All FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to stay with my child in the classroom?

The CLC facilitates an environment for parents to learn with their child in the Caregiver and Child program, which is for the youngest children. Overall, the decision to have parents in the classroom is made by the conductor team and includes several factors, such as the age of the child and desires of the child/family.

What can I expect my child to achieve in the program?

The program works with the whole child; that is, the child’s developmental needs are addressed from a cognitive, psychological, emotional and physical perspective. After the child is assessed by a conductor, parents, the child and the conductor decide on specific goals for the child. Each child’s route and timeline toward maximum independence depends on many factors, including the support of the family, the child’s motivation, the type and severity of the disability and the age of the child. At the end of the session extensive reports are produced detailing methods and strategies used with the child. Each activity is described and photo documented. These reports are sent home for use with all caregivers involved with the child. This helps insure continuity and continuation of conductive education (CE) principles even after the child is discharged from the program.

Why does the program use a group setting?

Conductive education uses the dynamics of group interaction. This setting provides the opportunity for children to motivate and learn from each other, while in an age appropriate setting that allows social interaction.

Do I have to continue with exercises while at home?

Parents should encourage the child to use the movements learned in class that improve the everyday functioning of the child. An example of these life skills would be for parents to give the child the opportunity to use silverware when eating, instead of a parent feeding the child.

What specialized training do the conductors have? Are they therapists?

Conductors have been trained at Aquinas College in a POHI teacher program or at the International Pető Institute in Budapest, Hungary. These teachers all have elementary education and special education credentials, which are recognized in the U.S. While the conductors are not credentialed therapists, the training received at Aquinas and the Pető Institute parallels much of the education of physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

Are there parents available who can give specifics about their child?

Yes. If you would like to connect with parents whose children have attended CLC in the past, please contact Program Director Andrea Swiger, to get linked up and hear what they have to say about their experience at CLC. 616-575-0575

You can also visit our Success Stories page which provides a series of letters from parents speaking about their child and the program.

Is the program available in other states?

Yes, there are other programs in the U.S., but the Conductive Learning Center of North America has the only program directed and supervised by the International Pető Institute.

Are any doctors supporting this program?

Yes, there are doctors in the U.S., who have provided written support for conductive education. Locally, the Conductive Learning Center of North America collaborates with Mary Free Bed Hospital in providing services to children enrolled at Conductive Learning Center of North America.

What type of disability does this program best help?

Conductive education works best with about 80-90% of the child population that has cerebral palsy, spina bifida or traumatic brain injury.

What keeps children motivated for 3 to 6 hours a day?

The program is planned daily with age appropriate academic themes and motivation techniques of repetition, music, singing, and game-like activities in a group setting. A child’s educational environment includes daily living skills of eating, toileting, putting on shoes and socks, etc. Children respond positively to these activities.

If I don’t live near Grand Rapids, can I still participate in the program?

Yes, many of our out-of-state families stay at area hotels, offering discounted rates, or find rentals using AirBnB, while their child attends a scheduled intensive session of four to eight weeks in length. Please check our Housing Options page for more information.