Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conductive Learning Center: Children with Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida

80-90% of CLC's Child Population has Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida or Traumatic Brain Injury

To provide opportunities for preschool and school age children with motor challenges to achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence through the application and promotion of conductive education principles.

Children and families can be taught problem solving skills that will allow them to develop unconventional ways of accomplishing motor tasks that families never thought their child would do. A child can gain control of their movement, increase strength resulting in an increased level of independence. Because Conductive Education promotes development of the whole person, including physical, social, cognitively and psychological aspects, this intervention is not viewed as a traditional therapy but rather a multi disciplinary approach to improving the quality of life for children and their families.

A Mission of  the Heart  What is Conductive Education?  FAQ

Chuck and Sue Saur give new meaning to parental involvement in education. With an unwavering commitment to their son, Dan, who has cerebral palsy, the Grand Rapids couple made conductive education a reality for Michigan children with motor impairments by working to establish what is now known as the Conductive Learning Center (CLC).

Conductive education is a Hungarian-based educational program for children with motor disorders like cerebral palsy and spina bifida. In 1995, an announcement about a conductive education camp in Ontario, Canada, dramatically altered the direction of the Saurs’ lives. They returned from the camp with a renewed vision of increased physical independence for Dan, who uses a wheelchair.

The Saurs’ vision fueled a grassroots effort in the late 90′s to bring conductive education to West Michigan and earned the support of Aquinas College, a private, liberal arts college in Grand Rapids. Aquinas is the only institution in the United States that offers a POHI methodology teacher training program utilizing the conductive education method. The Conductive Learning Center was established as the labschool for these prospective teachers to do their practical training.

Chuck Saur attributed a recent accomplishment by his son to conductive education. Saur admits he was caught off guard when Dan spoke his first clear words asking, “Where’s mom?” “I stopped what I was doing to have a conversation with Dan,” he says. “It was the beginning of a whole new father-son relationship that changed the way I looked at him.”

In 1995, the Saurs took a second mortgage to finance an intensive six-month program for Dan in Budapest. Sue Saur traveled with both of her sons to Hungary, where she couldn’t speak the language. She recalls carrying her lanky, fifty-five pound son up and down the stairs when the elevator didn’t work.

With Dan immersed in conductive education in Budapest, Chuck Saur knocked on doors in West Michigan garnering support for a pilot program. The dean of education at Aquinas College, was willing to listen. In 1997, the Saurs joined forces with other parents of motor-impaired children to create the first summer program in conductive education in Michigan.

The Saurs worked even harder once they won the support of powerful friends. Keith Konarska, former director of special education for Kent Intermediate School District (KISD), and Kathy Barker, former director of special education for Grand Rapids Public Schools and the new director of the Aquinas -Peto School (CLC) for Conductive Education, became involved. The additional support of the past president of Aquinas, Dr. Harry Knopke, President of Aquinas College, further solidified Aquinas’s commitment to creating an international center for conductive education. Today, under the joint direction of Aquinas College and the Peto Institute in Budapest, the Saurs’ dream has a respected educational backing and a solid research component. The Conductive Learning Center (CLC) has served hundreds of children with motor impairments since it’s inception back in 1997.

He remembers the exact moment Dan first cast his own fishing rod into the lake, a task Chuck Saur had always performed for his son. Today Dan can write his own name and take steps with support. He can sit up in bed and rub the sleep from his eyes with his once rigid hands. He verbally joins in his bedtime prayer.

“It’s hard to explain the magnitude of what conductive education has meant to our family,” Chuck Saur explained. “We’ve gone from thinking about what we can do for Dan to celebrating what he can do for himself, and that difference is huge.”

This article first ran in the November 1999 issue of C.E.N. Newsline and was written by Judy Winter, author of Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs.

Fifth Third River Bank Run Charity Partner
Conductive Learning Center


FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to stay with my child in the classroom?

Parents are provided an environment to learn with their child in the Parent & Child program, which is for the youngest children. Overall the decision to have parents in the classroom, made by the conductor team includes several factors, such as the age of the child and the child’s/family’s needs.

What can I expect my child to achieve in the program?

The program works with the whole child; that is, the child’s developmental needs are addressed from a cognitive, psychological, emotional and physical perspective. After the child is assessed by a conductor, parents, the child and the conductor decide on specific goals for the child. Each child’s route and timeline toward maximum independence depends on many factors, including the support of the family, the child’s motivation, the type and severity of the disability and the age of the child. At the end of the session extensive reports are produced detailing methods and strategies used with the child. Each activity is described and photo documented. These reports are sent home for use with all care givers involved with the child. This helps insure continuity and continuation of CE principles even after the child is discharged from the program.

Why does the program use a group setting?

Conductive education uses the dynamics of group interaction. This setting provides the opportunity for children to motivate and learn from each other, while in an age appropriate setting that allows social interaction.

Do I have to continue with the exercises while at home?

Parents should encourage the child to use the movements learned in class that improve the everyday functioning of the child. An example of these life skills would be for parents to give the child the opportunity to use silverware when eating, instead of a parent feeding the child.

What type of disability does this program best help?

Conductive education works best with about 80-90% of the child population that has cerebral palsy, spina bifida or traumatic brain injury.

What keeps children motivated for 3 to 6 hours a day?

The program is planned daily with age appropriate academic themes and motivation techniques of repetition, music, singing, and game-like activities in a group setting. A child’s educational environment includes daily living skills of eating, toileting, putting on shoes and socks, etc. Children respond positively to these activities.

What specialized training do the conductors have? Are they therapists?

Conductors have been trained at Aquinas College in a POHI teacher program or at the International Peto Institute in Budapest, Hungary. These teachers all have elementary education and special education credentials, which are recognized in the U.S. While the conductors are not credentialed therapists, the training received at Aquinas and the Peto Institute parallels many parts of what physical, occupational and speech therapists receive.

Are there parents available who can give specifics about their child?

Yes. Please go to the “Success Stories” area of the web site. This section provides a series of letters from parents speaking about their child and the program.

Is the program available in other states?

Yes, there are other programs in the U.S., but the Conductive Learning Center has the only program directed and supervised by the International Peto Institute.

Are any doctors supporting this program?

Yes, there are doctors in the U.S., who have provided written support for conductive education. Locally, the Conductive Learning Center collaborates with Mary Free Bed Hospital in providing services to children enrolled at Conductive Learning Center.

If I don’t live near Grand Rapids, can I still participate in the program?

Yes, many of our out-state and out-of-state parents stay at the local Ronald McDonald House or area hotels, offering discounted rates, while their child attends a scheduled intensive session of four to eight weeks in length.

The Conductive Learning Center
of Grand Rapids, 2009