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Approach to Assessment

Assessment is the starting point of the child’s education. For better or worse, assessment results can influence educational decisions about a child for years to come.  (Rowland, 2009, p. 5)

Assessment of children who are deafblind can be challenging even for experienced professionals. Their communication may be unconventional or at a presymbolic level. Many express themselves in subtle ways that are easily overlooked.

Just as a child with deafblindness is a unique individual, so too must assessment consider the child’s unique personality, situation, and motivators. Knowing the different types of assessments, the ways they are conducted, and how to interpret and then act upon the results is essential to meeting the specific needs of a child with deafblindness. 

The inclusion of family members is essential. They can interpret their child’s behavior and provide information about how the child behaves and interacts with others in the home and other environments.

See also: Communication and Learning Assessments

Jane R. Wegner, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Clinical Professor and Clinic Director, Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, University of Kansas


National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. (2010). Authentic assessment

Rowland, C. (Ed.). (2009). Assessing communication and learning in young children who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities. Design to Learn Projects, Oregon Health & Science University.


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