Learning your way to independence

- February 25th is National Conductive Education Day across North America

HALIFAX, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Across the continent there are literally millions of children and adults who could be learning how to become more mobile, independent and self-confident with a dynamic learning system called Conductive Education.

Developed over sixty years ago in Hungary by Dr. Andras Peto, Conductive Education (CE) maximizes the independence and mobility of children and adults with disabilities like stroke survivors, and those with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injuries, Parkinson's disease and spina bifida. CE operates from a core belief in neuroplasticity - the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences - and on the premise that no matter how severe the disability, people can learn and improve when they are motivated. Conductive Education helps individuals learn their way to independence.

Conductive Education is widely accepted and practiced with proven success in Europe. Two university programs there graduate qualified Conductor/Teachers. It operates a professional network and is integrated into the community rehabilitation and educational systems in Hungary, Israel, Germany and Great Britain.

May Banting, who is 19 years old and has cerebral palsy, has been taking CE for four years. Her mother Debra points to the noticeable changes in her daughter's strength and balance as strong evidence of the program's ability to change the lives of its participants. "Our experience with CE confirms that individuals with cerebral palsy can continue to achieve real gains into adolescence and adulthood," says Debra.

"The work they do is so functional - May has a great deal more independence as a result - she can transfer out of her wheelchair and is working towards using the washroom on her own. The real benefit of the program is the problem-solving approach - May is much more confident in her ability to make adjustments and learn new movements," she continues.

On Thursday, February 25th, the member organizations that comprise The Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA) will be celebrating Conductive Education Day. ACENA is the representative of the programs and professionals providing Conductive Education services within the North American Continent. ACENA acknowledges and promotes the practice of Conductive Education.

"We are recognizing Conductive Education Day as a way of raising awareness of this very important and innovative program," says Brent Page, Conductive Education Manager for March of Dimes Canada. "It is our hope to expand CE to anyone in Toronto - and moreover, North America, who might be able to reap the benefits from it," he continues.

It is believed that Conductive Education has the potential to make a significant, life-changing impact on the mobility and independence of close to 9 million people in Canada and the United States. Millions more will also indirectly benefit - spouses, parents and caregivers - by having their loved become more independent, motivated and self-sufficient.

To find out if Conductive Education is right for you or a loved one, or for more information on classes, please call 416-425-3463 or e-mail ce@marchofdimes.ca.

March of Dimes Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization providing support services to people with disabilities, their families and caregivers across Canada. For more information please visit www.marchofdimes.ca, e-mail ce@marchofdimes.ca or call 416-425-3463.

The Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA) is the representative of the programs and professionals providing conductive education services within the North American Continent. ACENA acknowledges and promotes the practice of conductive education.

SOURCE March of Dimes Canada

For further information: For further information: Ruth Kapelus, Media and Public Relations, March of Dimes Canada, (416) 425-3463 ext. 7254, rkapelus@marchofdimes.ca, www.marchofdimes.ca

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