California Deafblind Services

Fall 2010 (Vol. 15, No. 2)


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Routine-Based Learning

by Gloria Rodriguez-Gil, CDBS Educational Specialist

Routine-based learning takes place as the child is actively engaged through the different parts of a routine. Routines are activities that follow a predictable order, are consistent, and give structure to the child’s life.

There are two types of basic routines. The first types of routines are those of the day, week, month and year. Some examples of these include:

  • Day: waking up, preparing to go to school, using the bathroom;
  • Week: going to school Monday through Fridays, weekly sessions with an orientation and mobility specialist, going to Grandma’s house on Saturdays;
  • Month and year: holidays, birthdays, vacation trips.

The second types of routines are those the child follows within specific activities. Some examples include

  • the routine the child follows to put away a backpack when arriving to class;
  • the routine the child follows to learn which activity will occur next in the schedule; and
  • the routine the child follows to get lunch from the cafeteria.

These second types of routines are critical to a child who is deaf-blind because they provide the child with the level of detail that they may need in order to understand, learn, plan, respond and be as independent that they can be. They function as routines within routines. For example, the steps the child follows to put away a backpack when arriving to class would be part of their classroom daily routine.

.... (Please open the link above for the complete article.)

Growing With Your Child

by Myrna Medina, CDBS Family Specialist

...I was waiting to be called in to see Norman’s (my son’s) doctor, when I saw a young couple with a baby walking out of the office. I could see in their eyes and their body language some anxiety. They came over and introduced themselves, and told me that their baby was blind, and they asked about Norman. I have no doubt in my mind that I looked the same way back then when he was the same age, or maybe even worse! But it also reminded that it was now over fourteen years ago, and that a lot of things had changed.

.... (Please open the link above for the complete article.)

Fact Sheet #41:  A Self-Evaluation Guide for Assessing the Quality of Your Interactions with a Student who is Deaf-Blind

by Gloria Rodriguez-Gil and David Brown, CDBS Educational Specialists

When working with a child who is deaf-blind, the quality of the interaction between you and the child is as important as the activity the two of you do together. All interactions offer valuable opportunities to work on the development of general skill areas (e.g., communication and language, social and environmental awareness, self-regulation, positive self-image), as well as the teaching of specific discrete skills (e.g., fine motor hand manipulation in the motor domain or sorting and matching in the math domain). Through appropriate interactions the child can greatly increase their opportunities of learning on many different levels from these experiences.

.... (Please open the link above for the complete article.)

Interns' Reflections:  On Educational Strategies for Students who are Deaf-Blind

by the 2009-10 CDBS - SFSU Partnership Program Graduate Students

Tanya Derkash: The importance of relationships between students and support staff

“What did she want?”   This student wanted to keep her body in movement the entire class period and wanted to be in close proximity to the paraprofessional that she trusts.  I found myself thinking a lot about the juxtaposition of a student having tactile defensiveness and then becoming quite dependent on a single adult.  This also runs along the lines of training intervenors specifically to work with students with deaf-blindness.  Oh, if the school district had money!  It would be great to train a variety of people in individual capacities so that the student received a range of support.  It seemed to me that this student’s basic wants were met, but it would be great to see her utilize a few signs to communicate even more wants.  

.... (Please open the link above for the complete article.)

Family Reflections From the COPE-DB Picnic in Southern California, August 21, 2010


Laurie King:

When we travel from San Diego to LA each year for the deafblind picnic, I’m always glad we made the effort. The biggest deal for me is how I feel “at home,” “grounded” when I’m with all these families and their children. We “fit in.” I don’t worry about my son’s accomplishments or the things that are challenging for him, I just “am,” relaxing, enjoying everyone and in the moment. I don’t do enough of that so this is really an event that brings me back to where I want to be more often, where I want my son to be: just as he is. Thanks CADBS for your continued commitment to our families and children. I really appreciate what you do. I know you do it for the love of it and that’s really special.

.... (Please open the link above for more comments and photos.)