Conductive Education was originally designed for children who have cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or apraxia. It is also of great benefit to many children who have other types of neurological disorders associated with motor coordination difficulties, or who have developmental delay.
Conductive Education is of particular benefit if started early—as close to birth as possible. Cerebral palsy is commonly not diagnosed until after the child's first birthday, but certain risk factors may be known sooner. Premature infants and babies with PVL are at a particularly high risk of developing motor control difficulties or developmental delays, and should have an assessment. If there are doubts about the child's development, it's best have the child evaluated right away.
A candidate for Conductive Education must be teachable and have some strength to carry out physical tasks without jeopardizing his or her health.
Children who have uncontrolled seizures or severe cognitive deficits may not benefit from Conductive Education programs.
All children participating in Conductive Education programs require a physician's release.
Developmental delay means that developmental milestones are reached more slowly than expected, though the milestones are reached in the typical sequence.
Mild delays in development may be normal: there is a range during which these milestones are typically met, so one child may not meet a milestone at the same time as another child. However, pronounced delays in motor development milestones may indicate a problem with the development of the central nervous system.
Pronounced delays in motor developmental milestones include the following:
If the child...
Please note: An assessment may detect warning
signs shortly after the child is born.
Developmental disorder: A disorder in which there are gaps or "scatter" in the attainment of developmental milestones; also referred to as a "deviant" developmental pattern. Milestones are reached in an abnormal sequence and some milestones are not reached at all. Milestones that are met are usually delayed.
Motor skills disorder means that the child's motor coordination in daily activities is substantially less than would be expected, considering the child's age and intelligence. The disorder is neurological in origin, and is manifested in problems such as difficulty with aiming movements or maintaining a grasp on an object, general clumsiness, or improper weight-bearing. The disability may be associated with pronounced delays in motor developmental milestones.
Conductor-teacher: A Conductive Education teacher, who provides a holistic and systematic development program that targets all aspects of a child's life, including gross and fine motor skills, cognition, volition, communication, social skills, and emotional development. A conductor-teacher is also trained to use specific methods in order to successfully coach parents of young children.
Natural environment: The natural environment of the child includes the child's home as well as other places where the child routinely goes, such as parks, playgrounds, and daycare facilities. If the child or the parents would benefit from sessions in a natural environment other than the home, then teaching can occur at such alternate locations.
Gross motor: Place and posture changing forms (e.g., walking, crawling, rolling over)
Fine motor: Playing, using the hands, and developing hand-eye coordination
Cognitive skills: Knowledge about the surroundings, thinking, and perception
Communication: Understanding and expressive skills, oral-motor skills
Social skills: Developing self concept; interactions with others
Adaptive skills: Participating in eating, drinking, dressing, washing, using the toilet