Early Childhood Services for Children Ages Birth-Five

Meet Our Early Childhood Consultant

Deanna Peterson
Deanna Peterson, Early Childhood Consultant

Deafblind Infant and Pre-School Consultant (birth through 5 years)

Deanna is a teacher of students who are deafblind (TDB). In addition, she is a certified teacher of students who are visually impaired and teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. She worked as a self contained TDB at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for eleven years,  a speech pathology assistant for two years, and the campus wide TDB for seven years before joining Texas Deafblind Outreach.  Deanna is very passionate about early identification of infants and toddlers who are deafblind and serving as a resource for families, caregivers, and other members of the child’s team. Deanna is  also very knowledgeable about establishing quality interactions with children who are deafblind, language development, literacy, proficient communicators in the general education setting, and how communication impacts moments of distress causing behavioral concerns. Want to connect with Deanna? Contact her at petersond@tsbvi.edu. 

What Does She Do?

Consultation

A child’s home is their first learning environment. Children are born ready for, and expecting, back and forth communication.  Their brains are wired for learning.  Science is now teaching us that early experiences with caregivers shape the architecture of the brain and families provide the foundation for that learning to begin.  We know that children learn best within the safety of nurturing and responsive relationships. The Texas DeafBlind Outreach Project’s Infant and Preschool Services can explore how to make these everyday experiences accessible for children who are deafblind.  Deanna is available to meet with families and other members of their child’s team at home or in community or school settings.  to discuss needs related to identification, resources, training, and any other concerns.

Training

Families and programs serving infants and preschool-aged children (birth thru 5 years of age) may request a variety of supports. Assistance may include information about child development for children with typical vision and hearing, what to do when concerns arise, what Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services may include, how to connect with ECI agencies, identification and eligibility, interaction and communication, literacy, social and emotional development, movement, travel skills and cognitive skills. 

Collaboration

Deanna is part of an interagency group working to improve early identification of infants and toddlers who are deafblind. She has worked with the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) on development of Module 2, the Sensory System, the Brain, and Learning for Open Hands Open Access (OHOA). In addition, Deanna collaborates with Early Childhood Intervention Programs around the state, Education Service Centers and Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Blind Services. In addition, Deanna is part of a national workgroup led by NCDB focused on Proficient Communicators.  This work includes building resources deafblind children and young adults in the general education settings. 

Product Development

Deanna is currently working with other professionals from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the development of a new book, Guidance for Planning Behavior Intervention for Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind or have Visual and Multiple Impairments.  Deanna is also working with other Project staff on the development of an assessment of concept development for Proficient Communicators in the regular education setting.  In addition, Deanna regularly participates with other Texas Deafblind Project staff in the development of training materials for interveners and teachers of students who are deafblind.