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
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

Every two years, the Outreach Programs of Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) organize a symposium on deafblindness. I was honoured by an invitation to present a keynote address and two breakout sessions at this year’s symposium.

Despite the unusually bad Central Texas weather (snow, ice and slippery roads), which caused over 100 people to cancel, the turnout was very good. Almost 300 parents, professionals and paraprofessionals attended. The symposium’s organization was excellent, as were accommodations at the Omni Austin Hotel.

Many people who came to the symposium had also attended the most recent Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT) annual conference, where I spoke last October, so I carefully previewed the content of my presentations with Chris Montgomery, one of the symposium organizers. I did not want to repeat information I had already presented.

Published in Jan's blog
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