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
Thursday, 26 January 2012 10:59

The Role of the Emotional Brain

Published in Jan as Producer
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
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:54

The theory of Neurobiology

From the beginning of my work with deafblind children, I was interested in the medical aspects that played such an important role in their development. Confronted early in my career with all the problems of children with CRS (Congenital Rubella Syndrome), I saw the enormous impact the Rubella virus has when it enters an embryo early in pregnancy. It arrests the growth of cells, and affects numerous aspects of the child’s development.

The same can be said of children with concurrent vision and hearing impairments due to genetic dysfunction. I’ve discussed Usher Syndrome and CHARGE Syndrome, which are each caused by the dysfunction of a particular gene.

Published in Jan as Author
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:40

The theory of Sensory Deprivation

The follow up research on CRS (Congenital Rubella Syndrome) showed how deterioration of hearing and, in particular, vision significantly impacts behaviour and learning. These people become detached from the world. They withdraw into themselves and often lose previously acquired skills.

To better understand a deafblind person’s stereotypic behaviours, autistic tendencies or Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as the low intellectual capacities of many of these people, it’s important to consider the role of the senses in these processes.


Published in Jan as Author