria for the award.

 The College Senate of the International Peto Institute gives the Honorary Conductor Award. It was established in 1990 to recognise the work of non-conductors in the field, which is well known both in the homeland and internationally. Nominations are initiated by leading persons and are submitted to the International Peto Association Executive Committee. The IPA Nominating Committee considers the person’s contribution to the development of Conductive Education and is deserving of wider and more formal recognition. Final nomination is submitted to the Senate of the International Peto College who are authorized to make a final decision about acceptance.


Included is a list of the recipients from 1990-2007 which includes Marion Fang who received her award in 2001 at the World Congress held in London.The site also has a list of all the World Congresses with their dates and venues.

No doubt nominations to receive the award at the Congress in Hong Kong, 2010 will be requested soon, if they have not been already.

‘History is more or less bunk’ – is it so for Conductive Education?

I have received an enquiry about the history of Conductive Education which made me realise that this is a very difficult area to investigate with few accurate sources.Over the years I have seen a number of publications and papers which give different accounts, have different dates for the same events and different emphases. Primary sources for information are very thin on the ground and quite a few accounts rely on the memories of those involved and have no references for follow up. I built up a collection of such materials, which can give at least some of the answers if carefully looked at, and the National Library of Conductive Education is now a rich resource of all sorts of material, including videos and press cuttings, in a variety of languages which can help to confirm facts and check details. I am sure that the Peto Institute library has an equally good collection of material too.

This would make a wonderful research project for someone.

Here are a few items which may be worth considering in a first trawl through the known resources, in no particular order.


Hári, M. (1999) A history of conductive pedagogy. Budapest: International Peto Institute.

Mária Hári produced this history published in Hungarian, English and German editions which includes details of the spread of CE outside Hungary. Some details do not tally with other accounts especially in relation to the UK. As I recall, there are no references.

Forrai, J. (1999) Memoirs of the beginnings of conductive pedagogy and András Petõ. Budapest: Ú j Aranyhí d and Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education.

This concentreates on the memories of those who knew Peto and discusses how he started, who he worked with and the development of his services into the Institute.

Sutton, A. (1986) The social-historical context. In Cottam, P. and Sutton, A., ed. Conductive Education; a system for overcoming motor disorder. London: Croom Helm, pp.3-28.

This early account includes a number of references that were available in English at the time of writing and concentrates on the system in Hungary.

Sutton, A. (2004) Mária Hári, from whom we have still so much to learn. Unpublished paper.

A paper read in tribute to Mária Hári after her death and looks at her achievements.

Kilborn, E. (2007) The Hungarian origins of Conductive Education: an educational system for children with neurological disorders (1945-2001). Unpublished paper.

This paper was written as a precursor to a research project which did not get started in the end.

Balogh, M., ed. (2007) Mária Hári and her conductive education. Budapest: International Pető Institute.

This book is also a tribute to Hári and looks at the development of the Peto Institute. English and Hungarian editions are available.

Ákos, K. and Ákos, M. (1997) The enigmatic Dr Petõ . The Conductor, 6(3-4), pp.49-55.

The Ákos’ recall their experiences of working with Peto.

Maguire, G. and Sutton, A., ed. (2004) Mária Hári on conductive pedagogy. Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education.

This is a collection of papers presented by Mária Hári between 1967 and 2001. Each paper has an introduction putting it in its historical context.

On a previous blog in November 2008, I included a list of material relating to Peto himself.

This is only a small selection and I would suggest anyone wishing to consult any of these or other material in the National Library should contact

By the way, just in case you were wondering, the title of this posting includes a well known quote from Henry Ford, motor car manufacturer.

Dealing with change

It has never been easy to establish, promote and provide Conductive Education and it is not likely to get easier in the current situation. Daily we read and hear about the collapse of companies and the consequent redundancies. Conductive Education may not be exempt from this.

I have just read a book recommended by a friend. Bearing in mind that the current financial situation means the world as we know it is changing and we all have to change with it, I thought I would pass the details on for those who may be interested.

Who Moved My Cheese? intends to show the reader ‘an amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life’.

Not being one for self help books I approached this with some reluctance, but now think it is worth a read particularly as it is short and easy to understand.

Written by an American well known for writing The One Minute Manager, it intends to help you deal with difficult changes in your life, taking the situation seriously, but not yourself. Perhaps this is something we all forget, especially at difficult times, and we may need all the help we can get to battle through. I am sure that most of us will see the contents of this book as common sense, but I think sometimes we need the obvious to be pointed out.


Johnson, S. (1998) Who moved my cheese? London: Vermillion.