Conductive Education (CE) is an educational program created to teach movement and problem-solving skills. The method is an intensive multi-disciplinary approach designed to enable individuals with motor disorders to achieve the most active, independent life possible. CE enables participants to become more self-reliant in daily activities through specialized, active learning. Conductive Education was based on the principle of neuroplasticity, the process by which the brain creates new pathways for sending messages to the body, rerouting around damaged paths. These pathways are created through active learning during programs called Task Series (wherein difficult tasks, like walking, are broken down into more achievable parts, like weight bearing and bending alternating legs). The new pathways allow an individual to perform daily activities, such as walking, dressing, eating, and playing with greater independence.
The independence gained through CE is not just limited to physical achievements but includes, communication, academic, and social and emotional development.
Who can benefit from CE?
Children and adults with:
Undiagnosed motor disorders
What areas does CE address?
Gross and fine motor
Mobility and balance
Flexibility and range of motion
Communication and speech
Daily living skills
Conductive Education is not a “cure” for disability or a quick fix. During CE sessions, participants work hard to train their brains to work in new, more effective ways. This hard work pays off, leading to long-term skill development that increases independence and quality of life.
Conductive Education is the only approach that addresses all areas of development: gross motor, fine motor, daily living skills (dressing, eating, transfers), speech and communication, social skills, emotional regulation, motor planning, and cognitive development. In CE we look at 100% of the child, 100% of the time. We also desire to work alongside other therapies by maintaining an open dialogue with your child’s other therapists and teams. Working together is the best way to ensure your child meets their potential.
The first step of carrying out a movement is creating the internal intention for that movement. This is an automatic process for most people, but not for those with neurological conditions. Rhythmic Intention (RI) is the method by which an individual uses speech or inner speech (for those who cannot communicate verbally but can learn to “speak” to themselves), to express an intention, which is then followed out by a movement that is carried out rhythmically. Typical motor patterns have a natural rhythm conducive to functional movement, RI is a way of facilitating individuals with motor disorders to achieve that rhythm.
Conductor-teachers “orchestrate” the child’s learning by integrating movement with communicative, cognitive and sensory learning. Using music, games and apparatus that aid movement and the student’s desire to achieve simple tasks, children develop and maximize functional independence through goal-directed activity, verbal cues, and group dynamics. Conductors work to transfer the skills kids are learning in our program to their daily lives. They look at the child in the context of their full-day - eating, sleeping, playing, dressing, self-care, and school.
Dr. András Pető, a physician and educator, developed Conductive Education in Hungary in 1945. His method pioneered a new way to rehabilitate children and adults with motor disabilities due to damages to the central nervous system. While other children learn physical movement through assimilation within their peer groups, the motor disabled child must be taught to develop these same movements as a skill set. Dr. Peto believed that problems of movement were due to problems of learning and that an individual with a motor disability could learn and develop functional movement through active participation in motor tasks.