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

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
Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:25

Webcast Child Guided Assessment

Perkins School for the BlindAs you can read in this section, I have visited Perkins School for the Blind in October 2010. Prior to a course and demonstration on my assessment techniques, I was interviewed for a webcast on this topic by a very professional team. I am happy to inform you that this webcast can be viewed on this site or on the Perkins site by following this link.

The resource manager of Perkins Dr. Mary Zatta forwarded the following message:

"I hope you are well. I wanted to share the feedback we have received regarding your webcast – we are thrilled with the comments!  See below."

This is excellent!  So well-organized and just the right amount of information for a webcast. The video clips were very helpful and well-edited. Thank you.

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
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, 27 December 2010 11:10

Review in Talking Sense Winter 2010

It's my great pleasure to present here a positive review, written by Patricia Gibbons, about the "Van Dijk Approach" in the autum/winter edition of 2010 in Talking Sense, which is a magazine about deafblindness in the UK.

Introduction to Review in the winter edtion of Talking Sense

Published in Jan's blog
Sunday, 29 August 2010 01:24

Van Dijk Curriculum

Journal of Visual Impairment & Deafblindness"Teaching strategies of the Van Dijk Curricular Approach" by Dr. Stephanie MacFarland reprinted:

The Journal of Visual Impairment and  Blindness has started a series of articles which were published in the Journal 10-20 years ago and which are still to be considered important contribution to the field of Blindness and Deafblindness. An authority in the field recommends such a publication and comments on it under the title : This mattered to me.

In the July 2010 Volume of JVIB Dr. Rosanne Silberman (one of our panel members) discusses the article. Stephanie Z.C MacFarland (also a panel member) published in 1995 on Teaching Strategies of the van Dijk curricular approach.

Published in Jan's blog
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 13:51

NY Times

New York Times

In the following article, published June 19th, 2010, in the Education section of the New York Times, the reporter describes a young man with severe multiple disabilities who is being taught in an inclusive setting.

Donovan is in a regular classroom, and his educational program follows the same curriculum as his non-disabled classmates. Donovan is a typical example of this web site’s target population, and of my work. I read here for the first time that there are 132,000 students like Donovan in the United States. These are people who, in the past, would have lived their entire lives in institutions.

Published in Jan's blog
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
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