Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Time to face up to such things

A challenging response by Gábor Fellner on Conductive World's Facebook page, to a PR interview of conductor Ádám Makk, for fundraising purposes, on behalf of the András Pető College:

Gábor commented, in Hungarian –
...igen azt mondja Adam, hogy ertelmi fogyatekosokkal nem foglalkoznak, csak mozgasserultekkel..erdekes... es meg kell mondjanm, hogy jo nekik. Egy sulyos quadriplegias ugyan fejlesztehto, de hogy kognitiv szempontpol a 'tipikus' fejlodesi szinten ez nem igaz. Azt is mondja, hogy valakinek az is nagy eredmeny, ha a szemet tudja mozgatni. Ha kozponti idegrendszeri serulesrol illetve CP-rol beszelunk akkor az ebbe a 'szemmozgato' kategoriaba tartozo gyerekekrol is tulzas lenne azt allitan i, hogy kognitiv szempontbol sem specialis nevelesi igenyuek. meg valami: "Csak mozgáskorlátozott, mozgásszervi problémával rendelkező gyermekekkel és felnőttekkel foglalkozunk, értelmi fogyatékosokkal azonban nem." Tudom, hogy a cikk propagada celokbol fogant, de... a mozgasszervi problema az nem azonos a kozponti idegrendszeri eredetu mozgaszavarral..., meg valami  'illetve állandóan ritmikusan beszélünk hozzájuk," MI VAN?? ha ezt a cikket leforditanank, mindegy milyen nyelvre csak a CE kritkusainak a velemenyet tamasztanank ala... Kedves Peto Konduktorok.. ezt ne.

Lost in translation

Linguistically it is beyond my abilities to offer a specific translation into English. In very general terms I think Gábor is taking Ádám to task for saying that the World Famous does not work with children with intellectual disabilities. It does, especially if they are fee-paying foreigners.

This is a most important point, both for its substance and for the public awareness (never mind relations) of Conductive Edducation, and not only for all those considering, utilising, or working in Conductive Education across the world.

Gábor's intervention also reopens in my mind a question that has intrigued to me over the thirty-odd years since I stumbled across Conductive Education tucked away in the Slakan People's Republic of Hungary: the relationship between the notions of motor disorder and oligophrenia.

Unfortunately and not unexpectedly, it was never possible to consider this question in the English language since all discussion of differential distinctions in developmental disorders has been choked off by the meaningless 'special needs'. But upon going to Hungary I was (perhaps naively) surprised to find that the defectological framework into which olighophrenia fitted seemed not to be apparent. Perhaps I misunderstood.
  • Certainly, one does not come across conductors able or willing to discuss this matter in these terms, which has suggested to me that conductors have received no or insufficient theoretical education in this respect.
  • On the other hand, I have never had a relevant conversation with a conductor that does not reveal remarkable, intuitive understandings of the issues involved, very practically expressed, when it comes to particular cases.
So to turn to the social question raised in Gábor's critical comments, why does the Pető College (and for years the Pető Institute before it) present such a confusing report of who it is that Conductive Education might benefit? What is going on here?

I can see why Gábor wrote his comments in Hungarian. But I would beg him to have a go and also present what he said in English. Just possibly then, others around the world might take note and consider the vital matters that he raises.


I suspect that few now will remember Slaka –
Welcome to Slaka! A land of lake and forest, of beetroot and tractor, of cultural riches and bloody battlefields. A land whose borders change as frequently as its history, and yet whose heart somehow remains reassuringly unchanged: by turns captivating, infuriating, bureaucratic, anarchic, comic and sinister. Slaka! A land that is instantly recognisable to any traveller who has ever grappled with an unyielding language, argued with officialdom, outdrunk their welcome, mislaid their luggage, missed their train or just misjudged a tip...
...a wealth of information about the Slakan state, its pageantry and politics, its people and public figures, as well as some essential Slakan phrases—'American Express? That will do very nicely'...

I once knew the place quite well. I suspect that, despite all the political, economic and social changes that have followed the transition to capitalism and accession to the EU, it is still there very much as before...

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