What is Conductive Education?
Conductive Education is a holistic movement based program for individuals with neuromotor disorders. Conductive Education can support individuals with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke survivors, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injuries, spina bifida, or other undiagnosed conditions that affect movement.
Conductive Education combines the beliefs of physical literacy and educational psychology to enhance the overall well being of the individual to promote greater independence in their abilities. For many of us, we learn skills that soon become unconscious in their execution. For those who have damage to the neuro pathways, individuals have to learn to work against primitive reflexes that remain in the body, or with limbs who have spasticity or less stability (therefore more practice is required), or they may need to be learned in their own unique way, suitable for the individual. Our program leaders, known as ‘conductors,’ are trained to support these individuals through this process, in addition to providing support and information to family members and caregivers in the correct facilitation to support the individual and reduce dependency on them.
Conductors work with your physical, social and occupational goals. The belief is working towards your ‘zone of proximal development’. The zone of proximal development (ZPD) may at first appear challenging to the untrained eye, however ZPD is the difference of what the person is capable of without help and what they can achieve with the guidance of our team. Conductive Education is a lifelong learning program, therefore with skill acquisition and development means the advancement of new goals, creating new stages of ZPD so that our conductors can support you further.
People may often refer to CE as ‘therapy’, however our roots are deeper than that, as ‘education’ is defined as the process of facilitating learning and/or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
The CE program involves foundational movements in the lying position and floor mobility, advancing to learning and improving balance while sitting, hand manipulation and co-ordination in an upright position. It is then advanced to movements in the standing position and walking. The individual’s goals are determined by the conductor in collaboration with the family and the individual.
Conductive Education (CE) originated in the Eastern European country, Hungary. The system was developed by the beliefs of Dr. Andras Peto. Peto, who was involved in the medical and psychological field, opened an education centre in 1952 to support children with cerebral palsy to meet their particular physical and intellectual skills. With his own father having Parkinsons, the system was then found to be effective for other neuromotor conditions. Since then, his work has been passed on through generations by his successors, including the prestigious Maria Hari. CE gained significant international growth in the 80’s, as centres following his methodologies opened up across the globe. These centres are lead by trained conductors, who ‘conduct’ (organize and carry out) the group program.
To achieve Qualified Conductor Status, conductors receive Undergraduate training at specialized centres and universities. There are only three of these undergraduate programs across the world.