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, 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
Monday, 19 April 2010 10:16

Jan as Consultant

I will include some of  the comments I receive on my work as consultant on this website.

In March of 2010 I worked in Washington DC. Here is the only Liberal Arts University situated for DEAF persons in the world, called Gallaudet College. This University included many departments, including a section for children with multiple impairment. I assessed a number of children, while colleagues were watching. One of them wrote on the Gallaudet website the following article:

Dual Sensory Loss Expert Dr. Jan Van Dijk Visits KDES Parent Infant Program (PIP) Image:

Jan assessing a childDuring the week of March 8-12, the Parent Infant Program (PIP) at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) had the pleasure of collaborating with Dr. Jan VanDijk and Connections Beyond Sight and Sound (CBSS). An internationally recognized expert in the field of assessment and programming for children with dual sensory impairments, VanDijk has over thirty years experience in the field. VanDijk came to assess five young children who are deaf or hard of hearing with visual impairments and to offer suggestions for programming support. He visited the United States from The Netherlands as a part of his collaboration with CBSS.

During his visit, VanDijk shared a wealth of information on latest techniques, strategies, and research in the field of dual sensory impairment. PIP, which serves deaf and hard of hearing children from infancy through age 2, has established a new working partnership with CBSS in order to best serve the five young children with dual sensory impairments. According to PIP teacher Debra Cushner, "We all benefit any time we have the opportunity to collaborate directly with an expert in the field, like Dr. VanDijk. He did a wonderful job of connecting with our PIP children and providing valuable information and support for their families and our service providers."

Published in Jan as Consultant