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Conductive Education

BongyornoBongyorno Member Posts: 9
edited September 2014 in Education and learning
Conductive Education is a holistic learning and educational orientated approach developed in Hungary for the rehabilitation/habilitation of people with motor disorders. It focuses on the whole person, rather than specific aspects of their development.

Conductive Education treats motor disorders as a learning challenge rather than as a primary medical problem. Participants are learning motor control through a cognitive process which gives them a tool to problem solve and a way to implement what they have learnt to overcome their motor problems in their everyday life.

Conductive Education aims to improve all areas of development of the person living with a motor disorder:

Gross motor (sitting, crawling, standing, walking)
Fine motor (hand skills)
Language and communication
Social/ emotional
to become active and independent to the best of their ability.

Conductive Education teaches functional tasks which are generalised into all aspects of a person's life. Including teaching life skills such as learning to self-feed, toileting, dressing, hygiene etc.

Conductive Education works in group settings where all participants learn at their own level. Individual goals and needs are incorporated into the group programme which is structured, but flexible, carefully planned, implemented, evaluated and altered to ensure the development of each individual.

Conductive Education educates and supports families to integrate parts of the programme into their daily routines at home


  • BaumieBaumie Member Posts: 5

    I have heard of this treatment and was rather interested to find out more. Perhaps I can pick your brains.
    Would this aid in finding ways in which to teach and systems that work for each child to learn?
    I would certainly be interested in finding out more for fine motor skills as well.

    Could you tell me more?
  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107

    I just wanted to share with you my experiences of Conductive Education. I live in West Sussex and my son Tom (16 months) has quad spastic cp. He was diagnosed in April and has just started at 3 Conductive Education groups - The Dame Vera Lynn School For Parents at Billingshurst and Whoopsadaisy in Hove during term time and 'Ella's Field' near Billingshurst during the holidays when the other groups don't run. Ella's Field is a faciltiy run by a parent of a little girl with cp who employs a private Conductor for her little girl during the summer holidays and half terms who opens up her facilities to other young kids for short courses (at a nominal cost). School For Parents and Whoopsadaisy are entirely free of charge - both are charities.

    Since Tom has started with Conductive Education he was started to step purposefully, either holidng onto a stick supported by me, or sometimes even holding onto a brick truck on wheels. This is something I never dreampt he'd be able to do so soon. He has learned to sit on a stool at a table, sip from an open topped cup and become much better at self feeding. His confidence as improved, he loves all the applause and attention and every time we go he achieves something new.

    It's not always easy - it's hard work for him and hard work for me (you will be kneeling, rolling, bending, supporting and sitting on the floor with your child) but with encouragement and support he's just giving it everything he's got and he is reaping the rewards. To is quite severely affected physically by his cp - he's very stiff and cannot yet sit, roll or crawl unaided but we are working on all those things and I have high hopes that with the right support he'll get there, sooner than we initially thought.

    Give it a go - it really does seem to work for Tom and for the first time since his diagnosis I am starting to feel positive about the future.

    Maria x
  • BongyornoBongyorno Member Posts: 9
    Dear Baumie,
    I think conductive education can work for each child to learn. It's a method, and with it, you can develop, and teach all the children. If you are a conductor, your brain will always think like a conductor, so when you see each children. What yould you like to know about fine motor skills?:)

  • BongyornoBongyorno Member Posts: 9
    Dear Maria,
    Thank you for sharing with us your experiences. I know, what you are writing, I'm a conductor too:) you are very lucky, to find conductive education! If you have question, just let me to know,and I will answer!

  • ionarowanionarowan Member Posts: 4
    We used to attend Dame Vera Lynn sfp and it was fantastic.

    My daughter is now 6 and we could really do with starting again. She spends most of her school day sitting and learning so conductive education is really what we need.

    Mollymoobarnes: Could you tell me what the 'nominal' fee is for Ella's field is because I am very interested.

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hiya Vicky

    The little group that Tom attends is from 10 - 1 and is
  • MikeyMikey Member Posts: 3
    We have two children with CP and found conductive education through Whoopsadaisy in Hove, and our children's progress has been greatly accelorated thanks to the help from Whoopsadaisy. I'm now a trustee for Whoopsadaisy, so let me know if you have any questions.

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hi Mike

    My 17 month old son Tom goes to Whoopsadaisy on a Tuesday morning and is LOVING it! Beata is such a lovely lady and a fabulous Conductor. Tom is making such fantastic progress - something that he is very proud of and, as his mum, makes my heart sing! Whoopsadaisy has been really good for all of us - even his twin sister Iris gets to join in as Beata found us a volunteer to give me a hand looking after Iris while I work with Tom. We are so lucky to have found the group!

    When do your kids go and how old are they?

    Maria xx
  • MikeyMikey Member Posts: 3
    Hi Maria

    Ferris is 3, and goes on a Monday morning, and he also goes to quite a few days in the holiday club (sessions for slightly older children during school holidays).
    Carys will be 5 next month, so she's started school and just stopped going on Monday mornings. It's just the odd day at holiday club for her now, but she's doing very well and needs less help.

    Like Tom they are quite proud with what they learn to do, although that's more of a recent thing with Ferris, he wasn't so bothered a couple of years ago.

    If I don't see you before, hopefully I'll see you at the Christmas party.

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hi Mike

    Yes I'm hoping to get to the party so hopefully we'll see you there! Was it your Carys that was in the ABC mag that Beata showed us? It was a great article! How much do you think Conductive Education has been responsible for Carys doing so well? We are at such an early stage with Tom - he started just this term and he's got a lot to work on - he's got quad cp and is unable to sit unaided for long, is only just rolling and cannot weight-bear easily on this arms but I really feel that things have improved massively since he started. The rolling only started last week and he's stepping while his hands are held or when holding onto a walker or ladderback chair, plus he's sitting unaided for slightly longer each week (he's done a few minutes now!) I feel more positive and certainly more empowered to help him than I have before - it's a nice feeling!

    Maria x
  • NicolaMcNicolaMc Member Posts: 8

    I've been really impressed and encouraged by your experiences of conductive education.

    Our son, Ewan, is 11 months and was diagnosed with quad cp at 6 months. We're considering relocating from Portsmouth to Warrington (being so far away from family support is difficult, so a move north seems a sensible option). Can anyone advise of CE schools in the North West? Unfortunately the listing on the Scope page is pretty limited.

    (Maria, thank you so much for your posts. Raising a child with CP can feel so isolating and reading your updates on Tom has really helped in taking that feeling away. A huge thank you and best wishes to both of you.)

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Aw Nicola, I wish I could give you a hug! Yes, I agree it is really isolating - on top of the worry, distress, fear, regret etc. To hear that my posts have made a blind bit of difference to anyone is really lovely - I only write because it forces me to acknowledge, in black and white, that things are getting better for him, slowly, when it would be easy to wallow in the obvious huge differences between his development and abilities compared to his able-bodied twin sister (she's a concrete reminder every day of what could have been for him). If my posts give someone else a lift then that's really blimmin' marvelous! He's such a special little man and he touches everyone he meets with his cheeky mega-watt smile so it's great that he's touching people across the web too! That's my boy!!!

    To be honest, like all of us, I still have such a hard time with it all - MY son, my beloved boy has a brain injury and I have no explanation of how it happened. It is so so hard. Stuff like this happens to other children, not mine... Or so I thought. It's like a nightmare that has become a reality. But, it is what it is and life goes on and we owe it to him to give him every chance possible to make the most of his abilities. He's responding really cheerfully and willingly to all the help he's getting which is great and seems so proud of each new thing he manages to do.

    Tell me about your little Ewan!!

    Maria xx
  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hi Mike

    If only there was a miracle cure eh? Yes, I totally agree that all Conductive Education is , in essence, just regular daily physio but I guess the 'routine' element - trying something time and time again in the same way, plus the songs which seem to help bring the 'intention' to make movement to the forefront of the mind all seem to boost it's power to help. It's more fun than physio too! Unfortunately there is nothing in the world that is going to make my little boy walk unaided, nothing that is going to make his muscles work normally, nothing that is going to take away his discomfort and fatigue - and that is the hardest thing to bear. But it is for him to bear, not me and so I try to not feel too sorry for myself, although that this has happened to my precious boy is huge and heartbreaking regret Hey ho...

    We will cetainly be working towards sitting unaided by the age of 2 but I've been told it's a tough nut to crack and he may well be walking with a walker well before he learns to sit well - well enough to move to get a toy without falling over. He's able to sit for slightly longer periods each time we go to Whoopsidaisy but still wobbles when he lifts his hands to play. He seems to be less inclined to throw himself backwards now - which is nice. It seems he has learnt to moderate his extension in sitting, finding the topple point and stopping before he goes to far. He's also moderated his startle reflex a bit in sitting which is great as he no longer tips over backwards every time his older sister Molly drops a toy on the floor.

    Bless him - what a hand to be dealt eh?

    Maria x

  • MikeyMikey Member Posts: 3
    Hi Maria

    Yes, my wife wrote that article about Carys. Whoopsadaisy has been a great help to Carys, and we're sure she has developed more than she would have without the help. But Carys's CP is reletively mild and has progressed more than her brother (his CP is also mild, but worse than Carys's), so while conductive education has helped, there's no miracle cure. The more physio they get as early as possilbe (allowing the brain to build new pathways) the better, and the fact that conductive education fits the physio in with basic daily routines and play, helps in getting the children to do the work.

    I'm pleased to hear Tom is making progress. Being able to sit unaided by the age of 2 is nice goal and would be quite a positive achievement.

  • NicolaMcNicolaMc Member Posts: 8
    Hi Maria,

    My turn to want to give you a hug.

    Sending a virtual one

  • karenmkarenm Member Posts: 1
    Hi Nicola - there is a conductive education centre in the North West, near Chorley - The Legacy Rainbow House ( ). My 5 year old little boy has been going twice a week since he was 2 and they have helped him immensely - he is also quad cp. He has lots of friends there and the staff are all fantastic - they also have a mixed mainstream/special needs nursery which is a godsend...they have got him achieving things he was never supposed to be able to do!

    Good luck if you do move - I understand why you are considering it as we don't have family too close, but we do manage with the help of respite and friends (we also access Zoe's Place Baby Hospice in Liverpool for respite!)

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Thanks babe - virtual hug gratefully received!

    Tom had a good go at supported crawling yesterday - he usually hates being put in a crawling position but he really wanted to give it go yesterday and with my hand under his chest to fully support his weight he actually put his arms down to support himself and made efforts to move his arms and legs. I got Iris (Tom's twin), his big sister Molly and his daddy to all crawl about with Tom so he really felt he was joining in with a game! Hoorah! He also had a good go at saying 'sausage' was was fab!

    Totay am taking him to docs as a little worried that his fontanelle/soft spot is still so big and open at 18 months when Iris's is almost closed. I'm sure it's fine but just want to check.

    How's your little man doing?

    M xxx
  • Dear Vicky,

    I just thought I'd let you know that Whoopsadaisy currently offers Saturday and Holiday Clubs that use Conductive Education for primary school age children (roughly aged 5-12 years, but we are flexible about that), which you might be interested in for your daughter. The sessions are in Hove, East Sussex, and are currently one of the few options available for older children to explore Conductive Education in the country. Our Saturday clubs are fortnightly and the Holiday Clubs are for two weeks each at Easter and the start of the Summer Holidays. Children don't have to attend for the whole fortnight - often families select one week at each of the clubs, but again we're flexible.

    Our children will testify that they're a lot of fun, with games, songs and lots of art and craft activities, while parents agree that children really benefit from having some intensive input into their movement skills.

    If you or anyone else is interested please do get in touch [email protected]

    I just stumbled across this forum by chance and I have to say it's very heartening to see people discussing Whoopsadaisy in such a positive and enthusiastic way. Thank you all for your input! We rely heavily on word of mouth, so please do carry on spreading the word!

    With thanks

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hi Sarah

    Am planning a fundraiser for Whoopsidaisy at my Wednesday toddler group in Hassocks in the new year - a new/nearly new kids stuff sale and a cake stall (or something - not really formulated it totally my mind yet!) The group are all delighted to support a charity that is helping Tom so much as they have known him since birth and seen the progress he has made. Nearer the time can I have some leaflets for the event so I can show what Whoopsidaisy is all about?

    I am so totally indebted to you guys for making Whoopsidaisy happen - it's such an important place, not only for the kids but for us parents too. Hope gives us something to hang onto xxx

    Maria xx
  • eviesmumeviesmum Member Posts: 13 Listener

    I've accidently seen your post and recognised Tom! I think we met briefly at whoopsadaisy a few months back when I visited. My little girl Evie isn't much older than Tom.

    I'm about to post up as I'm trying to meet some CP mums in Brighton and Hove area as I've found myself in the difficult position of working on the days whoopsadaisy runs and feeling totally isolated on my wed and fridays off.

    Its just getting impossible to see friends who have toddlers Evies age. it causes me so much distress after the event I 've just kind of given up. Whoopsadaisy was my hope to apart from support Evie to meet some mums going through similar heartache - but that has all gone wrong!

    As an extra - I saw a neurologist recently who made the same comment about a minor car accident - so there must be some research out that mentions it - will look at work as work for nhs and have access to decent literature searches ( I fell and broke my ankle 7months pregnant ) some Drs have said wont have caused it - recently it was suggested it may have based on that 'car accident' comment.

    Identifying cause has been totally traumatic - no answers and more questions.. Evie also has PVL but was a full term baby. Im at a loss to understand how my healthy pregnancy went so wrong without my knowing. I wonder when i'll ever accept it....

    It would be great to hear if you or any other mums are in my area to meet for a coffee.

    Take care

    Kelly x

  • mollymoobarnesmollymoobarnes Member Posts: 107
    Hi sweetie
    Oh it's you! Yes I remember when you came in to see us! In fact I was at Whoopsidaisy today and Beata (the Conductor) asked for a leaflet for a place called Ella's Field that we have been going to in Billinghurst specifically to pass it on to you. Ella's Field doesn't run regular sessions but does them on an ad-hoc basis, mainly on weekends and during the summer holidays. There is 3 morning sessions running on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of the week leading up to Christmas if you fancy coming? I'll be there with Tom but I don't know how many others are coming - I've a feeling Tom's mate Sophie is coming too. I'm sure there would be room. It's
  • eviesmumeviesmum Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi Maria

    Thank you so much for your lovely response.

    Will look at Ellas field.

    Have been missing calls left right and center from Dame Vera School for parents as when whoopsadaisy went a bit pearshaped that was the next option.. so am on the case.

    I am going to the whoopsadaisy xmas party on saturday so may see you there (wierd real life catching up with virtual one...)

    Would love to catch up on a wed too ( no pressure!)

    Will facebook you.

    thanks again

    Kelly xxx
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