Tuesday, 30 October 2012

OPEN LETTER

From Stockholm

Lars Mullback writes –

Could you help me to spread this text to the conductive world?

CE will stay in Stockholm – protesting parents won. The authorities capitulated at all fronts, because parents, disability organisations and disabled people themselves came together. They demanded VERY loudly and powerfully that CE and Move & Walk MUST be available in Stockholm. It took eight days to get politicians to unravel the decision so that CE and Move & Walk can stay in Stockholm.
 
This has been written a lot about this in the Swedish media and online. The only thing that I have seen on the international CE web sites, are at http://www.conductive-world.info. It is important to spread news, so we can help and understand each other. Conductive World carried eight stores on Move & Walk's struggle, including the 'Formal statement from Stockholm County Council' of 24 October.
 
Everything that Councillor Stig Nyman stated in his formal statement has been withdrawn, because in large parts that statement is incorrect and totally misleading. Stig Nyman's handling of this matter and his statement led to the political leadership's in Stockholm having an extraordinary meeting, specifially on this case, on 25 October. At this special meeting, it was decided that Stig Nyman's handling of the matter contained so many formal errors that the entire decision must be reversed. All participating political parties were in agreement to withdraw the decision, even those representing Stig Nyman.
 
The editor of the web-site www.conductive-world.info commented on this and wrote: 'Lars Mullback and a small group of parents were protesting publicly'. It was NOT a small group of parents. It was over fifty parents and children demonstrating over two days. And a united disability movement with several hundred thousand members, was behind the protests. I could not really have not done this myself.
 
CE and Move & Walk came to Sweden because many people with cerebral palsy and our families have demanded this concept. Now, after 15 years in the country, the protests over the closure threat has been so strong that even I have been shocked and touched to my very soul.
 
For the protesters, there is an obvious difference between such CE with conductors who have university degrees and CE (or intensive training) as a side skill within the multidisciplinary team. After this week of protests, are these differences for the target group now understood by everyone, because of all the letters and phone calls to the politicians from parents and from adults with CE experience?
 
One example is Julia, a 19-year-old girl. She describes her relatively small physical progresses by the example of sitting on a pallet and learning to move around it. To most of us, this sounds like a useless exercise, but for her this completed balance task has meant life and an introduction into her adult life. Not because of the exercise, but because of the understanding of her self, that CE has given her during the years since she was two.
 
She finishes her letter by telling that she saved money for a long time, to be able to go to Budapest. She went there in August 2012. This 19-year-old girl surely yearns for sunbathing and disco as do all equally alert and happy girls of her age. But Julia has had another dream, which she has to realise first. She writes –
 
'I went to the house where the founder of Conductive Education Dr András Pető lived. I had a rose with me. The most beautiful red rose. I had attached a written greeting to the rose. I left the red rose in gratitude there, for all he has meant to me and to many others.'
 
After the last big demonstration, another teenage girl came towards me with big tears rolling on her cheeks. We can call her Tess. I recognised her immediately. I remembered Tess as a two-year-old, and how she came to Move & Walk with her arms and legs strapped, lying down watching the ceiling, seemingly contactless, introspective. A skinny child, who had given up. I remember her because she reminded me of Kerstin, from my own childhood, with the same cerebral palsy diagnosis as Tess. Kerstin died as a sixteen-year-old, never having escaped from her strapped, sleeping stupor.
 
Tess came to me now, sixteen years old, alive, but full of sadness, seemingly afraid that the children would not get the same chance to life as she had had.
 
Tess was not strapped into a wheelchair. She walked toward me, on her own two feet, without crutches or support. She was the most vulnerable, thinnest and most unstable person I have ever seen, so divinely beautiful in her grief. In her slow walk towards me she looked like the most well-made marionette doll at the Royal Opera. It was as if both her body and soul were hovering above the ground, prevented from collapsing because of magical threads spun by the soul of faith, and by a hard-learned body-awareness experienced from years of CE.
 
Tess's tears ran still, but when she had come close enough, I saw that she was not crying with grief. She was determined.
 
'All societies are created by those who live there', she said. 'I'll become a political scientist. To be understood is democracy,' she said.
 
Suddenly I was the one crying. I cried with gratitude and a renewed strength. A strength that I shall never lose after this brief moment with Tess.
 
As a two-year-old child she had been awakened from her sleep because I helped Move & Walk to Sweden. Now she lived and stood straight, lifted by invisible and magic threads of pride and faith in the future. I have never seen CE so clear.
 
'Of course,' I said. 'Democracy needs you.'
 
My dream is an international organization, as strong as the Swedish, that can defend and demand that people with cerebral palsy are entitled to CE.
 
It is possible if we unite. We can unite, despite our differences.
 
The first proof that intellectual unity begins to take shape in the CE-world, is the book Conductive Education, written from Austria, Hungary, Germany and Sweden together, with support from the UK. See link:
 
Please pass this to whoever it may concern.
 
 
Lars Mullback
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lars.mullback
email: lars@mullback.se

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2 Comments:

Blogger Aenna said...

Wow what a great account of that support for CE is not dead. That by standing united its still a very powerful movement. Well done everyone involved in the process in Sweden.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 at 17:34:00 GMT  
Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

Chapeau Lars, families, and Move&Walk!
Let's see who will take up the gauntlet

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 at 21:35:00 GMT  

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