Conductive education is an interdisciplinary educational program that focuses on a child's cognitive and emotional growth as much as his or her motor function. A very intensive, 5-hour-a-day, 5-day-a-week program that helps children with cerebral palsy see themselves as self-reliant and active, conductive education was created in 1945 by a Hungarian professor of physical rehabilitation named Andras Peto. Consequently, conductive education is sometimes called "Peto treatment."
Integration into a Normal Classroom Is the Goal
The stated goal of conductive education (CE) is to integrate children with cerebral palsy or spina bifida into a normal classroom. Not all children with cerebral palsy are found to be good candidates for CE, and it appears that the benefits gained from participating in CE are temporary if a child does not continue the program indefinitely.
A Group Setting, A Holistic Perspective
Nevertheless, many parents have found that conductive education produced significant progress for their kids. CE is conducted in a group setting with lots of games and songs for the students. The children are expected to try to sit up on their own, in special chairs that are equipped with side handles or ladders for support. At lunchtime, each child is expected to try to eat with a spoon or drink from a cup.
Proponents of conductive education have noted that it provides a holistic perspective, treating a child as a whole person, not the sum of many parts, some of which need extra help. The total functioning of an individual child, including his or her personal development and social organization, is seen as a cohesive whole.
Conductive Education Facilities in the U.S.
There are about 45 facilities around the United States that offer conductive education; a list can be found at the 4MyChild website.
Many cerebral palsy experts have noted that there is no sufficient clinical evidence yet that proves the benefit of conductive education, and they caution that conductive education may be best utilized as part of a larger treatment program that combines other therapies.
Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney
If you believe your child's condition was caused by medical malpractice, you should consult with a cerebral palsy attorney as soon as possible. You and your family may be entitled to compensation to help cover the costs associated with caring for a child with cerebral palsy. Contact our cerebral palsy lawyers today for a complimentary case evaluation.