Other Articles about Behavioral Supports

Children who are deafblind or have visual and multiple impairments often develop a reputation as someone with “behavior issues”. We disagree with this label completely, though like any child they may sometimes misbehave or defy us. These children, we believe, are frequently distressed or lacking information that makes interacting with others and world based on vision and hearing difficult to navigate. Their social and emotional development is dramatically impacted by their sensory losses. We are only just beginning to understand how the trauma of painful medical procedures and conditions, separation from trusted caregivers and other situations that put them under considerable stress impacts not only their behavior, but also their ability to learn and grow.

In addition to the information presented in Guidance for Planning Behavior Intervention for Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind or have Visual and Multiple Impairments we offer the following articles and booklets for you to download and share.

The Distressed Child: Kersten’s Story

To better understand how distress, not stubborn or bad behavior, impacts these children, you should read Kersten’s Story. This article was written by then Texas Deafblind Project Education Consultant, Matt Schultz. He relates the work of the educational team at TSBVI working with Kersten and her family to determine positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) for Kersten during her time at TSBVI.

Kersten’s Story 1&2 Word Version 

Kersten’s Story 1&2 PDF Version

Self-Stimulation and Self-Injurious Behavior

Children who are visually impaired and have additional challenges like hearing loss, often have interesting self-stimulatory behaviors that may become self-injurious behaviors if not dealt with appropriately. Just like all humans, these individuals do things like rock, jump, and spin to regulate their biobehavioral states to become more alert or to calm down. They also have many creative approaches to finding stimulation for their brain when nothing interesting is available to them. If you would like to learn more about the topics of self-stimulation or self-injurious behavior read this article.

Looking at Self-Stimulation in Pursuit of Leisure “I’m Okay You Have Mannerism PDF version

Observar la autoestimulación en la búsqueda del ocio o “Yo estoy bien, ¡tú tienes manías!” Word Version

Sexual Behaviors

Children who are deafblind develop along the same timeline as their peers and with few exceptions have normal sexual development. However, without vision or hearing they may miss out on the rigid social rules regarding privacy and appropriate touch that their peers begin learning from birth. This can cause problems for people around them, but it also places them in danger from predators. To learn more about how to address such sensitive topics as appropriate touch, masturbation, menstruation, and modesty you should read this book written by Texas Deafblind Project staff, Robbie Blaha and Kate Moss Hurst and originally published by DB-LINK.

Introduction to Sexuality Education for Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind and Significantly Developmentally Delayed PDF Version