"Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world." - Todd Littleton
"I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see." - Anon
"Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all." - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
"Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut
"Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals." - Jim Forest
"People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." - Anon
"... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all." - R.E. Slater
"An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst." - R.E. Slater
"Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics." - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
"Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated." - Emil Brunner
"Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rob Bell - Nooma: 008 | Dust

Conductive Learning Center: Children with Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida


80-90% of CLC's Child Population has Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida or Traumatic Brain Injury



To provide opportunities for preschool and school age children with motor challenges to achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence through the application and promotion of conductive education principles.


Children and families can be taught problem solving skills that will allow them to develop unconventional ways of accomplishing motor tasks that families never thought their child would do. A child can gain control of their movement, increase strength resulting in an increased level of independence. Because Conductive Education promotes development of the whole person, including physical, social, cognitively and psychological aspects, this intervention is not viewed as a traditional therapy but rather a multi disciplinary approach to improving the quality of life for children and their families.




A Mission of  the Heart  What is Conductive Education?  FAQ



Chuck and Sue Saur give new meaning to parental involvement in education. With an unwavering commitment to their son, Dan, who has cerebral palsy, the Grand Rapids couple made conductive education a reality for Michigan children with motor impairments by working to establish what is now known as the Conductive Learning Center (CLC).

Conductive education is a Hungarian-based educational program for children with motor disorders like cerebral palsy and spina bifida. In 1995, an announcement about a conductive education camp in Ontario, Canada, dramatically altered the direction of the Saurs’ lives. They returned from the camp with a renewed vision of increased physical independence for Dan, who uses a wheelchair.

The Saurs’ vision fueled a grassroots effort in the late 90′s to bring conductive education to West Michigan and earned the support of Aquinas College, a private, liberal arts college in Grand Rapids. Aquinas is the only institution in the United States that offers a POHI methodology teacher training program utilizing the conductive education method. The Conductive Learning Center was established as the labschool for these prospective teachers to do their practical training.

Chuck Saur attributed a recent accomplishment by his son to conductive education. Saur admits he was caught off guard when Dan spoke his first clear words asking, “Where’s mom?” “I stopped what I was doing to have a conversation with Dan,” he says. “It was the beginning of a whole new father-son relationship that changed the way I looked at him.”

In 1995, the Saurs took a second mortgage to finance an intensive six-month program for Dan in Budapest. Sue Saur traveled with both of her sons to Hungary, where she couldn’t speak the language. She recalls carrying her lanky, fifty-five pound son up and down the stairs when the elevator didn’t work.

With Dan immersed in conductive education in Budapest, Chuck Saur knocked on doors in West Michigan garnering support for a pilot program. The dean of education at Aquinas College, was willing to listen. In 1997, the Saurs joined forces with other parents of motor-impaired children to create the first summer program in conductive education in Michigan.

The Saurs worked even harder once they won the support of powerful friends. Keith Konarska, former director of special education for Kent Intermediate School District (KISD), and Kathy Barker, former director of special education for Grand Rapids Public Schools and the new director of the Aquinas -Peto School (CLC) for Conductive Education, became involved. The additional support of the past president of Aquinas, Dr. Harry Knopke, President of Aquinas College, further solidified Aquinas’s commitment to creating an international center for conductive education. Today, under the joint direction of Aquinas College and the Peto Institute in Budapest, the Saurs’ dream has a respected educational backing and a solid research component. The Conductive Learning Center (CLC) has served hundreds of children with motor impairments since it’s inception back in 1997.

He remembers the exact moment Dan first cast his own fishing rod into the lake, a task Chuck Saur had always performed for his son. Today Dan can write his own name and take steps with support. He can sit up in bed and rub the sleep from his eyes with his once rigid hands. He verbally joins in his bedtime prayer.

“It’s hard to explain the magnitude of what conductive education has meant to our family,” Chuck Saur explained. “We’ve gone from thinking about what we can do for Dan to celebrating what he can do for himself, and that difference is huge.”

This article first ran in the November 1999 issue of C.E.N. Newsline and was written by Judy Winter, author of Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs.


Fifth Third River Bank Run Charity Partner
Conductive Learning Center




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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions


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

Parents are provided an environment to learn with their child in the Parent & Child program, which is for the youngest children. Overall the decision to have parents in the classroom, made by the conductor team includes several factors, such as the age of the child and the child’s/family’s needs.

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 care givers involved with the child. This helps insure continuity and continuation of 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 the 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 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.

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 Peto 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 Peto Institute parallels many parts of what physical, occupational and speech therapists receive.

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

Yes. Please go to the “Success Stories” area of the web site. This section 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 has the only program directed and supervised by the International Peto 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 collaborates with Mary Free Bed Hospital in providing services to children enrolled at Conductive Learning Center.

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

Yes, many of our out-state and out-of-state parents stay at the local Ronald McDonald House or area hotels, offering discounted rates, while their child attends a scheduled intensive session of four to eight weeks in length.

The Conductive Learning Center
of Grand Rapids, 2009