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
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:49

The Theory of Social Education

We can see how, from the beginning of life, the neonate is attracted to another human’s moving face. At 3 weeks-of-age, the baby monitors his mouth movements according to a model (see photo below).

Published in Jan as Author
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:31

Educational Curriculum

Principals of the van Dijk Curriculum

In the van Dijk approach, an interpersonal relationship between the child and his/her educator is crucial. It is a fact that the majority of children with congenital deafblindness are at risk of failing to develop a warm relationship with their principal caregiver(s). Healthy attachment is considered fundamental for emotional, social, and cognitive development (J. van Dijk & M. Janssen 1993; Janssen, Riksen-Walraven & J. van Dijk, 2002).

Published in Jan as Developer
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:27

Motor Development

In my article, "Motor Development in the Education of Deaf-Blind Children" (see Communication Development), I introduced the term co-active movement. I used it to indicate that activities should be carried out in close physical contact with a congenitally deafblind child. This enables an educator to sense the child’s intentions, and vice versa.

Published in Jan as Author
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:22

Development of Communication

From the beginning of my career, I’ve been interested in ways children with deafblindness can be taught to communicate with their environment. This was one of the major reasons why, in 1963, I went to the Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts (USA). This school has a long history of teaching deafblind children, including Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller.


Published in Jan as Author