Imagine being told by doctors and therapists that your child may never walk or even stand when what you desperately want to hear are words of hope and encouragement.
Now, imagine you have found a program that makes the impossible, possible; and you witness your child take his first independent steps. This is the journey of our founders, Joe & Vicky Raymond, who established the Conductive Education Center of Orlando (CECO) in 2001, transforming the lives of their son, Joseph, and other children with motor disabilities. Joseph, like many children at CECO, was born three months premature with Cerebral Palsy and other complications.
Mr. Raymond was like many frustrated parents of a child with motor disabilities: he was tired of hearing the doctors and therapists tell him what his child would never be able to do. Joseph’s medical conditions opened Mr. Raymond up to a whole new world that he had only been exposed to as an outsider. After his son was born, he saw children with motor disabilities as gifted, talented, smart, funny, caring, compassionate boys and girls eager to grow and learn, and he wanted to make a difference in their lives.
As Joseph grew older and began to experience complications associated with his premature birth, Mr. Raymond became more and more frustrated as he learned the school systems were not equipped to deal with his son’s needs. Therapies, only offered a couple of visits per week, were not nearly enough to see sustainable results. When Joseph was nearly four years old, Mr. Raymond learned from his wife’s family about a program called Conductive Education that was being taught at the Peto Institute in Budapest, Hungary.
Mr. Raymond had finally found a program that could make the impossible, POSSIBLE. He vowed to make a lifelong commitment to helping his son and children with motor disabilities become independent and reach their full potential.
He started by bringing a conductor—an individual trained in Conductive Education—over from Hungary to conduct the first class of five children for six weeks in a classroom provided by a local church. All the parents helped out with the equipment and supplies needed to start the program. In just a matter of weeks, parents began to witness dramatic changes in each of their children. That first class was such a success that the Raymonds immediately began a year round program.