What is Conductive Education?
Conductive Education is a unique, complex educational system for children and adults with motor disorders.
It is a developmental method that teaches everyday life skills, and make the individuals as independent as it is possible in a daily basis. It teaches the participants to use and develop their skills, in order to meet the challenges of everyday life.
The Conductive Education system was developed by Prof. Andras Peto in Hungary in 1945. The main idea behind his method is that motor disorders are learning disabilities. Even though that the cerebellum has been damaged, the nervous system has the capacity to form new neural connections. Neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, refers to the brain’s ability to change throughout life. This is the reason why the program is based on active learning, where each and every person can find their own way for developing.
Using the word “learning”, “teaching”, “education” also shows that it is not a treatment or therapy for Cerebral Palsy, but an active, long life learning process.
Prof. Andras Peto’s favourite quote was: “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”
It is a holistic approach, what means that the program covers all aspect of the human development. It works with the individual and focuses on the full personality as a total. The program includes the development of physical, cognitive, social, emotional and language skills.
The main components of Conductive Education
Specially trained teacher, who combines the medical and educational knowledge for designing the conductive program. The conductor responsible to set up the individual goals, and consistently looking forward for the next step in the development. She is cooperating and continuously communicating with the family, and with the other specialists (Physio therapist, Occupational therapist, Speech therapist, Orthopedist ect.) as well.
- Program and daily routine:
The program enable the individual to learn how to control his or her movements while in lying, sitting or standing position accomplishing various tasks, that are transferable into many situations they will encounter throughout their life. The program is specially designed for the individual needs, and is differentiated to the proper level for each and every person within a group. The task series are a group of activities broken down into small steps in order to make sure one can accomplish the given task with the least amount of assistance.
The motivation is very important for everybody, however it is different for every person. Depending on the age it is changing from toys, games and nursery rhymes, into different kind of music, sport, art, science or even just for compliments and praises. It is the conductor’s job to find the best motivator for the participant that helps them to go beyond their limits. The conductive education is an active process, therefore in the the meantime self motivation should be also developed.
- Group setting:
A group setting is the best environment for everybody, it provides the encouragement for the participants. It gives a lot of opportunities to develop social skills and in a positive atmosphere it one can increase self confidence. In a group one gains awareness of others, and by making interactions with each other they learn acceptance, support, patience, reward, they share their experiences and solutions and with this they increase their social skills.
- Rhythmical intention:
Using speech/language in order to plan, imagine, intend and implement the movement. Songs are often being used as it also helps to control the rhythm and speed of the movement and gives motivation and verbal help to the given task. By repeating the same rhythmical intention or singing the same song when accomplishing a task, it becomes a habit, that will cause a more fluent movement.
The facilitation is the given assistance to the participant in order to accomplish the task as independent as it is possible. It can be verbal instructions, visual cues, physical assistance, motivation, psychological or neurological facilitation. The conductor decides the level of facilitation, which reaches the person maximum potential. By continuously developing the skills, the facilitation becomes less and less, until it reaches the independent level.
Who is Conductive Education for?
Both children and adults have successfully participated in the program. The Conductive Education is beneficial for the individual, who are able to understand and follow basic instructions, and can demonstrate a basic cognitive level.
Conductive Education, as it says in it’s name also, is an educational method.
The brain plasticity is the capacity of the brain to change with learning. It means that even though the brain has been damaged (in case of Cerebral Palsy, stroke, Parkinson, Sceloris Multiplex), the brain is consistently changing through learning. A given function can move to a different location, and is able to activate an other part of the brain to learn, relearn certain functions.
What is the goal with Conductive Education?
▪ Aims to improve motor skills & functions
▪ Positive educational philosophy that leads to the development of the individual’s personality
▪ Facilitates the motor disadvantages with the development of problem solving skills
▪ Focuses on the individual needs within a group environment
▪ Motivates to achieve goals and progression at individual pace
▪ Creates freindly evnironment for the individual and their families to meet with others to share their stories
▪ Unlocks the full potential of children and adults and prepares them for the next stage in their lives
▪ Enables for more independent and socially included living