Saturday, 23 February 2013


Be seen to give it

Scope is a national charity (for England and Wales). Quite some years ago it held strong positions on Conductive Education – though looking back I cannot be sure what they all were – they shifted radically over time. Now Scope has backed right off.

One of the things that Scope does nowadays is provide an online enquiries page. Here are its published terms of reference –
How it works
Your posts are checked by our team before going live. Please be patient if your message takes a while… We have to do this to keep you safe - and remove scammers, spammers and other people who ruin the Internet for everybody.

Sorry, but you can’t post your contact details (go to our Facebook page to get social) or sell stuff, but we hope you find what you are looking for – contact us now if you need support!
This week the page published the following, most reasonable and frequently asked question –
Independent impartial review of therapies available?
Posted on 14 February 2013 
As I'm sure many people are, we're a bit bombarded by the different therapies available and wondering if there's ever been any kind of impartial review done of them all?
It's a minefield out there!

One might have thought that this is the sort of very important and common question that Scope has been meeting and responding to for years and years – and consequently has a clear, authoritative response readily to hand to inform its staff and volunteers, and for parents around the country, all of whom who ought to have this sort of information at their fingertips. Whoever it is who acts as gatekeeper to keep undesirables off this page might then have provided an immediate link to wherever Scope provides such vital information, based upon all these years and years of expertise and experience.

Pseudonymy and anonymity – a blight upon CE

At he time of writing there has been no such authoritative corporate response, indeed no response at all from anyone other than a pseudonymous posting, from someone who might or might not be a conductor –
Hi, I can understand your confusion
Posted on 16 February 2013
I can understand your confusion about all the therapies. Unfortunately I can't help which is good, which is not, which is the best, because I'm working as a conductor, developing children with CP through Conductive Education, so this answer can't be impartial.
But what I would suggest: to get your own experiences with therapies because one is working to one child, but maybe not the right one to the other. Unfortunately the best way to find out which is the best to your child, is to be part of it.
But the common important thing is to start as soon as you can.
Conductive Education is a learning process not a therapy/treatment. An educational philosophy not allowing a child to be inactive, negative or uninvolved in a normal life style/ solutions to problems in life and living. Con. Ed. embraces learning & dev. of movement, speech & mental ability, based on the theory that motor disabled children learn in the same way as their peers. No matter how brain damaged a child can learn.
there are a lot of places in the UK, where you can find Conductive Education centres, like Step and Learn charity in Kent, which provides free service.

if you have any question, don't hesitate to ask. :)
Whatever the quality of the information provided here, at least Bongyorno has had a go. I hope therefore that Bongyorno will not take it too personally when I write that this information is wholly worthless because it it has no identifiable source, because it is published over a pseudonym.. I do not even know whether to refer to Bongyorno as 'he' or 'she', or whether s/he is really a conductor. I just have no certain way of checking Bongyorno's credentials, other than from what I can deduce from internal evidence.

Bongyorno does not of course answer mamafee's original question, and her main practical advice invokes a CE centre tucked away in a none too accessible corner of the land. The reader cannot judge any of this without knowing where Bongyorno comes from (in both senses of the expression). You can of course google “Bongyorno” to see other interventions under this name on the same Scope forum, and perhaps begin to confirm an obvious guess at her identity. Come on Bongyorno, you have taken some effort to shine light on Conductive Education, all credit to you for that, but now you have blown your cover. So now stand up and be counted, and develop your personal authority in this very legitimate channel for professional practice.

I know that both parents and employees (including conductors) may have good reasons to adopt pseudonyms or keep themselves anonymous, not least because some service-providers and employers can be truly poisonous. It shames us all that this may so often be so. This is certainly not specific to CE or to the voluntary (charitable) sector, and it has been mildly amusing of late to see the apparent shock with which the UK has greeted its growing awareness that the sainted National Health Service offers such a prominent example of an institution so riddled with oppression and suppression of expression.

Call in the experts

I am sad for 'mamafee' – such shabby service from such a huge and long-established organisation. But hold, all is not lost. Only days earlier Scope (founded 1951, annual turnover above one million pounds) announced that in conjunctions with other huge and (mainly) long-established organisations it is hot on the case –
New service for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
11 February 2013
Would you like to give your views about a possible new online service to help families of children and young people with SEND to find the right services, wherever they live?
A survey for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational need and/or disabilities has been devised on behalf of a consortium of national charities that provide services for children with SEND and their families.

We would like to know about your experiences of finding and accessing the right services for your child. We particularly want to know this because we are considering setting up a new online service to help families to access the right services. This is called a national brokerage service.
To tell us what you think by completing our survey.
The survey should take about 30 minutes to complete, and your views will really help us to improve information and services for families of children with SEND.
Notes to the Editor:
The SEND Consortium comprises Ambitious about Autism, Contact a Family, Dyslexia Action, I CAN, MENCAP, the National Autistic Society and Scope.
The SEND Consortium has commissioned Cordis Bright, an independent research company, to assist in the consultation with families and carers.
To paraphrase a recent slogan of David Cameron (UK Prime Minister): 'Brokered Britain!'

Individuals and small organisations may be able to inform people as well as or even better than conglomerates and their hired help, possibly more cheaply too. It would be nice to think that some of those who take on this task are conductors – but they can do this 'professionally' if they come out from the shadows and grant their information the personal credibility, and accountability, that comes only with a name.

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