Megan Baker House offers free Conductive Education sessions to children and adults with special educational needs and neurological motor disorders including cerebral palsy, head injury, stroke, developmental co-ordination delay and Parkinsons disease.
Megan Baker House provides a range of sessions delivered by trained professionals called conductors.
Megan Baker House also provides support to families and carers through advice and information, referrals, befriending and mentoring.
What is Conductive Education?
Conductive Education teaches participants how to learn to solve problems when faced with them. It is a holistic, movement based educational approach for children and adults who have neurological motor difficulties. It is not a treatment, therapy or cure.
Children and adults with a neurological motor disorder have damage to the central nervous system, which affects their ability to control movement and can cause a wide range of developmental difficulties. Skills such as head control, moving around independently, sitting unaided, walking, dressing, eating and drinking, personal hygiene and social and communication skills that are ‘automatic’ for most people have to be consciously learnt.
Conductive Education is a practical and successful approach which provides coping mechanisms and techniques to allow children and adults to learn to manage the difficulties caused by their disability. The impact the method has on their lives and the lives of their families is more than a physical one; it also helps to increase their confidence and motivation, helping to develop their personality, feel more positive about their future and their ability to lead independent, fulfilled lives.
The skills learnt have practical applications which will help them to live more independently at home, school or work. For babies, this can mean learning to control their head movements so they can see what's around them; for toddlers, simple self care needs such as eating and dressing themselves; for older children, mastering the grip of a pencil to write their names. Teenagers might be looking for skills to help them cope when they leave home to go to college, university or to pursue a career. Adults to improve their balance to be able to carry on with their day to day chores.
Conductive Education’s ultimate goal is to create an independent personality, someone who can think for themselves and adapt their learnt skills to any situation, which may arise.
Megan Baker House provides a range of age appropriate structured Conductive Education sessions run by conductors who work closely with each individual to teach and enable a personally tailored strategy for living.
History of Conductive Education
Conductive Education originated in Hungary in the late 1940’s; it was developed by Professor AndrásPető. He was a neurologist who started to work with children with cerebral palsy and noticed good results by using this educational approach to overcome their movement difficulties. He then went on to open an institute in Budapest (now called ‘The Pető Institute’) for children and adults with neurological motor disorders.
Conductive Education is carried out in small groups and it is run by Conductors. Different programmes in the sessions make up each group’s daily routine. This is specially designed to suit the individuals in that specific group. All the programmes are built on each other, using the learnt skills and implementing them in different positions. The tasks within each task series are built on each other too, starting with more simple movements building up into more difficult and complex tasks. All of these tasks are designed to help with the difficulties caused by the condition.
A conductor is a highly skilled professional who delivers Conductive Education. In order to be able to do this, they must have intensive training lasting 3-4 years to gain Qualified Conductor Status. This status is gained after a three or four year degree course, either in Hungary, Birmingham (UK), America, Israel or Spain.
Peto argued that instead of motor disordered children receiving special therapies, they could improve through the normal process of learning and practicing. Peto was the first to consider disability as an educational challenge and not as a medical problem.
Conductive Education is therefore not a therapy or set of exercises but an educational system, of which the individual is an active participant.
Some of the general conductive aims are to teach ways and techniques to overcome the difficulties caused by their condition; to promote active participation and independence; to improve confidence and self esteem.
It is very important that the expectation and encouragement instilled in sessions continues at home and at school, the participant will make much quicker progress this way and will learn to want to do things for themselves. Practice is a vital part to this process.