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Improve the quality of life for children and adults with motor disabilities caused by cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, stroke or other conditions by developing motor skills through Conductive Education.
GaitWay was formed in 1998 in an effort to bring Conductive Education to Arizona. Dr. David Rhea, M.D. OB/GYN, and his wife Mary Hare, R.N., B.S.N., M.S.N., formed GaitWay after their granddaughter, Shelby, was born with cerebral palsy. Along with their daughter, they searched for a more effective and intensive program to help Shelby learn. In 1997, after three years of traveling to Conductive Education summer camps, they brought an instructor to Tucson to provide a summer camp to local families. Since 1998, GaitWay has continued to grow.
Conductive Education (CE), often described as "rehabilitation through learning," is a unique, intensive group method of special education that expects active involvement from the participants as they learn functional, daily-living skills -- such as feeding one’s self, drinking from a cup, and moving from place to place -- so they may live richer, more interactive, and more independent lives.
Music, songs, and rhymes are used to help with memorization of steps of a task or to help individuals monitor their posture, movement and the ability to focus and concentrate. Individuals acquire improved strength, movement, coordination, and self-esteem.
GaitWay is the only program of its kind in the Southwest. It is unique among all motor disability programs in that it provides the maximum use of sensory education and specific physical activity for extended periods of time in a peer group setting. Although standard physical and occupational therapies are beneficial, Conductive Education provides the intensity and group interaction needed for effective learning and socialization.