At CECO, the Impossible Is Possible!
The Conductive Education Center of Orlando (CECO) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Winter Park, Florida. CECO’s mission is to transform the lives of children and adults with neurological motor disabilities.
Our purpose is to make it possible for the individuals we serve to achieve their greatest level of independence through Conductive Education, which integrates the development of physical, cognitive, and social skills. The impact our Center’s programs have on the individuals we serve, their families and the community is profound.
Since 2001, CECO has served thousands of individuals in this underserved population through our programs.
CECO is a unique center for Conductive Education in the United States, offering many relevant programs for the entire lifetime of the individuals we serve with neurological motor disabilities. We feature a unique, full-day school program recognized by the Department of Education as a private school of choice for students ages 5-22. This program integrates both conductive and special education in addition to our many other program offerings including Youngsters, Walking Challenge, After School Programs, Part-Time Adults, Full-Time Adults, Parkinson’s, Summer Camps and Block Programs. Approximately 35% of CECO’s students and families travel or relocate from across the country or the globe to attend.
CECO’s programs transform the lives of families by making it possible for individuals with motor disabilities to develop skills for increased health and independence; skills such as sitting, gripping, toileting, speaking, self-feeding and walking.
In each program, participants work one-on-one with a Conductor, Special Education Teacher, and assistant to reach individually tailored developmental goals. Progress is monitored through comprehensive skills evaluations. The result is increased independence and effective education for children and adults with motor disabilities. After attending CECO, some will leave walking when they never have before, and others will leave with a smile on their face having learned other necessary skills, all while having FUN! Whatever the milestone, we celebrate because the impact of each of these accomplishments is immeasurable to the individual and their family.
Our Center consists of 14,500 square feet of custom developed space for our unique services, including seven spacious and specially outfitted classrooms with specialized equipment designed to promote learning. One mother with a teaching background was touring CECO for the first time and said, “This looks like a classroom!” She was overjoyed to have found a place where her daughter would be happy and able to learn in an environment that did not feel clinical.
With 4,000 children and adults living with motor disabilities in range of our facility, CECO is only serving a fraction of potential beneficiaries. CECO’s vision is to take our conductive education programs into the Central Florida community, making them available for any child or adult who can benefit from the program. The most significant way to reach Central Florida families with life-changing programs is outreach: awareness, activity, and advocacy. These are much needed; while CECO has been in existence for over 17 years, we are more widely known around the world than in our home city of Orlando.
History of CECO
CECO was founded by a local family in Winter Park, the Raymonds, whose son Joseph, who was born three months premature with Cerebral Palsy and other complications. The doctors said that Joseph might never walk, talk or stand, but like all CECO parents, they believed their son was talented, smart, funny, caring, compassionate and eager to grow and learn. They vowed to do everything in their power to help Joseph become independent and reach his full potential. The constant rush between therapies had them looking for a better option for their family’s needs. Just before Joseph’s fourth birthday, his parents learned about a program in Budapest, Hungary called Conductive Education. This program was making it possible for children with motor disabilities to move beyond the expectations of doctors, producing outcomes that went beyond what was believed to be possible. That summer, they held a 6-week pilot program with five children in Winter Park, Florida. As the weeks progressed, parents saw dramatic changes in their children and the Raymonds made a lifelong commitment to helping children with motor disabilities reach their full potential by founding The Conductive Education Center of Orlando.
About Conductive Education
Conductive Education was developed in the late 1940s by Hungarian professor András Pető, whose methods are based on the premise that individuals with motor disorders not only need treatment for medical conditions but often also face significant learning problems that require special education. Conductive Education combines these two elements, physical and cognitive learning through active participation and repetition needed for these students to make the connections needed to learn a skill. Conductive Education resembles an integrated approach of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Special Education and Social Education. The developmental accomplishments of Conductive Education’s first participants had never been seen before. Since that time, parent-driven initiatives have advanced the spread of this methodology. Today, Conductive Education centers are widely available in the UK, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, many of which are funded by their governments.