Wednesday, 20 November 2013



Gill Maguire raises a question. Where, she asks, does the following quotation come from?
Ask me not what I can do for children with Cerebral Palsy, but ask me what they can learn to do for themselves.
See more of what she wrote:

The words as stated do not quite ring true. His picking out cerebral palsy for specific mention does not sound right. And that resoundingly evocative opening clause? JFK (1961)? JFK's headmaster at the Choate School in Connecticut some years earlier? John Dunne, the poet (1624)?

It would have been nice if AP had said this, presumably in German or Hungarian. The ovrall sentiment is a good one. But... can one detect a touch of teleology?

If not AP, then who?

I have come across these English words before. Google tries to helps. When I enter the exact words that Gill quotes, Goggle finds as follows –
In memoriam Geoff Smirthwaite
Parent and journalist Melissa Mostyn-Thomas, quoting PACE's website

NB This is the only site listed here to offer a source

Independent Conductive Education Support
Where did these words first see the light of day in English? Who knows? I think that I have been aware of them for quite some time. All British, I note. I have my suspicions...

For the future, however, it is likely that András Pető will continue to be credited with them, from some language or other. Perhaps in time he will urn out to have said or written some other things too. Thus do myths grow.

Or just perhaps someone will answer Gill's reasonable bibliographical question, by citing a source.

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