#CCHACares June 2022: Jackson Center for Conductive Education

POST DATE: 6.23.22

We don’t know about you, but when we think about summertime, we think about kids. For most, it’s a time for long days outside, playing in the sprinkler or at the neighborhood pool, and a time to hit the road for summer vacation. For some kids, it’s a time to gain new levels of independence and mobility.

At age 3, a very special Hoosier - Jackson DePoy - participated in a six-week summer session at The Center for Independence through Conductive Education in Chicago—the closest Conductive Education center to Indiana. Jackson has cerebral palsy and his family wanted to do everything possible to help maximize their son Jackson’s potential. The Center for Independence helped Jackson blossom, and the DePoys recognized that other Hoosier families could benefit, too. They began raising funds to open a Conductive Education center closer to home, and less than one year later, The Jackson Center opened and began serving children from throughout central Indiana.

Conductive education is about gaining independence through guided activity, encouragement and peer interaction. It involves a system of learning that improves motor skills for those with motor disorders resulting from damage or disease to the central nervous system. The goal of all conductive education is to give a child with motor disabilities greater independence in their daily activities and life.

Taught in small group settings, Conductive Education uses music, repetition, encouragement and equipment that aids in movement to help teach basic functional movements.

Jackson center 1

Conductors (also called Movement specialists), or specially-trained physical or occupational therapists, work with participants to teach them skills that promote independence in self-care and mobility. As a result, each child is taught skills that help develop purposeful movement. Throughout the process, children gain self-esteem and achieve academic skills. Conductive Education addresses skills in mobility, dressing, eating and personal hygiene as well as playing and learning. In the secure and positive environment of Conductive Education, children are encouraged to express their creativity, be ambitious about what they can achieve and grow their skills for more everyday independence.

The benefits of conductive learning are life changing for most. Conductive Education allows a child with motor disabilities to practice and learn new cognitive organizational skills in a motivating, compassionate environment. Children are encouraged to use active problem-solving to direct their movements. Over time the child’s brain creates new connections between thought and physical action. The emotional security and positive atmosphere of Conductive Education classes at the Jackson Center allow the child to express individual creativity and build their self-esteem. As they observe other children solving similar problems, they are encouraged to become ambitious, seek help when it is needed and explore individual strategies for problem-solving.

Jackson center 2

“We are blessed to have provided services to children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders from throughout central Indiana over the past 17 years. Our goal is always for kids to achieve their personal best – which varies from child to child as no two kids with cerebral palsy are alike,” says Melanie DePoy, Development Director. “Whatever achievements they make at the Jackson Center – whether it is sitting independently, feeding themselves, achieving the ability to walk, or maybe learning to read, improves their overall quality of life and that of their family or caregivers.”

We have an amazing team that works with our kids, but we couldn’t do it without the support of donors who either make direct donations to our program,or participate in our fundraising efforts. Their support allows us to provide services at rates that most families can afford. As funds allow, we also provide scholarships to some families for whom the fees are challenging.”

Want to know more about the amazing team behind Jackson Center? They are believers, who refuse to stop searching for brighter futures for their children. They believe children can accomplish more than is sometimes expected, and that hard work pays off. They believe that children are whole human beings who deserve the opportunity to achieve independence, and that their hopes for children are within reach, rather than just something meant for dreams. They demonstrate each day their belief that life is full of possibilities, for one and all.

CCHA encourages you to donate to the Jackson Center, should you have the desire and means to do so. It is an organization whose work means a great deal to the firm.

Donations help the team meet their goal of providing service to children at an affordable rate, helping make a difference in the life of each student at the Center. The Jackson Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all donations to the Jackson Center are tax-deductible. The Jackson Center is funded through a combination of fees for services, charitable contributions and fundraising.

We also encourage you to participate in the Jackson Center’s Annual Golf Outing, on August 25 from 10:30 am - 6:00 pm, at Hickory Stick Golf Club. You can learn more about the event here.