EEX 2010 Amanda McCraeamccrae@knights.ucf.edu December 7, 2011
The Conductive Education Center of Orlando (CECO) is located in Winter Park Florida Non-profit organization which offers services and programs to children with motor disabilities. CECO was founded in 2001 by Joe and Vicky Raymond. CECO’s mission is to combine physical and social educational methods to meet the unique needs of children with motor and cognitive disabilities.
Conductive Education Summarized by Conductor, Virag Czibok Conductive Education is a developmental method to teach everyday life skills to children and adults with motor disabilities. It teaches the participants in the program how they can use and improve their skills to achieve their maximum abilities and take an active part in life. It is a lifestyle. Conductive Education covers all aspects of human development— physical, cognitive, communication, language , social and emotional. It is based on motivation.
CECO reaches out to the community by providing services to children and their families. Children are attending a school that meets their specific needs. Parents get the opportunity to watch their children grow physically and academically. I had the opportunity to work with a student one on one in different task such as stretching and massage which prepares the student for the physical tasks of the daily programs. I also helped with a lying program which is designed specifically for children with Cerebral palsy who have difficulty with muscle control of their limbs. CECO’s school day last 6 hours. I volunteered 3 separate days.
I found out about CECO in 2010 from a friend and Iimmediately wanted to work there.I had the amazing opportunity to work at CECO forthe 2010-2011 school year. It was by far thegreatest job I have ever had. The kids at theschool actually urged me to change my major toExceptional Student Education.Unfortunately I was unable to work at CECO for the2011-2012 school year due to conflicts with myschool scheduling but I did not hesitate to go backand volunteer my time with them and see somefamiliar faces.
Students at CECO range from 5 years old to the age of 21. CECO is made up of a diverse student population of 28 students. The majority of the children are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. But a few students are affected by the Autistic Spectrum. From my service hours I worked with a different child each day I volunteered, so I served three different child with disabilities to fulfill my hours.
Before getting involved withCECO I could never imaginemyself working with childrenwith special needs. I thoughtit would be a sad experienceand I would feel sorry forthese kids and their families.But those thoughts andfeelings definitely changed.Once I witnessed how happythese children were and howexcited their parents werewith their progress from dayto day I then realized I couldmake a difference in thelives of children withdisabilities .
I am completing this Community Partners project for class EEX 2010I have gained more knowledge about Individualized Special EducationPrograms (IEP) which is covered in Chapter 2 of our text Introduction toSpecial Education. An IEP is designed specifically for each studentemphasizing the goals that the parents and teachers would like to seethe student reach. At CECO one of the conductors went over a sample IEPwith me so I could see how it is set up and what kind of goals arereasonable for each child.Another topic that I gained more knowledge about was Speech andLanguage impairments which is covered in Chapter 4 of our text. Speechand language impairments can cause many obstacles when it comes tocommunicating with your students. At CECO I was shown different hangsignals that students have learned either and home or at school. It wasreally rewarding to be able to communicate with the students by usinghand signals.One last topic in which I gained more knowledge about due to thisproject was Physical and Health Disabilities, Chapter 9 in the text.Themajority of the students I worked with at CECO were wheeled into inwheelchairs. But at CECO once the students are in the door they aretransferred to walkers or other types of assistant walking devices. Ilearned a lot about the mobility obstacles that the children are facedwith and realized that the stretching and massage that is performed atthe beginning of the school day is very helpful to the students. It helpsloosen their tight muscles and helps them perform better throughout theday.
I better understand the lives of not only the children and theirfamilies but also the individuals that work with children withdisabilities. This experience has been eye opening and has shown mehow rewarding working with people with disabilities is.These experiences will help me with my future professional work inmany different ways. I will not be uncomfortable working with ortalking with children with disabilities. I will be confident whilespeaking with them and now I know that I can talk with them justlike I talk with anyone else. Communicating may be hard at timesbut I have learned different ways of communication in this class andwas able to put them to use out in the community.
Being civically engaged and volunteering doesn’t only help thecommunity but it also help you grow as a person and gain knowledge. It is awesome to volunteer and to lend out a helping hand. Volunteering plays a huge role in society for everyone especiallycitizens with disabilities. For people to have a kind heart and to helpand give to those that are in need is incredible. We all will need help someday. The purpose of volunteering is to reach out and HELP. Service learning as a method of teaching is very effective. Servicelearning puts students out into situation where they will one day beand can help determine if they want to continue their education in the field or change to a different field.This experience definitely motivated me to be more engaged in the future. It made me very excited to finish my degree so I can be ateacher to those with disabilities and make a impact in their lives. I would highly recommend service learning to teacher and students in the future. It is fun and also gets students engaged in real life situations that can be eye opening.
Ireally enjoyed working with children with disabilities. It was a fun and rewarding opportunity.Iplan to continue volunteering at CECO while I study at UCF to get my degree in Exceptional Student Education. I want to work with children with disabilities in public elementary schools. CECO Video