Functional assessment - Texas School for the Blind and Visually

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Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Outreach Programs www.tsbvi.edu

| 512-454-8631| 1100 W. 45 th

St. | Austin, TX 78756

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

Friday 3:30-5:00 PM

Functional Assessment from a Deafblind

Perspective

Presented by

Bernadette Van Den Tillaart, Deafblind Consultant [email protected]

and

Gunnar Vege, Senior Advisor,

Signo School and Resource Center in Norway [email protected]

Developed for

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Texas Deafblind Outreach

Functional assessment from a congenital deafblind perspective

Bernadette Van Den Tillaart - Gunnar Vege

Assessments and deafblindness

Standardized assessments

Role of the assessor

Deafblindness

Functional assessment

Functional assessment process

Base-line functional assessment

Intervention

Diagnostic teaching

Evaluation functional assessment

Intervention

Diagnostic teaching

Functional assessment

For children with congenital deafblindness functioning at early stages of development

Process o

Existing information and questions o

Observation, hands-on assessment and video-analysis o

Results: team discussion and report

Tactual interactive assessment

Role of the evaluator

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Developmental assumption

Developmental principles are the same for sighted-hearing children as for children who are congenitally deafblind.

Yet, developmental achievements may look differently!

They may be difficult to recognize…

Guiding question:

Do I understand what the child understands and what the expressions of the child mean?

The role of the assessor

Shift to how the child experiences the world: a tactile perspective

Have the intention to meet the child and get to know the person she is. Be open for her initiatives, even if they initially seem to take you away from your ‘plan’.

Know the child’s medical (eg sensory) information

Establish reciprocal interactions with the child

Be aware of perceptual systems or typical steps in a variety of developmental areas, but let go of how that should look like according to typical questionnaire items and test tasks.

Work as a team member with family members and other educators

Be aware of the importance and limitations of functional assessments

Functional Sensory Assessment

Establishing contact

Proximity

Attention

Affirmation

Turn Exchanges

Co-Regulation

Sharing

(Interaction Program, Van Den Tillaart)

Senses

Vision

– Hearing (Van Dijk)

Touch

Proprioception

Balance

Taste

Smell

Impact of functional sensory assessment

Initiatives and responses of the child tell us how she perceives the world through the senses.

Through interactive co-regulation we can discover o

Which tactual, visual and auditory skills are mastered o

What the impact is of the other senses o

How to provide the child with the most effective access to sensory information

When we know how the child can perceive and interact with us well, we have found the window of opportunity to let the child show her full potential

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Social Interaction: assessment tool and developmental area in one

Educator and Child: Which skills have they each and together?

Figure 1 On the left is the balloon representing the educator's skills on the right a balloon representing the child's skill's.

Between the two balloons is an arrow pointing in both directions representing the shared skills they both have. The skills are described below.

Educator

Takes initiative

Regulates proximity

Regulates attention

Waits for the turn Affirms the child Maintains contact Regulates stress

Ends reciprocally

Child

Takes initiative

Regulates proximity

Regulates attention

Waits for the turn Affirms the other

Maintains contact

Regulates stress

Ends reciprocally

Educator and Child

Shared attention

Co-regulation

Shared emotions

Reciprocal Interaction

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

1

Building an experience in functional assessment

Feel together, follow the lead of the child and establish turns

Affirm the child’s initiatives

Adjust the context

Build a narrative of shared emotional involvement: o

Feel both the movements and touch and share tactual attention o

Introduce unexpected interesting variations and emphasize the distinct movements, touch and sounds (and visuals if appropriate) o

Add communicative symbols o

Affirm emotions and share togetherness o

Later on, bring the topic back again

(Van Dijk; Van Den Tillaart; Vege,Nafstad et al)

Note:

- Tactual trauma

- Fine or gross motor limitations

Observe, observe!

Every expression (movement, touch, sound, gaze) means something

Expression of state or emotion

Exploration and attention

Expression to regulate oneself or the other

Expression of something remembered

Expression to communicate something

Communication

Catch the expressions of the child: look at the hands and body position, listen for sounds and look at the eye gaze and mimics.

Affirm the expressions of the child

Try to remember if the expression could refer to something you just experienced.

Affirm, acknowledge and negotiate to create shared meaning about a gesture, meaningful sound, or touch.

These can refer to a sensation, action, person, emotion or abstract concept.

Include commenting with (tactual) sign, speech, objects and (early) literacy.

Bring the topic back, later on in the functional assessment.

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Concepts

These expressions may refer to conceptual ideas.

Do not interpret expressions as a ‘want’ or ‘need’ or skill, rather as something the child thinks about.

Acknowledge the expression and then find out together what the expression referred to.

When the child has no experience with ‘test tasks’, the expressions may inform you about the ideas the child has about discrimination, object permanence, cause and effect, problem solving, physical characteristics, overview over time and place, etc.

Concrete and abstract from a deafblind perspective.

Social - Emotional

In a shared experience with some novelty or changes, the assessor will find the telling expressions of processing time, stress regulation and joy and will be able to assess how they can be shared and co-regulated with this child.

This information will support the educators to build trust and comfort with the child, to increase happiness, relationships and openness for learning.

This information is crucial for peers, to develop friendships.

The focus of the assessor

The functional assessment is not focused only at the child but also at the context, the child’s environment, especially at the interaction partners of the child. They are crucial in providing attuned support to development.

In the functional assessment, the role that the assessor assumes is more important then the materials used.

The assessor who focuses on the (tactual) expressions of the child develops an understanding of o

What the child can perceive o

What the child understands about the world o

How the child and others can establish reciprocal interaction, communication and co-regulation of emotions. o

How the interaction partners can adjust themselves and the context to a ccommodate for the child’s well-being and development

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Functional assessment: an ongoing process

Suggestions based upon the assessment results help families and educators to adjust

THEMSELVES: changing themselves towards a tactual shared perspective will guide their communication with the child, choice of activities, adaptation of context and learning opportunities. Most of all, this will enrich the relationship between themselves and the child.

Follow up assessments, with reports and video-analysis, provide ongoing information about the child’s developmental progress and well-being, and about the role of the educators.

Tactual interactive functional assessment

The role of the assessor, being tactual and interactive, is crucial

The child is an active partner in the functional assessment

The understanding of the child, from the child’s perspective, clarifies the child’s potential!

This understanding guides the changes interaction partners will make in their own interaction with the child and in the learning opportunities they provide.

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Notes:

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Outreach Programs

Figure 2 TSBVI logo.

Figure 3 IDEAs that Work logo and OSEP disclaimer.

2015 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness

– Functional Assessment from a Deafblind Perspective – Van Den Tillaart, B & Vege, G.

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