Myths and Facts

Over the past three decades there have been many attempts at describing Conductive Education (CE) which have caused confusion and in some cases complete misunderstanding of CE. The following points serve to try and unravel these myths by providing facts about how we, at NICE, view our role.

CE does not only help children with cerebral palsy

CE is a system of integrated education and therapy which can help any child or adult with a neurological movement problem. Whilst cerebral palsy is the most common condition there are also many children with global developmental delay, genetic disorders and adults with Parkinson’s, MS, stroke or acquired brain injury who may benefit.

Conductors use adapted and supportive equipment according to the individual needs of the person

Many professionals think that conductors do not use equipment such as AFO’s, wheelchairs, frames etc. This is NOT true! Conductors will look at each individual person and find appropriate equipment to ensure their development. Conductors will use any form of equipment to help a person learn new skills.

Conductors work closely with other health professionals

Conductors value the input of health professionals in order to develop appropriate teaching strategies. We have a range of professionals who act as consultants and many CE centres have therapists working directly alongside conductors. Conductors have a professional body and code of practice which states a duty to work together with all professionals for the best interest of the person and their family.

CE focuses on the development of the whole person

Traditionally CE is often seen as having a main focus on walking. This is NOT true. Conductors seek opportunities for children and adults to develop a whole host of skills including eating, drinking, fine motor skills as well as moving around. Conductors recognise that each person will need an individualised approach.

Conductors are fully trained and qualified professionals

All conductors will have a minimum BA degree following 3 or 4 years of study. The course has a high practical component enabling conductors to gain necessary practical based experience. Currently students can study a BA Hons in CE, in the UK, through Birmingham City University.

CE is continually developing in a modern day context

Whilst CE originated in Hungary and came to the UK in the 1980’s it has not remained a static system. Conductors are constantly developing their practice in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the families. By working closely with other professionals CE has undergone many changes which help to place it in a UK context.

CE is run in small groups with a high staff ratio

Groups are set according to age and need of each individual person. Typically groups would have 1 trained conductor (trained to degree level) to a maximum of 3 people. Groups will often have 2 or 3 conductors with up to 6-8 people.

CE is a way of life and a way of thinking

Conductors do not expect you to carry out programmes within your home environment however they will support you to create an environment that will promote every opportunity for activity. Conductive Education is more than the development of movement skills. We look at the whole personality of the person and work to develop psychological, social and movement skills simultaneously.

People develop best in an environment which expects activity

Anyone with movement problems need to be encouraged to develop skills which are hard for them. Within the CE environment they will meet other people with similar problems which helps boost their confidence and desire to achieve.

CE is a real option for education and therapy

CE offers an innovative approach to the development of life skills utilizing the neuroplasticity of the brain. Through a structured teaching approach and an environment conducive to activity and learning people can begin to develop skills previously deemed impossible.