Emmett is a beautiful, smart, and sociable young boy. However, the lack of oxygen to his brain around the time of his birth caused problems with the development of the way he uses his muscles. We were told he had cerebral palsy when he was about 3-months-old but knew well before then that he was at risk for having developmental delays. So, his entire life, we have been giving him as many opportunities as we possibly can to give him the best chance of being able to use his body successfully. We have worked with numerous physical, occupational, and speech therapists both at home and away from home – and still do.
Emmett is actively monitored by feeding specialists, high risk, orthopedic, rehabilitation, and developmental specialists, among other doctors. He has also tried Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy, horseback riding therapy, aquatic therapy, and other alternative methods of treatment for his condition.
However, about a year ago something dramatically different was beginning to take shape. Two years earlier, I had seen a special on 60 Minutes that featured a remarkable program in Hungary that was dedicated to helping kids like Emmett. In a lively school setting, the children were happily learning along with others how to do things like walk or dress themselves. We would have so loved to take Emmett to Hungary for this program, but it was just not possible for our family. In July of 2006, I was reminded of this program and began searching for it online. When I couldn’t find a website for Conductive Education in Hungary, I just thought I’d take a chance and type “Conductive Education Cincinnati” into Google’s search engine. I could not believe my eyes when I found what was to be Cincinnati’s very own school opening up in just a couple of months. I immediately enrolled Emmett.
I have never been happier with any other program or type of therapy. Conductive Education has changed our son’s life in a long-term way that I am so grateful for. The conductors teach small groups of children to use their bodies to become more independent through meaningful repetition, song, and peer motivation. It has been incredible for Emmett’s attitude and interest in life. He is so excited to do new things like helping to dress himself, use the potty, do crafts, make choices, pull himself up to standing, take steps, roll over, etc., etc., etc. The value of having a daily routine that is centered around HIS achievement of independence is incalculable.
The consistency of the program has helped Emmett feel he has a stable place to accomplish his goals. Once a week or every other week for an hour with traditional therapy didn’t offer this at all. Another program we had tried previously offered consistency, but it wasn’t enjoyable for him – and all the work was on me. Conductive Education is smart. The children are motivated by each other – they are all working together. The conductors make what could be repetitive tasks fun. They sing songs and have different activities each day. In my experience, the conductors have been absolutely brilliant, very respectful of me and my child, and also very loving. You know when you’ve found a good thing.
In one year of attending the Conductive Learning Center, Emmett has begun to say a few words, clearly make choices and express his understanding using his hands, take many steps with upper body support, use the potty, eat more than he ever has, and much more. We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of Donna Speigel’s, conductors, and staff.
Conductive education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges.
The critical element of conductive education is the integration of motor-skill development with cognitive and emotional-skill development within a group setting. Most children with motor challenges do not learn exactly the same way as their peers. Conductive education helps these students build their cognitive skills and helps them learn to use alternate strategies to learn. This total approach to learning and training targets children under the age of six, when the potential for impact is greatest, and when they can be prepared for the traditional classroom.
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The Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati is a Not-for-Profit Corporation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code. The School offers conductive education methodology as an educational option to students diagnosed with neurological based motor impairments, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges.
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Address: 325 W 19th St, Covington, KY 41014
School Hours: 9am - 2:30pm