Wednesday, 20 November 2013

THE OTHER SIDE OF INDEPENDENCE

Someone's gain, someone's loss

Those who follow Ralph Strzałkowski's blog will know that he often remarks on commonplace human matters that rarely or even never come up in the professional discourse on Conductive Education – or even in the more widespread public 'conversations' on disability as a whole.

This morning sees another one –
I guess you never stop being the parent of a cerebral palsy child, no matter how old the 'child' may be...
...my new lease on life as exciting as it is for me, took something from my parents- that I never thought about to a greater degree. I was happy to get started- they were letting go of something, and miss it.
Read it all (it's not long):


Symbiosis

It is a commonplace observation that children with motors disorders in their teens may experience adolescent emotional and relationship problems writ large. I have sometimes wondered – and I occasionally hear expressed – whether some young people who have experienced Conductive Education may risk their being writ larger still.

My experience is too small for this doubt to amount to any more than a niggle, and the numbers involved are far too small permit any reasonable generalisations that might help distinguish circumstancesout of which problems arise from those where none occur.

And anyway, as Ralph's posting illustrates, there is no necessity to invoke the notion of problem here, just simple developmental facts inherent in given situations. Things happen in life, and are lived through. Since this is 'developmental', it is not a matter for the child of young person alone, families are essentially irreducable wholes. Whether one thinks in terms of problems or facts, everyone is involved, and one person's solution may prove another's problem. Social facts can hardly exist without their contradictions...

Another light on Conductive Education

Self-evident and commonplace this may all be, but that does not mean that such matters should not be considered, discussed and accounted when families take the conductive path. Yves Bawin, Marie-Louise LeClerc and colleagues at La Famille in Brussels have been alone in Conductive Education in articulating the especial symbiotic link that develops between disabled children and their parents – and possible developmental problems of breaking it.

Yves and Marie-Louise have been concerned particularly with earlier stages of development. The French-Belgian psycho-analytic tradition (from Lacan) may prove a stumbling block to those outside this tradition, but offer a lead for elaborating conductive practice and theory worth considering.

References

Strzałkowski, R. (2013) Cerebral palsy parenting, Lawyer on wheels, 19 November

Sutton, A. (2008) Conductive early intervention (parent and child); a psychodynamic perspective from Belgium, Conductive World, 17 February



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