My neighbours get to
hear lots about my conductive lifestyle stories. When they needed to take some
photographs to illustrate how life with a disability can be made easier though
use of a product that they produce in their small engineering works they knew
just who to turn to – Susie Mallett’s Conductive Lifestyle team!
My neighbours, the
Kastners, produce the ramps that cover cables and water pipes at rock concerts
and funfairs. We all know them but we also all take them for granted.
Perhaps not many people
have tried to go over these ramps other than by foot, but try riding a bike, pushing
a pushchair or negotiating a wheelchair over one; it is not a pleasant
experience. It is a very bumpy ride.
Recently my neighbours were
asked to develop a new version of these ramps that is much longer than the
originals that will make using a child’s buggy or a wheelchair at a rock
concert much easier - unfortunately it cannot help against all that mud!
Once these ramps were successfully
in production the design was patented.
The call for my help
came just a few weeks ago when the Kastners were asked to display their wares
at a local exhibition of industrial patents from Frankonia. They needed a few
photos for their presentation and with our summer fete coming up three of my
conductive lifestylers were able to help out, test riding the ramps.
Conductive lifestylers – people who having chosen to learn
through conductive pedagogy decide to live their lives conductively.
"Oli, aged 3, teaches his Great-Granddad, aged 89, how to use the computer!"
On Saturday we organised an information
day for the parents of children who attend conductive groups and Kindergartens. They were given the opportunity to talk with conductors, school
assistants, children, students and other parents about the many possible paths that their children could take through the education system.
For three of our school children it was
a new experience in their social development. They were present because it was
their experiences as children in mainstream education that the parents were
most eager to hear. Two of the children who have speech difficulties had chosen
to have others speak for them but answered questions confidently. The third child was very brave and said a few words herself
about her school life to a smaller group of people.
It was lovely to see how these children
now take this kind of experience in their stride. We try to offer them as many
opportunities as possible, within the sheltered community of the charity that
provides their conductive education, to widen their horizons and practise
their social skills. This helps them to feel more confident at school when they
must stand before the class and speak on different subjects, when they take oral
exams and when they spend a week or two in work experience placements.
Present yesterday was a young lady who was one of our very
first children in the conductive education groups. She was also the very first
child to be provided with a school assistant by the charity that now,
more than 15 years later, provides well over 200 children with school assistants.
This young lady is now coming to the end of her three-year Bachelor Degree and she
still has a personal assistant. The three teenagers from our afternoon group
were wide eyed and opened mouthed as they listened to this uni-student talk
with such composure of her school experiences. She provided such a wonderful example for them of what they too can
achieve through their own inniative and with the help of the team around them.
We reached far fewer people yesterday than we had
hoped for, but for the children who took part in the discussion circle, and were not tempted by the wonderful woodwork-workshop that was going on next
door, it was a huge step in their social development and I think that they
learnt much that will help them and their parents with future decision making.
Little Princess and her family are so
motivated that they just have a go at anything that comes their way. Little Princess
is included in everything and she also initiates many actions herself.
A few days before the weekend of the Blue Night in Nürnberg
when museums and galleries open their doors late into the night and when many new creative projects
take place, all that was needed was to suggest in hearing distance of Little Princess we all meet in the city at some point during
Little Princess was immediately tuned in and
the following day had everything sorted out. All that we were relying on was
the weather to play along.
It was a dull rainy day on the Saturday in question but at the last
minute, well into the evening the weather cleared and I received a message on my phone from Little Princess informing
me that she, her brother and their French exchange guest and her mum were about
to leave their house. I had a ten minute walk to town so I slowly made by way
to our meeting place.
a couple of hours amongst the crowds before returning home to our beds just
I was so impressed with the way that Little Princess
whizzed amongst the crowds in her wheelchair, her head at elbow height, without
a care in the world. She was thoroughly enjoying her very first Blue Night experience.
I hope we share many more Blue Nights and other such events in the future because I always find Little Princess’s
presence so inspiring.
I have decided to make things a bit easier for people who come to my blog, by creating this second site. My initial plan is that it will be entirely about conductive upbringing, but we shall see how it develops.
My wish is to publish articles by different people, by anyone who has a story to tell, questions to ask or information to share.
Of course I will also publish my own writings on conductive upbringing, but essentially this space will be for anyone who wishes to send me something to publish.
This can, for example, be something already published, either on another blog or as a paper. It can be a summary of something that has been discussed at a conference or between a group of colleagues, friends or parents. It can be something written especially for the blog about personal experiences. It can be something that has been discovered somewhere on the internet that can be discussed here on the blog, or it can be a posting full of questions for readers to attempt to answer.
It can be anything that you the readers, wish it to be.
I also wish to use this site to link to anything that I or readers discover anywhere, on line or on paper, about conductive upbringing.
I sowed the first seeds for this blog over a year ago now, then began planning it on line in the spring. Although the layout is not finished and I am having a lot of difficulties getting all the gadgets to work, I think it time to press the button and get it going, and let the rest sort itself out on the way.
If anyone wishes to publish something here then all that is needed to do is send it to me in an email or as a comment that can be moved into the main part of the blog if necessary.
I am Susie Mallett, conductor. I was born, raised and first educated in England (degree in fine arts in 1979, qualifications as a secondary-school art teacher and art therapist in 1983. From 1989 to 1993 I trained as a conductor at the Pető Institute in Budapest under Dr Mária Hári, since when I have lived and worked in Germany as a self-employed conductor.. I currently work with children in a conductive team in Nürnberg, and with adults in collaboration with therapists in adult rehabilitation. I particularly like to work with my stroke clients and with children and their families in their own homes. My conductive practice is in German and English.
I also speak Hungarian. My theoretical background relates closely to that of András Pető and Mária Hári. Uniquely amongst conductors I describe my work on the Internet. I am available to give public talks and private consultations.
Welcome to my site. I hope that you find much to interest you. You will also find some good things to see and listen to while you are here. Enjoy your visit and contact me if you think that I can help.
Susie Mallett, Conductor, BA Hons, PGCE, Dip ArtTherapy, DiplKondPed