“Learning How To Learn”

by Br. Romanito Salada, OH, RSW

Conductive Education is a learning system for people with physical/multiple disabilities of neurological origin. The system, pioneered in Hungary by a physician, Professor Andras Peto (1893-1967) approaches physical rather than a treatment perspective.

Children learn to function by integrating cofnitive, emotional, social, sensory motor and communication skills into a meaningful whole.

The central objective of this method is to enable each child to develop what Peto termed, an “Orthofunctional” Personality. (Ortho’ / Greek / = correct).

An Orthofunctional person is characterized by a general capacity for adaptation or learning, which enables him throughout life to adjust more comprehensively to his natural and social environment and on that general capacity his lifelong development depends.

Conductive Education incorporates the specialized needs of students with motor disorder into a structure with strategies focusing on learning to solve problems, accept responsibility, interact and communicate while learning to function in daily life.

This process facilitates a student to develop a positive approach to learning, have an understanding of their own potential and an expectation of, and strategies for, achieving aims. This is “empowering” a student to actively participate in life.

Conductive Education focuses on the total development of the child encompassing every aspect of the personality.

In the Philippines, Bahay San Rafael is the first institution  to  apply  this system of education for children with cerebral palsy. The Brothers of Saint John of God are the ones implementing the method by being the facilitators and conductors of the said approach.

Our special children in Bahay San Rafael are growing very fast, so that the Brothers and our staff are continuously updating our knowledge of the conductive education method by taking courses and attending seminars and training here and abroad to be able to meet the needs of each child.

For years now, we continue applying the method of Conductive Education because we found it effective in helping the children and adults with cerebral palsy become functional and independent.