Conductive education is a lifelong learning process that does not only take place in the institute, but also continues in the home environment. Many of our patients return to the Budapest institute several times a year from their childhood onwards. We would like to share the experiences of a few of our regular participants here.
I learnt essential life skills, how to do things for myself so I could live a more independent life. The Pető Institute and Conductive Education gave me the confidence and belief in myself that anything is possible and I can do anything I put my mind to. It also gave me a community and support network of conductors and fellow attendees with disabilities. My disability doesn’t define me.
I am 31 years old I’ve been doing and participating in conductive education since 1997. I started it in Washington DC in the Peto Institute’s summer camp where I worked with Pál Csuka. After that I participated in interval conductive education for many years. I started the life modeling program in 2010.
I participated in the life modeling program for four years 1100 nights. it helped me specially socially and do use it in every day situations to be independent.At first it was weird because I came from a different culture so I needed time to adapt I simultaneously went to university and finish English literature and American Studies what is difficult to focus on the studies and stay fit and plan ahead. I recommend this program for the people who are want to be independent and they are handicapped. Conducive education helps me to stay fit physically and mentally . In the beginning I hated it but in the long term I felt the profits of the problem it help me live life with my small family.
I got to the Peto Institute when I was 3 years old, then my mother found out this institute from a neighbor whose daughter was also sick, I didn’t perceive it as a treatment or therapy, I really liked going there for me, it was like a kindergarten / school, but on the contrary, if subjects are taught in schools then here they learn how to improve their condition here I almost learned to crawl to get up holding the wall bars at the moment I also undergo my treatment in Peto from time to time, if possible, we coming here.
I am on good terms with conductors you can even call them friends because if it’s difficult for you to do some kind of exercise, they will help or listen to what’s stopping you. I really fell in love with this institute and Hungary itself, because I have a lot of good memories here, you can already call it like a second home.
21 years ago I was in Budapest with my mother. 27.08.2001 had been a horrible day for me. My mother wanted me to get treatment at the Peto Institute in Budapest. On August 27, I was evaluated by a lady to see what condition I was in. Back then I was walking in my wheelchair outside. As the wheelchair did not fit in the tram, I had to walk to the institute. The road was a nightmare because we had to change the tram for a bus and I had to walk. At the bus stop, I simply sat on my jus, my waters were flowing over me. When I got to Peto, I was almost passed out. I thought the rating was a big piece of crap. The most annoying thing was that I didn’t understand anything. My revolt against my mother’s desire to go to Hungary was greater. I was very angry, I felt it was a big waste of time. I will never forget the day of 28.08.2001. The way to the institute was just as difficult, I felt like screaming with nerves. We were late, we arrived minutes after the scheduled time to go to therapy. We didn’t even know how to say sorry. I was dead tired, I didn’t understand anything, but something magical had started to happen. A person who always had a smile on his face patiently checked me to see what movements I could do. I had never seen such gentleness in a therapist although we did not understand each other verbally, I immediately felt that this person perfectly understood how I am and what my needs are. For the first time in my life someone was trying to find out what my needs were just sitting with me without my mother being involved. I left the institute happy, I felt like I met the therapist I had dreamed of meeting since childhood.
21 years ago I was in Budapest with my mother. 27.08.2001 had been a horrible day for me. My mother wanted me to get treatment at the Peto Institute in Budapest. On August 27, I was evaluated by a lady to see what condition I was in. Back then I was walking in my wheelchair outside. As the wheelchair did not fit in the tram, I had to walk to the institute. The road was a nightmare because we had to change the tram for a bus and I had to walk. At the bus stop, I simply sat on my jus, my waters were flowing over me. When I got to Peto, I was almost passed out. I thought the rating was a big piece of crap. The most annoying thing was that I didn’t understand anything. My revolt against my mother’s desire to go to Hungary was greater. I was very angry, I felt it was a big waste of time. I will never forget the day of 28.08.2001. The way to the institute was just as difficult, I felt like screaming with nerves. We were late, we arrived minutes after the scheduled time to go to therapy. We didn’t even know how to say sorry. I was dead tired, I didn’t understand anything, but something magical had started to happen. A person who always had a smile on his face patiently checked me to see what movements I could do. I had never seen such gentleness in a therapist although we did not understand each other verbally, I immediately felt that this person perfectly understood how I am and what my needs are. For the first time in my life someone was trying to find out what my needs were just sitting with me without my mother being involved. I left the institute happy, I felt like I met the therapist I had dreamed of meeting since childhood. Until then I thought that therapist would only be present in my dreams. Conductive education therapy at the Peto Institute changed my life radically today I am a person who is able to find solutions to any problem. I was educated to remove the words I can’t, it’s impossible from my mind, from my vocabulary and to enjoy life as it is all disabled people with motor problems should have conductive education therapy… I confess that many times I lay in bed and imagined that I would meet a therapist with whom I could communicate, tell him what was on my mind, ask him about my physical problems, tell me what to do to succeed to overcome my fear. I knew I could walk alone, but I didn’t know how to do it. I would just pass out with fear if I tried something new. I told you that on the first day of treatment at the Peto Institute, a very gentle and smiling person checked me to see what movements I could do, that is, he made me do a few movements with my legs, he saw how I turned from side to side on a bed specially made of wood, how do I get up on my ass on the bed, how do I get up from.on the bed and from the chair to the feet, how I put on my shoes and how I tie my slippers, what I can do with my right hand which is very affected by paralysis, how I walk, how I take steps and what balance I have when I hit obstacles all this was verified without me being forced to do anything. Everything was very natural. The way he approached me impressed me a lot. .although I didn’t really understand the Hungarian language, I felt that he understood by the way I was moving my true needs and what my mental state was at the time.The next day I really started doing conductive education (conductive pedagogy in Romanian, therapists are called conductors = conductors). I was put in the easiest group with seemingly easy exercises for legs and hands done at a slow pace (conductive pedagogy is done in a group with people who have a similar health condition). One or more conductors participate depending on the needs of the patients those who could not do the exercises are helped. There is a main conductor who dictates the exercises that the patients must do in a certain rhythm (the rhythm is maintained by counting to 5)In this group, the patients must repeat after the conductor what exercise they are going to do in order to realize what they are doing I didn’t understand the language, nor was I used to doing exercises like that. He had to stay by my side all the time to show me and help me .I felt like a baby being taught how to move. At every movement I was asked if I was in pain. I felt like laughing because I had never been told anything about pain. In Romania pain is something normal, it is part of the treatment. If it doesn’t hurt, it means the exercises are not good, this is how people think at the present time in our country For every small success there was a big celebration. I had a hard time getting used to this approach because in Romania nobody praises you, there is always something to comment on, but the most important thing was that they understood my problem with fear and did their best to make me feel safe every time. He showed me that I can’t suffer anything if I stand, that he is by my side. .I learned how to stand up correctly and how to sit straight, how to walk step by step slowly leaning on each leg. With a lot of patience and a lot of gentleness, he showed me how to do it without being forced in a particular way. Everything was done with a smile on his face. At the Peto Institute I encountered something very unusual. There are special programs just for hands. There are two programs of educational exercises (an easier group and a harder one). I was amazed when I entered the hall and saw only tables and chairs, objects and trellises for 2 hours you sit at the table or stand next to the table and do numerous exercises with your hands. Because of the school, my right hand was deformed, it was crooked at the wrist because when I was writing very, very much, I let my hand down by my side my mother always told me to take care of my hand because I would be sorry. That’s exactly how it was. I woke up as an adult with a very spastic and underdeveloped crooked hand like my left hand was. I don’t know what I could do as a child without the help of a therapist When I was going to recovery, the hand was not even taken into account. At Peto I learned to move my hand without forcing it in a particular way. If I force it, it tenses up more. It was incredible for me to see how the guides manage to relax my hand and straighten it without pain. It seemed like a miracle. One day we managed to speak with a translator. They really wanted to know more about me. It was the first time in my life that a therapist wanted to talk to me directly. I told them that I am in the 10th grade at high school, that I travel in a cart. .at school, my colleagues help me move to various laboratories, etc. What I will never forget was one question: What do I want from Peto? Even now I don’t understand why I answered the question like that.I said that I want to be able to go to the toilet alone and to be able to get water to drink alone. It’s like I said I’m dreaming this. At that moment it seemed impossible to achieve the conductor told me so, tie a thick string from your room to the bathroom, tie it tightly and try to hold on to the string to go to the toilet alone. He said something else, to show my colleagues something new. .in the 4 weeks I stayed then I learned the best way to stand up and to convince myself that I don’t suffer anything if I stay standing alone. I learned that I can help myself from anything around me if I lose my balance .When the train started from the Budapest station, I started screaming, I didn’t want to leave, it was very painful not to be able to go to the place where people understood me best and were able to help me. I didn’t know if I was going back. When I got home, I was already a different person, my brain had been washed. My way of thinking was different. I was determined to do everything I learned at the institute. I tied the string as I was told. Although I was very afraid to hold on to her and walk. .but when I panicked it reminded me of how it looked to me to walk. My water was leaking, but I kept going to the bathroom. Still standing up to go to the bathroom and having to take off my pants, I learned to stand without someone next to me.I no longer kept my hand by my side. I tied 2 vertuses to a wooden stick (one vertuse at one end of the stick and another at the other end) to keep the stick fixed. When I wrote I put my hand on the stick. This is what I should have done from the first grade, but who will teach me?The time had come for me to be nervous about going to school in a cart. I kept saying I wanted to walk to high school. At that time there was no public transport to the high school where I studied. One day I convinced my mother to go for a walk.My brother carried the empty wheelchair and my mother kept me walking. I will never forget that day. I made an hour to school of course the waters were running on me, the soles of my feet made living flesh, but nothing mattered, I had managed to walk on my feet for the first time in my life at school in 10 years. Everyone froze when they saw me, my colleagues were happy, then I missed a week because of leg injuries, but I was already in the ninth heaven of joy. I understood that for now it was too much for me to walk, but I was convinced that the time would come when I would give up the wheelchair for good.