A person who cannot see or hear or who lacks considerable amounts of these senses must be given a way to compensate for the missing information these senses usually provide. When a sense is used a great amount, the brain is able to process information from that sense more efficiently. What is more, areas of the brain previously devoted to visual or auditory processing can be reallocated to processing tactile information, providing the hands with even more brain power.
When the child's hand is exploring an object, or part of his own body, or the body of another, a gentle touch under part of the child's hand, or directly alongside the child's hand, becomes the tactile equivalent of the pointing gesture. Such a touch establishes a mutual topic and lays the groundwork for language development. The precise nature of this touch is important. Hand-under-hand touching of this kind must be done carefully, with three goals in mind.
This hand-under-hand touch
Hand under Hand
(Washington Sensory Disabilities Services)
The site has good descriptions of hand-under-hand strategies and video clips that depict the use of hand-under-hand with students. http://www.wsdsonline.org/deafblind/huh/huh-overview.aspx
Hand under Hand Activities Information Sheet
(Provincial Integration Support Program)
A fact sheet that gives examples of ways to use hand-under-hand techniques. http://www.pisp.ca/strategies/strategies106.pdf
Talking the Language of the Hands to the Hands (Barbara Miles)
This classic article describes the importance of respecting the hands of children who are deafblind. http://www.nationaldb.org/NCDBProducts.php?prodID=47
Calendar systems provide a structured way in which to refer to events in a child's day. Sometimes called "Anticipation Boxes" or "Object Calendars," a series of meaningful symbols are arranged in sequential order to let the child know what will happen next. Calendars also provide a way to make clear the beginning, middle, and end of an activity, as well as time concepts, such as before, after, later, and now. There are several reasons a calendar system is often recommended for a child with deafblindness. The calendar system provides emotional support to the child in the following ways:
Calendar systems can be simple anticipation calendars- presenting an object or symbol representing what is coming next and putting it in a "finished box" at the end of the activity. The can be expanded to have objects, symbols or pictures arranged in the order of the events of the day, or even expanded into weekly or monthly calendars. They can use objects, parts of objects, textures, pictures, words in print or in Braille.
Anticipation Systems/ Calendars (Maria Bove)
In this 21 minute video presentation on anticipation calendars Dr. Bove discusses the purpose and use of anticipation calendar systems, which provide students who are deafblind with information about what is going to happen to them throughout the day.
Tips for Home or School Object Calendar (Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project) The article gives directions for making a simple object calendar system.
Calendar Conversations (Texas School for the Blind)
A wonderful video of a young student and his teacher checking his daily object calendar. http://vimeo.com/12094520
Jarvis' Calendar (Texas School for the Blind)
In this video a teacher reviews the weekly calendar with his student using tactile symbols and tactile sign. http://vimeo.com/12093518
Using a Schedule with Your Child (Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments) This article (also in Spanish) gives advice on using a calendar system at home.
For children, especially for children with deaf-blindness, routines provide consistent, repeated experiences that allow them to anticipate what is about to happen, communicate in a structured and familiar setting, and actively participate to the greatest extent they can.
According to Millie Smith, former teacher at the Texas School for the Blind- "A routine is an instructional strategy developed to increase the level of participation in activities for students who require consistency and repetition in order to learn." Educators use routines to build anticipation and memory and to teach specific skills used in functional daily activities.
A routine should have a clear signal to the student that the activity is starting. The steps of the activity should always occur in the same order, be cued in a consistent way, and take place in the same place. When the routine ends, there must be a clear signal that the activity is finished.
The following is a sample routine from the TSBVI School Based Therapy Training Module on Routines (http://www.tsbvi.edu/therapy/routines.htm)
A sample meal routine
Mealtime is a good activity to develop into a routine because it usually happens three times a day. Practice opportunities are frequent. The team's plan might look something like this.
Sensory Learning Kit Guidebook (Millie Smith, M.Ed. TVI). Available at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) The guidebook has wonderful articles outlining the importance of routines, ideas for creating routines and forms to help develop routines. The kit also includes a book of routines to accompany the materials in the kit. http://shop.aph.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_Sensory%20Learning%20Kit%20(SLK)_1-08611-00P_10001_11051
Routine Based Learning Videos (Washington Sensory Disabilities Services)
These 3 videos demonstrate the use of routines in school and home settings.
Making Changes in Routines (California Deaf-Blind Project)
This short article gives ideas for ways to let children know there will be a change in a routine.
Make it Routine (Robbie Blaha and Kate Moss, TSBVI)
This article describes the importance of routines for babies and children who are deafblind and gives suggestions for selecting activities that can be made into routines http://22.214.171.124/deaf-blind-project/1318-make-it-routine
Based on the work of Danish educator Lilli Nielsen, Active Learning is a theory which suggests that children learn best through exploring their environment without adult intervention. Active learning environments encourage and reward exploration by positioning materials in consistent places that are likely to be encountered by the child through random movements. As they consistently find interesting objects and textures through this random movement, children begin to explore to find these materials, and through repeated interactions with the materials begin to explore the objects' moving parts or shapes and textures. Active Learning Materials include the Little Room â€“ a small space with objects and textures suspended from above or on the sides, the Scratching Board- a piece of wood with different textures on it which can be attached to a child's tray or positioned on a wall beside the child, and the Resonance Board â€“ a board on which the child lies and feels vibrations from any minimal movement.
Active Learning Playspace: Construction Video: ADVISOR (Assisting the Development of Visually Impaired Students through Online Resources): This video shows a young child in her active learning playspace. Her mother and therapist talk about the playspace. http://www.e-advisor.us/css_test/PPS/useflash.php
Space for Active Learning (Washington Sensory Disabilities Services)
The webpage has information about setting up active learning spaces and videos of children in active learning environments. http://www.wsdsonline.org/deafblind/space/index.html
Materials for Active Learning Video (Washington Sensory Disabilities Services and Washington State Services for Students with Deaf-Blindness) The video shows materials are good for active learning environments. http://nationaldb.org/ISModules.php