Professor Andras Peto
The founder of conductive education was born on 11th September 1893, in Szombathely, Hungary as a son of a commercial father and a teacher mother.
Having studying medicine at the University in Vienna and working in various hospitals in Austria, Andras Peto became an experienced neurologist. He was a pioneer in working with children with cerebral palsy by using a holistic approach to overcome any difficulties connected to their neurological motor disorders.
Through his professional and personal achievements, Peto have been actively trying to prove that despite the damage, the nervous system still possesses the capacity to form new neural connections and this ability can be mobilised with the help of a properly guided teaching and learning process. That is the reason why Professor Peto called his method Conductive Education (Latin origin).
In the beginning of 1950, Peto founded his first Conductive Education centre which has been a foundation of the current Andras Peto Institute of Conductive Education and College for Conductor Training in Budapest, Hungary.
Peto began to work with children with cerebral palsy, whose condition had been thought incurable and after a year an inspection committee reported that the children’s condition had considerably improved. He provided motor therapy, special gymnastics, breathing exercises and motor education.
“He put ‘health’ and ‘illness’ on another basis. He approached the problem with bio-psycho-social-holistic view. It appears in his terminology too – there is ‘client’ instead of ‘patient’, a dynamic process analysis instead of the causal approach, educative-reeductive learning together instead of therapy-curing, a conductor leads towards independence instead of a doctor-physiotherapist.”*
He worked persistently until his death. He died in the institute in 1967.
Peto’s mission and legacy have been carried through the years and the geographical borders; although the aim remained the same – to show individuals suffering from injuries to the central nervous system and their families the way to a full life and to make society aware of the opportunities to help.
Nowadays, the Andras Peto Faculty of Semmelweis University (also known as Peto Institute) apart from providing conductive care to individuals with motor disorders; also prepares future professionals for implementing and practicing Conductive Education.