In-depth on Conductive Education
Conductive Education (CE) is a concept used to support and guide individuals living with various neurological disabilities toward better internal organization and functional development. A Conductor helps individuals discover and develop their bodies and abilities.
Move & Walk Conductors have knowledge and experience with many different neurological diagnoses. CE always starts from each individual and their personal circumstances. Movement, communication, cognitive, and social development are the focus. Improved movement patterns stimulate development and learning across various aspects of life.
The holistic development of humans is not as controversial today, in terms of educational and perhaps even medical terminology, as it was in 1940s Europe when the method was founded and developed by András Pető in Hungary.
Understanding how someone acts in a particular situation requires a complete understanding of how different functions interact. Movement, cognitive, communication, and social abilities are all interconnected. Training and teaching individuals with disabilities to improve their functions are part of holistic development.
CE and its positive approach involve trying to identify the functions and abilities within the central nervous system. Existing functions are then used as a basis for learning new functions. By actively participating in various activities and situations, new knowledge is gradually built up and actively used, later becoming unconscious, to solve different everyday situations.
Brain injuries are defined from a medical perspective as plus and minus problems. Some things are in excess (plus), while others are lacking (minus). The principle is to try to compensate by working on what the individual has in excess, such as spasticity, involuntary movements, or epilepsy. At the same time, what is missing, such as assistive devices, is provided to compensate for movement.
A central nervous system injury does not only involve a plus/minus system or just a disability. Learning problems, delayed cognitive development, perceptual difficulties, epilepsy, visual impairments, etc., are often observed. From the Conductor's perspective, this is a complex issue. A central nervous system injury requires a complex learning process at all levels to achieve development.
Removing or reducing increased tone (spasticity) through medical or neurological treatments (e.g., botox, baclofen, or dorsal rhizotomy) does not solve the problem. In some cases, reducing spasticity can counteract deformities and reduce pain, but learning problems persist, and functions do not automatically improve.
CE helps balance increased tone by controlling tonus impulses (involuntary movements). Improved movement patterns open up opportunities for development and learning. At Move & Walk, each individual has the opportunity to develop at their own pace to live as independent and active a life as possible.
The group is an important part of Conductive Education. However, all CE, even when conducted in a group, is based on the individual's needs. Together with the Conductor, each person finds their own solutions for different movements and activities.
Humans are social individuals who seek confirmation and contact with others. The group situation provides support and encouragement for social and communicative development.
Human development is holistic. A CE program follows the typical complex development of an average child but adapts to the varying and individual needs of individuals with disabilities. We progress from lying down to sitting, standing, and walking as gross motor milestones, providing participants with experience in various positions, situations, and activities. This forms the basis for all learning. All tasks simultaneously stimulate and coordinate movement, cognitive, communicative, and social abilities, always based on the participant's understanding (cognitive capacity). The tasks are well-constructed and always build upon each other. Removing one or more tasks/exercises from the context diminishes the complexity of CE.
The goal of CE is the participant's active learning. This is achieved with CE's various tools. Conductors do not directly help the participant to reach their goals, on the contrary, the participant is guided to results and success through indirect support, so-called facilitation. Which concrete facilitation method suits the individual is formed together with the Conductor.
One of the facilitation methods is rhythmic intention. Participants with different symptoms/diagnoses need different time and pace to be able to relax and to be able to carry out a coordinated movement. The Conductor plans and implements concrete time, pace and verbal support, all of which together influence and coordinate the individual's internal organization.
Time: When you give a concrete "limited" time to carry out a movement and reach the concrete goal (for example, putting a balloon), you get better motivation and encouragement for the activity than if you have all the time in the world.
Rhythm: All movements have their own rhythm. People living with motor impairments must learn at what pace they can carry out the various movements themselves.
Performing a regular step up program without music is almost impossible. The rhythm of the music gives us support to coordinate our movements in time and space. The same principle applies to the neurologically impaired. With the help of a song or by counting, we can provide the corresponding support.
Verbal support: The spoken words build the inner image of the movement, which in turn develops motor coordination.
Young children often talk to themselves when they play. What do they actually do? The humanistic sciences have long known that it is easier to coordinate our movements when we state our goals. At the same time, we carry out the movements and then we create awareness and participation in the activity.