Maximising the Ability in Disability.
To promote and support early and effective access to Conductive Education in Aotearoa New Zealand
To champion the Enabling Good Lives principles.
To adapt to the changing needs of the disability community and support an environment where individuals achieve their goals and aspirations and maximise their ability.
About the NZ Foundation
Conductive Education in New Zealand is supported by a national body. The NZ Foundation for Conductive Education (NZFCE) was formed in September 1993 by the groups providing Conductive Education around NZ.
The purposes of the Foundation are:
- To promote and raise the profile of Conductive Education
- To promote cooperation between the groups providing Conductive Education
- To advocate for those involved with Conductive Education
- To network with the disability community
- To facilitate research into Conductive Education
- To promote standards for Conductive Education in New Zealand
- To support the establishment of new Conductive Education Centres throughout NZ where there is an identified need
Accordingly the Foundation has produced this website as an introduction to Conductive Education in NZ. It is not intended as the only source of information on Conductive Education, rather it tries to answer some common questions in simple terms.
What is Conductive Education
Conductive Education is a programme developed specifically to enhance the quality of life for people with motor disorders.
Conductive Education is based on the theory that, in spite of significant damage, the brain has a vast capacity capable of modifying its connections or re-wiring itself. This process known as neuroplasticity means that brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location through repetition. For this reason Dr Andras Peto who developed Conductive Education in the 1950’s believed that everyone, no matter how severe their impairment, can learn with the right support and motivation.
Conductive Education teaches people with motor disorders to coordinate their movements and achieve greater independence and self-confidence in their everyday lives. Its holistic nature aims to improve all areas – physical skills (sitting, crawling, standing, walking), hand function, cognitive (knowledge, memory, problem solving), self-care skills (dressing/undressing, eating, personal hygiene etc), social/communication skills and independence skills.
“Conductive Education is a learning process and not a treatment or therapy.”
The programme for children is fun and uses games, music, physical and other activities in a group setting to motivate them. Programmes for young people and adults focus on functional goals and skills required in our everyday lives.
“Everyone has the ability to learn – the role of Conductive Education is to maximise this ability.”
Conductive Education is not a miracle cure but focuses on skill development – providing practical support to assist people to develop independence at their own pace. To be effective Conductive Education requires self-motivation and a degree of hard work. Conductive Education staff work alongside individuals and families to identify what is important to them, developing a programme to reach goals and encouraging and supporting people to achieve these.
How does Conductive Education work?
Conductive Education (CE) programmes are generally delivered in small groups and tailored to each individual’s goals which are developed by the Conductor in conjunction with the individual, family and other specialists. Short-term goals are regularly monitored and adapted as new skills are learnt and progress is made towards the long-term goal of maximum independence. Independence looks different for each person and is relative to the initial degree of disability. The group provides an opportunity for peer interaction – promoting encouragement, acceptance, social and life skill development, friendship and fun!
Motivation is an essential element of CE and is achieved through creating a stimulating and interesting environment. CE works on the premise that a positive attitude and the desire to succeed are important in stimulating the brain.
“Conductive Education creates a positive mindset and a fresh approach to life”
CE uses a scaffolding approach to learning across all developmental areas – breaking tasks down into smaller achievable steps and building on these until a skill is fully mastered. Taking every opportunity to practise skills as part of daily living results in the best outcomes, as does starting early. For this reason family/carer involvement is critical to encourage learning as part of the daily routines at home.
“Conductive Education provides practical advice and training to individuals and families so that they can begin to problem solve for themselves”