Alternative Rehabilitation for Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Post-Stroke, and Brain Injuries Available in North Texas
Independent Steps of Dallas/Fort Worth employs a daily routine of developmental tasks designed to improve practical life skills.
Conductive Education provides holistic approach to improving personal independence
Many children and adults who are afflicted by cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, post-stroke conditions, or brain injury face significant challenges in accomplishing daily tasks. Individuals such as these often desire to improve their personal independence and are searching for new ways to achieve a higher level of rehabilitation than they have experienced through traditional therapies.
Independent Steps, a rehabilitation provider in north Dallas, aims to satisfy this need by offering Conductive Education, an alternative rehabilitation methodology invented in Hungary in the 1950s and widely practiced around the world mostly outside of the U.S. There are only about two dozen practitioners of Conductive Education in the U.S. and so Independent Steps is a unique resource in the southern U.S.
Conductive Education encourages rehabilitation by effectively re-teaching the brain to adopt new neural pathways. It is a holistic approach aimed at the individual's physical, intellectual, and emotional needs that makes it particularly attractive to families who seek to prepare their children for later life. It is not physical therapy, a cure, or a nursing method but rather a practical approach to expanding physical abilities and personal freedom.
In practice, Conductive Education consists of a variety of developmental tasks and exercises that promote a problem-solving work ethic essential for overcoming challenges. These activities allow the individual to progressively learn different motor and functional skills that are applicable to everyday situations. Able-bodied individuals roll, crawl, sit, and walk spontaneously without conscious thought. However, special needs individuals don't have this ability and must instead go through an educational process where they consciously recognize and consider what they are doing and how they are doing it. Eventually, the individual learns to take personal responsibility, focus their attention, solve problems, and act properly under varying circumstances.
The practitioners of Conductive Education are known as "Conductors". These professionals typically hold bachelor's and/or master's level university degrees. Theoretical and practical training in the areas of physiology, biomechanics, neurology, psychology, and education provide a firm foundation for these workers to provide a comprehensive and effective rehabilitative program.
Beata Matko, Independent Steps’ Lead Conductor, received her degree in Conductive Education in 1995 from the Andras Peto Institute, the original home of Conductive Education. Although her practice is generalized, Ms. Matko is specialized in the rehabilitation of subjects having ataxia, deplegia, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, or athetosis. She has worked with literally hundreds of children of all ages having a variety of physical and cognitive conditions.
Independent Steps works directly in the client’s home or at their location in north Dallas. Their practice primarily serves children but the Conductive Education method is also applicable to adults, particularly those with post-stroke conditions and multiple sclerosis. In the case of children, annual group rehabilitation sessions called “camps” are typically planned during the summer months where children of similar ages and conditions can work together and motivate each other.
You can visit www.independentsteps.com for more information. You can also support Independent Steps’ mission by making a donation at www.gofundme.com/IndependentSteps to help defray parents’ costs for the summer camps.
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