Monday, 10 May 2010 10:25

Evaluation Assessment Course

Book, Child-guided Strategies: The Van Dijk Approach to AssessmentI have conducted over the years many seminars and workshops on the assessment of children with multiple disabilities, including deafblindness. I used as an outline the domains as they are demonstrated on our CD 'Child –guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilties'(Nelson, van Dijk, de Kort). The outcome of our assessment was always very beneficial both for the child and the caregiver. The question I often heard was whether persons with less experience could also carry out 'The Child-Guided Assessment?' My colleague Dr Cathy Nelson has carried out research which showed that professionals (including parents) can be trained to use our assessment techniques and that the outcome of the assessment meet the criteria of reliability and validity. (Nelson, Janssen, Oster & Jayaraman 2010).

The assessment procedure was published in 2010 by the American Printing House for the Blind, in a manual called: Child-Guided Strategies : The Van Dijk Approach to Assessment.

Published in Jan's blog
Monday, 19 April 2010 11:37

Caregiver-child interaction

Published in Jan as Assessor
Monday, 19 April 2010 09:22

4 Theories of Deafblindness

Gradually over time, a framework of 4 distinct theories supported my work:

Published in Jan as Author
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 08:51

The theory of Attachment

Over the years, my work has been increasingly influenced by the theory of attachment. This theory deals with how the principal caregiver develops a bond with his/her child. (A lot of research in this area is currently taking place.) There is clear scientific evidence that a person who has bonded with his principal caregiver(s), usually one or both parents, will profit from this basic feeling of security through his or her entire life.

Eye contact is very important in the bonding process.

Published in Jan as Author
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 08:40

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