Introduction of the actual Assessment


It’s important for the assessment atmosphere to be as relaxed as possible. Anything that reminds the child of an unpleasant experience should be avoided. With a young child, I prefer to sit around a low coffee table or on a couch, where both the child and the person or people accompanying him/her are offered something to drink.

In this relaxed atmosphere, I chat a bit with the caregiver(s). I tell them that I really appreciate their attendance, and that the assessment is a joint enterprise the child, caregiver(s) and assessor will enjoy, because the only activities included in the assessment will be those the child really likes to do.

I always make it clear that we all want to find out what the child can do and what the child likes to do. We can only discover this when we follow the child. He/she will be given the opportunity to guide us. The child will take the lead. This means, of course, that every assessment is a unique, tailor-made event.

Over the years, I have assessed hundreds of children, using a theoretical model that combines several different theories (see section Theories of deafblindness). The assessment model encompasses the main principles of learning and development for this population. The assessment questions that have been formulated determine which elements of the model will be used.


The CD "Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilties" is accompanied by a booklet that explains the most important “building blocks” of this assessment model. On the CD, you can watch me conduct assessments with several different kinds of students.

A special training guidebook (manual) "Child Guided Strategies: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment ", (including a demonstration double DVD) has been recentely published by the American Printing House (APH) for the Blind. Go for further information to the webshop on this website.


The actual Assessment consist of an observation about the following crucial issues:

At the end I can make my mind up to give advice for the final step of the Assessment: The Intervention.

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