Education “Deafblind children are extremely difficult to assess… so we should not take… any assessment of the children as the full and complete story about what they can see, hear or do” Eyre, 2000:120 Introduction Assessment of children who are deafblind / multi-sensory impaired is challenging because of diversity of population, including varying degree of vision and hearing loss, and the presence of additional disabilities (Aitken, 1995; Goodman & Wittenstain, 2003)…
There is a lot of subjectivity about the disabilities of children associated with a particular condition and the effect of external factors on the response of the children. The assessment of these children must address the complexity of their needs including communication, vision, hearing, cognition and motor abilities with respect to the priorities of each and every child. Such a holistic assessment is fundamental to the quality educational programming for the child (Dote-Kwan & Chen, 1999; Eyre, 2000; QCA, 2009 & 2012). This paper discusses and explores the complexity of needs experienced by the deafblind / multi-sensory impaired children that have a direct impact upon their assessment, teaching and learning on a day-to-day basis. The findings will be supported by recent examples of pupils observed during the course of this study, to lend more credibility and document first-hand experience and evidence of the phenomenon. Lastly, various strategies which would enable the pupils to access and improve their learning will be discussed at length along with a comprehensive reasoning behind the choices made and their effectiveness when implemented. My role in relation to this project was chiefly concerned with observing and working with a pupil. It was important to collaborate with the support staff as they could provide additional information about the pupil. It was very fortunate that my colleagues fully supported this project and wanted to find a way of improving opportunities for better learning of the pupil. The aim of this assessment is to determine the functional vision available for communication and education, and to propose methods of enhancement and compensation to circumvent the visual problems and enhance development for the pupil. Illustrations of the child involved in the study are as follows: Pupil Age Description of the problems faced Z 9 years Incontineniam Pigmentation Microcephaly and abnormal brain MRI Dystonic/spastic quadriplegia (gastrostomy fed) with kyphoscoliosis and oropharyngeal, spinal brace Seizure disorder Visual impairment Cognitive impairment Pupil Z has been following the Pre-formal Curriculum, which aims at addressing the needs of pupils working at developmental levels well below the National Curriculum standards. Recent results in the National Curriculum Assessment indicate that Pupil Z achieved P-level 2 (i), which implies that she was generally functioning at a very initial developmental level. This means she had begun to respond consistently to familiar people, events and objects (Appendix 1, 2 & 3). Selecting appropriate instrument of assessment “Assessment is the process of evaluating an individual’s learning. It involves generating and collecting evidence of a learner’s (…) knowledge and skills and judging (…) evidence against defined standards” - SQA, 2012:3 Children with deaf-blindness / multi-sensory impairments pose unique challenges to the educators with regard to the implementation of appropriate and adequate assessment to find the best means of accelerating their developmental potential (Haring et al., 1981; Wolf-Schein, 1998). Hence, there is wide range of published assessment documents (instruments), styles (formal, informal or both), and approaches and techniques (observations, performance tests, ...
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“Deafblind/Multi-Sensory Impaired Children Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/education/62137-ypdeafblind-alike-multi-sensory-impair-children.
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