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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh what small (conductive) world…

So this week has been rather interesting. I am steadily making small but important and good connections. This weekend alone I met two conductors living in close proximity from me. One lives in Seattle and one lives in Kelowna, BC. It is always fascinating for me to meet new conductors – in isolated Manitoba I meet only one (my friend and colleague) within four years. Most amazingly you know straight away that you are at the same wavelength and you have a common goal, which is just being able to keep working as a conductor. One of the conductors has not really worked as one in Seattle and the other one is forced to travel around North America to make a living. It is very interesting to know that none of us wants to get rich on it but just be able to do what we love and we are good at while living of it.

General speaking, we conductors are quite spoilt when it comes to the conditions we work in. We usually fly in whatever country gives us a decent salary and other quite handy bonuses and stay as long as we want to or as long as there are is money to pay for us. Usually when you are willing to travel it is not hard to find a job that suits your conditions. Mostly parents of children with a movement disorder did all the lobbying required to promote and set up a conductive education program, usually in form of a charity.

Now being self-employed is a total different story. You find yourself rather isolated and the lack of professional support or understanding outside the conductive education walls is more apparent then it ever has been. It is hard to let parents and also adults who have a movement disorder that conductive education services are available in their area. In Manitoba about 80%, if not more, new clients enrolled because they have heard from other parents and clients how it has helped them. Starting from scratch is different because you do not have those clients who can refer you easily. It was interesting to hear from the other two conductors that they have tried to approach child development centers in their area and have been rejected to even display some brochures. It is strange but not entirely news to me as I have meet plenty parents who would love to know about this as an option, earlier in their child’s live.

But do not worry I will try anyway to get the word out. I have already successfully made contacts with some great Stroke support groups in this area, who are willing to let me a give a small presentation. I am excited to see what those will bring, especially as I have not given any presentations since I was at University and even then was not necessary a natural at it. When you self employed you do what you have to, to get the word out and I know that this will be an interesting learning curve for me.

One of the parents I met this week is very interested in coming to Vancouver for an intensive week program for her 18 month old son. This would only makes sense if there is a small learning group, so I will need more interested families to make this happen. If you do know someone at this age (up to three years might be okay too) who could benefit from Conductive Education and either lives or is willing to come to Vancouver for a week, please contact me.

Talking about being on the same wavelength, last week I found a great new yoga studio for myself. Since I started yoga I met a lot of nice people on my way with whom I found it easy to relate to and made some good friendships this way. Today, I found myself having a great conversation about Conductive Education and how it encourages activity and problem solving. The yoga teacher had no problem relating to it through her experiences even though she never worked with anyone with a movement disorder. It is funny as I must have had the same or similar conversation with other professionals before, who had little clue what I was talking about. I don’t know if it’s the yoga, the teacher in her or her own upbringing made it so easy to relate to me but it made me feel great.

With meeting her and those two conductors this weekend, I am very thankful to be sharing the same wavelength with strangers and for the support of the parents out here. It’s a start and it’s a good one.


  1. "When you are self employed you do what you have to to get the word out".

    How right you are Anne!

    Giving presentations is not my forte either although it may have been a different matter had I done it in English, but maybe not.

    Over the last few years since I have been writing my blog I have found presentations have got slightly easier. I decided one day a couple of years ago to put the prepared papers under the table and just get up on my feet and talk and demonstrate. To speak about my work with the same enthusiasm that I always have as I write. I have found that for me this is the best way. The nerves disappear, almost!

    If there is anything I can do to help you from across the miles do not hesitate to ask. It appears from your blog though, that you are doing just fine!

    I would not say that being self-employed gets easier over the years, but it is surprising how quickly the word gets around that there is a conductor in the "neighbourhood" looking for work. Just you wait, soon your phone won't stop ringing.

    Sixteen years ago when I started out here in Germany there was no internet searching, bloging or emails, it was all done by tom-tom drums and smoke signals. Despite this I have only once had to advertise for work. That was in 2008, when the credit crunch and illness gave me a few empty months to fill.

    As you say Anne, we won't ever get rich on it, but I would not swap self-employment for the world.

    One thing that I am grateful for, and glad I found early on, is the connections that I have to the Association for Disability here in Nürnberg to which my clients can belong. Through their membership they can access other things that they may need, for example: transport, acommodation, help with shopping,legal advice or information on kindergartens, schools and work.

    Maybe there is something similar in your neighbourhood.

    Best wishes Anne


  2. Anna and Susie,

    How thought-provoking. I have responded (or free-associated!) at:



  3. Thanks Susie and Andrew. Its always a pleasure to know your are interested in what I have to say.

    Andrew I quite like your picture of a conductive cell. I never thought about it this way, maybe because my upbringing in a sense was at the other side of the cell. But I am so very glad I made here the connection to a family that helps to stay united in getting Conductive Ed out here. In probably very 'conducere' way. The passion of a family in building up conductive services is absolutely priceless.

    Susie, I surprised myself today in giving a small presentation to a selected group of people and as you said Susie, with me just talking Conductive Ed I hardly felt nervous at all. We will see how this goes with bigger crowds. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be any good doing it in German as my professional vocabulary is English. Funny how that worked out.

    I will look into different disability associations around here and see if I can build some more contacts.

    Susie, I might come back to your offer to help me quite soon :-)

  4. Cheering you on all the way!

    PS Sorry I hogged all the presentations over the last 4 years...I should have let you have more practice!