Question: How do we enter into the world of tactile interaction with the child who is deafblind?
Human interaction begins in infancy. From when baby and mother share a moment’s gaze – maybe at the buttons on the shirt that mother is wearing – the process of human interaction is being established. Human interaction is the basis for social exchange, the exchange of information, of ideas, of emotions. Human Interaction is conversation, both spoken and unspoken. Human interaction is the foundation for well-being, and quality of life.
For the person with deafblindness, how do we enter into their world of tactile interaction? How do we teach curiosity? What is the recipe for bonding? Why must we recognize the communication being expressed, before formal language is imposed?
This website is for parents and professionals who wish to better understand quality social interaction techniques and models for communication with children with deafblindness. The website is designed around a common progression, moving from awareness, to what it means to be an active partner, to how quality interaction builds to quality of life.
I would like to thank Bernadette van den Tillaart, Dr. Jan van Dijk, Barbara Miles, Dr. Paul Hart, and Gunnar Vege for their wisdom and friendship. They have been a constant source of inspiration for me and my colleagues at the Texas School for the Blind through the years. In addition to my all of my team-mates on the Texas Deafblind Project, I would like to especially acknowledge Kate Hurst and Charlotte Cushman for their encouragement and “get it done-ness”. Also my thanks go especially to the students, who have been my best teachers.