CatherineThe months of September and October '13 were very busy. I lectured at several places in the USA, but assessed, sometimes as part of my assessment presentations several children. Again and again it shows that our “approach” brings many (positive) aspects of the child to the surface, which have not been discovered before. A nice example is Catherine. With permission of the parents we have copied part of mother’s blog and the video clips she took of the assessment of her daughter.

Here it follows:

And then, as if the month couldn’t get any better, we got to visit with Dr. Jan Van Dijk, the world’s authority on reaching deafblind children. He was even knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands for his work and he received the Anne Sullivan award (you do know who she is don’t you?) I called him the Special Needs Whisperer, and he came all the way from the Netherlands to see Catherine. Catherine can hear just fine, fortunately. She’s registered with Maryland’s Deaf Blind Connection because of the difficulty reaching her given her extreme challenges with communication. And Dr. Van Dijk – I’ll just call it miraculously – got her to sing!

Published in Jan's blog

What we have noticed is that many people have downloaded the articles we have included on our website. Apparently there is an interest in my work. I have only published a small part of my writings on the website and some of them are outdated. In the recent years I have written several articles which reflect new ideas which I have developed on the assessment and intervention of Deafblind children.

It seems that there is an overall interest in my Assessment techniques. An important issue is the validity and reliability of the “Van Dijk Approach”. This has been established by Nelson et al in 2010. A year before the American Printing House has published the Manual : Child Guided Strategies: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment

In order to make our German speaking colleagues aware of the Van Dijk Assessment protocol the Handbook of Augmentative Communication (Handbuch der Unterstützten Kommunikation") has requested Prof. Dr. Catherine Nelson and myself to discuss the framework of our approach.

We present you this article in the English version: "[rokdownload menuitem="168" downloaditem="34" direct_download="true"]Every Child has Potential - Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children using the van Dijk Framework[/rokdownload]", by Prof. Dr. Catherine Nelson and Dr. J. van Dijk.

I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Dr. Jan van Dijk

Published in Jan's blog
Friday, 01 June 2012 14:22

Child Guided Assessment

Perkins Webcasts:

In this first series of webcasts, Dr. Jan van Dijk of the Netherlands shares his expertise related to Child-Guided Assessment. Dr. van Dijk has over 50 years of experience working with students with deafblindness. He discovered long ago that typical assessment methods are not successful for these individuals. The child-guided approach is recognized and used throughout the world.

The webcast chapters are:

1. Introduction
2. The Domains of Van Dijk Assessment
3. Behavioral State
4. Orienting Response
5. Channel of Learning
6. Approach Withdrawal
7. Memory and Anticipation
8. Social Interaction and Problem-Solving
9. The Advantages of Van Dijk Assessment
10. Insight Gained From Assessment.

Published in Jan as Producer
Thursday, 08 December 2011 13:57


Perkins School for the Blind - webcastsOn the website of Perkins School for the Blind you can find some very interesting series of on-demand webcasts which are presented by experts in the field of visual impairment and deafblindness.

Whether your interests are professional or personal, you will find topics of interest.

In collaboration with Perkins I published two webcasts as part of the above mentioned series. We have received permission to link it to our website.

You can watch both webcasts directly on this website via the next links:

Published in Jan as Producer

flag_brazilUnderstanding Children who are Deafblind Through Child-Guided Strategies, International World Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil

by Prof. Dr. Jan van Dijk and Prof. Dr. Catherine Nelson

The Editor of the Journal DBiReview requested the presenters of the pre-conference on Assessment, Drs. Nelson en Van Dijk to write a short report of  their experiences. This report will be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal. We received permission to publish this  report on our website.

Dr Nelson wrote:

Dr. Jan van Dijk of the Netherlands and Dr. Catherine Nelson of the University of Utah in the United States were pleased to have been given the opportunity to present two sessions on their Child-Guided Assessment Method for children who are Deafblind at the Deafblind International World Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Within the presentations were descriptions of the methods utilized in the assessment as well as the framework used to determine child strengths, needs, and future directions for intervention. On each workshop day, Dr. van Dijk conducted a live demonstration of the assessment with a child and then the audience used the framework to formulate instructional goals for the children. Later in the conference, Dr. van Dijk assessed a third child to give participants another opportunity to gain knowledge about how to assess children who are deafblind using this unique approach.

Published in Jan's blog
Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:25

Webcast Child Guided Assessment

Perkins School for the BlindAs you can read in this section, I have visited Perkins School for the Blind in October 2010. Prior to a course and demonstration on my assessment techniques, I was interviewed for a webcast on this topic by a very professional team. I am happy to inform you that this webcast can be viewed on this site or on the Perkins site by following this link.

The resource manager of Perkins Dr. Mary Zatta forwarded the following message:

"I hope you are well. I wanted to share the feedback we have received regarding your webcast – we are thrilled with the comments!  See below."

This is excellent!  So well-organized and just the right amount of information for a webcast. The video clips were very helpful and well-edited. Thank you.

Published in Jan's blog
Friday, 22 April 2011 15:21

My Trip to Michigan, March 13-17, 2011

DB CentralThe Director of The deafblind Central: Michigan’s training and resource Project invited me to spend 4 days (March 13-17, 2011) with them to demonstrate and to discuss the Child Guided assessment techniques: the van Dijk Approach.

Over the last years I have several times collaborated with this organization, which is associated with Central Michigan University. The organization of my trip has been always perfect and also this time. The Director Beth Kennedy and her Assistant Jennifer had selected 9 children to assess.

I did this in 3 days and at the 4th day a seminar was organized. The Project is very strong on including intervenors and it was for me no surprise to find so many of them in the audience. The format of the seminar was quite unique.

Published in Jan's blog
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 10:27

US Trip November 2010

US Trip November 2010

During my November trip I visited New York, Maryland and Wisconsin. During this (and earlier) trips I assessed many children, often during live assessments. This was very informative, not only for the parents/educaters, (para)medical staff and teachers, but also for me.

Please read first this full article including the general impression at the end, on which I would like to discuss with you in our forum.

New York

I started my trip in New York at the St Francis de Sales school for Deaf children. This school has a self-contained classroom with 4 deaf blind children. Some of the children I knew from a previous visit.  I was asked to pay special attention in my assessment to the challenging behaviours of some of  the students. In my approach I tried not to respond negatively when the child tried to hurt me. Aggression towards an adult is often caused by the feeling in the child of being threatened. By staying quiet and responsive often this feeling can be changed.

Published in Jan's blog
Monday, 27 December 2010 11:10

Review in Talking Sense Winter 2010

It's my great pleasure to present here a positive review, written by Patricia Gibbons, about the "Van Dijk Approach" in the autum/winter edition of 2010 in Talking Sense, which is a magazine about deafblindness in the UK.

Introduction to Review in the winter edtion of Talking Sense

Published in Jan's blog
Friday, 24 December 2010 10:13

US trip October 2010

During the month of October 2010 I have presented seminars at four different places in the USA.

I started at my Alma Mater, Perkins School for the Blind, In Watertown, Mass. The second seminar took place in Jackson, Mississippi. This was followed by a two day seminar in Lubbock, Texas Tech and finally I was the guest speaker for DBmat, the Texas organization of parents of children with multiple disabilities.

I started my trip with a webcast at Perkins School for the Blind. The interviewer was well prepared for the session and addressed mainly the subjects I dealt with in my latest DVD on the Limbic system (see webshop: Let's talk Limbic).

The web cast can be viewed shortly at the special page at Perkins web site:

Published in Jan's blog
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