In celebration of National Conductive Education (CE) Day, we are shining the spotlight on our dedicated conductive education teachers, conductors. Our conductors change lives of children and adults with physical disabilities by inspiring courage, building new and positive habits, and encouraging active problem solving for movement. Through participation in conductive education and working with our conductors, our past and current conductive education participants like Lilly, Nektarios, Usman, or Zachary, experienced greater independence, personal empowerment, and community participation. On this National Conductive Education Day our lead conductors from across Canada wanted to share with you what inspired them to become involved in conductive education and what propels them to become better in their field.
Abigail Payne , Lead Conductor in Alberta: “When I saw conductive education in action for the very first time, I knew right away that I wanted to become a conductor and teach conductive education for the rest of my life. As a physically active individual, I understand and believe in the benefits of movement, how it develops our creativity, keeps us motivated and keeps our minds active. My role as a March of Dimes’ Canada conductor in Alberta allows me to make this program available to children and adults with physical disabilities in Western Canada, and allows me to make sure that theories of movement and conductive education know no bounds. We have received great response to our intensive camps in Edmonton, and we are working with organizations in Calgary to spread the information about CE and how it can help individuals living with physical disabilities, their families, and professional care workers. Every day I am inspired by my conductive education program participants. I learn from them and strive to become a better conductor. I continue to help and advise them, at a level different from other professions, and I take time to learn about their life outside our classroom. Any conductor will tell you, they have the cutest, the best, and the most inspiring participants in their program, and I echo their sentiments. Never will I forget about individuals I have worked with, never will I be OK if we have to say goodbye and never will I forget that they have added to my repertoire of knowledge that I will continue to share, and help others.”
Brittany Jennings, Lead Conductor in Nova Scotia: “I first heard about Conductive Education when a student my mother taught attended the Movement Centre of Manitoba. I loved the positivity and enthusiasm and it was amazing to see each individual overcome challenges with such determination. I decided then that this is what I was meant to do with my life. I am now working as a conductor in Halifax and each day I am inspired by the participants. What I love most about being a conductor is that learning is a two-way street. I learn from my participants each and every day, just as I hope to teach them to discover what independence means to them and how they can achieve it.”
Rachel Salsman, Senior Conductor in Toronto: “I first learned about Conductive Education when a childhood friend (Beth Lynch) received the Transamerica award from March of Dimes Canada and started her conductor training in England. I was just finishing a degree in neuroscience and psychology at Dalhousie University, and found the philosophy and basis of Conductive Education very interesting. The fact that you could change the body by changing the brain wasn’t a new concept to me because of my neuroscience background but the way in which conductors put this theory into practice was producing life changing results. This started me on my path to become a conductor. I was fortunate enough to receive the Transamerica award and after my training I returned to work for March of Dimes Canada, where I have worked for the past 5.5 years, and I am now working as a senior conductor of all CE programs. I have been fortunate enough to work with children and adults as well as seeing how other centers around the world run. I have seen first-hand how Conductive Education has been able to change the lives of not only our participants but also their families. From people learning to roll over in bed independently, walking over uneven ground, doing up their own coat, or transferring from their wheelchair to their bed independently; all of these achievements can have a huge impact on their lives. I feel very lucky to get to see the hard work that my participants and their families put in each and every day.”
Thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with neurological motor disorders, each year. Conductive Education and March of Dimes Canada are here to offer help and support to these individuals and their families. For more information about Conductive Education please visit our website: www.marchofdimes.ca/ce and share with us how conductive education changed your, your child’s, or your family’s life.