MOVE began in
  Bakersfield, California in
  1985.Kern County
  Superintendent of
  Schools special
  education teacher
  Linda Bidabe, with a
  team of special
  education staff and
  a physical therapist,
  began a study to
  assess the condition
  of students with
  severe disabilities.
  Today MOVE has
  trained over 25,000
  people. Curriculum
  is translated in
  15 languages, and
  MOVE exists in
  more than 20

Description of the MOVE Program

MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) was originally created in the late 1980s by Linda Bidabe, a special education teacher working for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office in California. The program was designed to meet the needs of students with severe physical disabilities in the public school system. The MOVE Program is designed to help families, educators and therapists work together toward goals specific to the individual student needs. MOVE is activity-based giving the student many opportunities to improve sitting, standing and walking skills while participating in activities of daily living. Without a consistent, long term program, students who grow older and larger often lose physical skills and develop deformities. The primary goal of MOVE is to educate all people involved in the life of the individual with disabilities. These people become part of a lifelong teaching and learning process. MOVE includes six steps for testing, setting goals, analyzing needed skills, providing support, reducing support and teaching the skills. MOVE is not a therapy but includes therapy services as a vital part of the program.

Conductive Education was first developed by Dr. Andras Peto in Budapest, Hungary in the late 1940s. At that time, Hungarian children who could not walk independently (without walkers or aides) were not allowed to attend school. Dr. Peto believed that the majority of children with cerebral palsy could learn to walk if they had the proper instruction, motivation and opportunity to practice skills throughout the day. The ultimate goal for these children was to walk without any help or equipment so they could attend normal school. Vygotskian principles of teaching were combined with strong experiential understanding of psychological and other factors in disability. Children lived in an institution and were expected to take responsibility for motor movement from the time they awoke in the morning until the time they went to bed at night. Emphasis was placed on group activities and socialization within the group. Specialists from several disciplines were trained to become conductors and they shared equally in instructing the students. Conductive Education is not a therapy but some conductors have therapy backgrounds.

Traditional motor improvement programs include a wide variety of approaches and service delivery models but share in some basic concepts. Students must qualify for services provided by a specialist such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, adapted physical education and/or special education teacher unless the family is paying for the services. Therapy services are often provided in isolation on a one-to-one basis. School systems use the I.E.P. process to coordinate the services. The therapeutic methods used by the specialist depend upon the experience, training and beliefs of the individual responsible for the program . The most common foundation for therapy is Neuro-developmental Treatment (NDT) developed by Karl and Berta Bobath in 1943. NDT is multifaceted and the implementation of the program is dependent upon how current the training is and the amount of training. In most cases, goals are set by the professional and shared with the parents and other professionals. Gross motor development is often based on the developmental model (skills are taught in the sequence learned by typical infants and children.)

In summary, MOVE and Conductive Education have some differences. MOVE was originally designed for students with severe, multiple disabilities whereas Conductive Education was designed for students with cerebral palsy who can compete in an academic environment. MOVE was designed to be used in public schools with any student who cannot sit, stand or walk regardless of developmental delays or classroom placement. Conductive Education was designed to be used in a segregated environment with students of similar age and limited disabilities. MOVE uses wheel chairs, walkers, standers, and specialized chairs. Conductive Education does not. Basic MOVE training is offered in the cities where the program will be implemented. Conductors are trained in Budapest, Hungary.

MOVE and Conductive Education also have much in common. Both programs teach skills while the students participate in activities of daily living. Both programs expect initiative and active participation from the student. When fully implemented, both programs have high success rates for students who were previously not making progress. Neither program promises a cure or miracles. Both programs strive for the highest degree of independence and dignity for the student involved. Both are educational rather than therapy programs and both are top-down models rather than bottom-up or developmental models.

What program is best for a particular student? Any program that works is the best program. If the program you are using now isn’t producing change in students, then look for a different approach. Virtually every person is capable of learning and improving. We simply need to find the best ways to teach. Components of different programs can be combined to produce the best learning opportunities for individual students. If you are concentrating on teaching a skill to a student, you should see some measurable improvement within a two week period. If you see no change, you need to change your teaching methods. Generally, there are many ways to achieve a goal—in other words, there are many paths to the barn. The bottom line, however, is get to the barn.

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