Assessment expertise

The van Dijk Approach to assessing children or adults with multiple disabilities is unique, but it can be successfully implemented after a relatively short period of training.

Please direct requests for training to me. Materials can be obtained in the Webshop.

Jan van Dijk: "No effective intervention without adequate assessment"Go to Jan as Assessor and Assessment on this web site, to find out how I became involved in the assessment of children with multiple disabilities, and how my skills became more and more sophisticated. For a long time, it was considered a “van Dijk thing” that few could learn. The opposite is true.

Dr. Cathy Nelson et al. showed that the “Child-guided approach” can be successfully implemented by people who have some experience with the target group (Nelson, Janssen, Oster & Jayaraman 2010). In this model, assessment trainees are required to study the assessment CD-ROM Dr. Nelson and I produced, Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities (go to our Webshop for details), and the accompanying article.

A manual has recently been produced, called Child Guided Strategies: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment, which leads the assessor through the approach’s eight domains.

People appreciate that I demonstrate this procedure “live” before they try it themselves. I have developed an outline for a two-day workshop, which can be used as a training guide. Organizations invite me to explain my approach, and to assess one or more of their children.

The goal of a workshop like this is to demonstrate that a child or adult with deafblindness or multiple disabilities often has more potential than was previously thought. I always share a few “thank you” notes from past participants, and describe their experiences, but could easily add several more. (Go to Evaluation Assessment course.)

As can be seen on this web site’s Events and Venues page, interest in my assessment approach is quite overwhelming. Workshop organizers sometimes request a presentation that combines “Assessment” with important areas of my curriculum. As workshop dates approach, I will describe on my weblog the content of my contribution.  This may help other interested people or organizations understand what to expect if they invite me.

The van Dijk Approach to assessing children and adults with multiple disabilities is unique, but it can be successfully implemented after a relatively short period of training. If you’d like to initiate a conversation about a workshop, please direct requests to me. Use the “Contact” link on this web site. Materials can be obtained by going to the Webshop.

It is not always practical to make a long journey to assess a child. In these cases, a person in charge (parent, supervisor) might send me a short tape, 5-10 minutes long, pinpointing the problem(s) that need to be addressed. I always do this very carefully, and never make recommendations that may be detrimental to a child’s well-being.

Video clips can also be uploaded onto my web site’s Forum page, for a more open discussion with our complete expert team and, possibly, the input of others. Or, you can create a personal profile on the Community page, then add photos and videos there. (When describing your concerns in the Forum, refer to your personal profile.)