The Hamilton-Wentworth Stroke Recovery Association in conjunction with the Ontario March of Dimes held its first session on Conductive Education in Hamilton. This was held on May 15th to June 3rd 1995, a three-week pilot project: the first for Stroke Survivors in North America. The test results are now being compiled. Conductive Education was developed in Hungary in 1945 our of the work of Andras Peto who died in 1967. It has been known in professional circles in the West but serious and extensive international interest began only in the eighties.

Positive Strokes

Cliff Goodall was Chairman of the Stroke Recovery Association of Ontario. Following the Toronto Conference he came out very strongly for Conductive Education in the rehabilitation of people who have had strokes.

The Stroke Recovery Association, and society in general, is on notice that change in our rehabilitative program for stroke survivors is upon us!

We believe that the Conductive Education, properly implemented, will contribute in large measure to an improved quality of life ‘beyond the hospital door’. Paramount to this ambitious and proven plan is funding for the training of conductors and suitable facilities in which to work.

The number of candidates in the Stroke Recovery Association is not the problem. It is the time frame and the necessary human resources needed to meet the challenge.

What is Conductive Education?

Conductive Education is not a treatment or therapy and offers no cure. It is a system of special education for children and adults with motor disorders.

When people first become aware of Conductive Education, they usually emphasize the system’s apparent success at teaching children and adults to develop greater bodily control. Although this is a central concern, as a system of education (rather than simply exercises or training) it not only aims to improve motor skills and functions, but also to transform development as a whole including emotional and intellectual aspects.


According to the Hungarian founders of the system, the goal of Conductive Education is an ‘orthofunctioning personality’. The precise meaning of the term ‘orthofuntioning’ continues to be a subject for debate. But it is clear that Conductive Education aims to enable children and adults to change their outlook and approach to problem solving. By experiencing success, they discover that they can find their own solutions to many problems of daily living.

Consequently, they not only develop greater bodily control, but they also become more active and self-assured. For many children and adults, this results in their being able to take part in school, work and personal and social situations more independently, without the help of mechanical and other aids. The process of active learning to achieve these goals is known as ‘orthofunctioning.’


Conductive Education does not depend on the familiar range of professionals often found in services for disabled people in the Western World.

In contrast, its successful practice relies on a single professional, specialist teacher called a conductor who takes responsibility for all aspects of physical, intellectual, social and personal development of the adults and children with whom they work. It is the conductor’s responsibility to ensure that the children or adults meet with success and feel that their work is worthwhile and has obvious purpose. They do not take over or do anything for learners which they might do for themselves.

They are trained to offer clear guidance, support and as sense of direction to adults and children with motor disorders. Teams of conductors work with children and adults in groups. Initial professional training takes four years.

Motor Disorders

Motor disorders are problems of controlling bodily movements, due to certain conditions of the brain or spine, including in childhood cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and in adulthood, Parkinson’s disease, multiple scierosis and strokes.

Conductive Education is for children and adults with motor disorders. Some orthopaedic and other conditions also effect movement, but Conductive Education cannot help.

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