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
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
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
Monday, 19 April 2010 10:57


What is Assessment?

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (USA), 2003 describes this process as follows:

"Assessment involves the multiple steps of collecting data on a child’s development and learning, determining its significance in light of the program goals and objectives, incorporating the information into planning for individuals and programs, and communicating the findings to family and other involved people.”

I have developed over the years such an approach for children with multiple impairment, including for children with deafblindness. During my long career I must have assessed over 4.000 children. Except in a few cases it was always possible to find an area of strength in the child, which could be used as a starting point for effective intervention.

Published in Jan as Assessor