Recent Research Articles Specific to Deaf-Blindness - Bibliography

by National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness on May 1, 2013
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the DB-LINK Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 5/2013


Cross-Modal Plasticity in Cuban Visually-Impaired Child Cochlear Implant Candidates : Topography of Somatosensory Evoked Potential --Charroo-Ruiz, Lidia E., MD, MS; Perez-Abalo, Maria C., MD Ph.D.; Hernandez, Maria C., MD; Alvarez, Beatriz, MD; Beatriz Bermejo, MD; Bermejo, Sandra, MD; Galan, Lidice, Ph.D.; Diaz-Comas, Lourdes, Ph.D. MEDIC REVIEW, vol. 14, #2, April 2012, pp. 23-29.  Studies of neuroplasticity have shown that the brain's neural networks change in the absence of sensory input such as hearing or vision. However, little is known about what happens when both sensory modalities are lost (deaf-blindness). Hence, this study of cortical reorganization in visually-impaired child cochlear implant (CI) candidates. The objective was to assess cross-modal plasticity, specifically cortical reorganization for tactile representation in visually-impaired child CI candidates, through study of topography of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP). Changes in topography are evidence of cross-modal plasticity in visually-impaired child CI candidates, appearing to result from a complex interaction between severity of visual impairment and duration of multisensory deprivation. Available on the web:


Enhancing Sustained Interaction Between Children with Congenital Deaf-Blindness and Their Educators --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, J. Marianne; Van Dijk, Jan P.M.; Huisman, Mark; Ruijssenaars, Wied A.J.J.M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT & BLINDNESS, vol. 106, #3, March 2012, pp. 177-183. The study presented within this article demonstrated the effects of the Diagnostic Intervention Model (DIM) on sustained interaction within a reciprocal three-turn structure (such as the educator-child-educator or the child-educator-child). The authors reanalyzed observational data from the Contact effect study (Janssen et al) and looked at the duration of sustained interaction, the duration of the longest interaction sequence, and the mean number of turns in a sequence. The results are evaluated and discussed.


Sensory and Demographic Characteristics of Deafblindness Rehabilitation Clients in Montreal, Canada --Wittich, Walter; Watanabe, Donald H.; Gagne, Jean-Pierre. THE JOURNAL OF THE COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRISTS. (2012) Purpose: Demographic changes are increasing the number of older adults with combined age-related vision and hearing loss, while medical advances increase the survival probability of children with congenital dual (or multiple) impairments due to pre-maturity or rare hereditary diseases. Rehabilitation services for these populations are highly in demand since traditional uni-sensory rehabilitation approaches using the other sense to compensate are not always utilizable. Very little is currently known about the client population characteristics with dual sensory impairment. The present study provides information about demographic and sensory variables of persons in the Montreal region that were receiving rehabilitation for dual impairment in December 2010. This information can inform researchers, clinicians, educators, as well as administrators about potential research and service delivery priorities.

Conclusion: The age distribution in this sample of persons with dual sensory impairment indicates that service delivery planning will need to strongly consider the growing presence of older adults as the baby-boomers approach retirement age. The distribution of their visual and auditory limits indicates that the large majority of this client group has residual vision and hearing that can be maximized in the rehabilitation process in order to restore functional abilities and social participation. Future research in this area should identify the specific priorities in both rehabilitation and research in individuals affected with combined vision and hearing loss.


Stress in Adults with Congenital Deafblindness and an Intellectual Disability : Information From Their Cortisol Curves --Bloeming-Wolbrink, Kitty A.; Janssen, Marleen J.; Weerth, Carolina de; Ruijssenaars, Wied AJJM; Sweep, Fred CGJ; Eijsbouts, Agnes; Riksen-Walraven, J Marianne A. BRITISH JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, vol. 30, #3, 2012, pp. 149-159.  In this study, the cortisol curve of six participants with congenital deafblindness was compared to the curve of 40 typical controls. In spite of all past and present stress factors, the cortisol curve of the participants was rather normal. Possible explanations for this finding are discussed, amongst others individual differences in experiencing stress. Implications for further research are discussed.


Young Deafblind Adults in Action : Becoming Self-Determined Change Agents Through Advocacy --Bruce, Susan M.; Parker, Amy T. AMERICAN ANNALS OF THE DEAF, vol. 157, #1, Spring 2012, pp. 16-26.  Six young deafblind adults took a 1-week course on civic engagement and advocacy, which provided the focus for a participatory action research study with a collective case study design. They selected advocacy topics, were briefed on these policy issues, and were paired with experienced mentors for meetings with legislators in Washington, DC. Eight themes were identified from constant comparative and in vivo analysis of classroom discussion notes, interviews, and journals: (a) defining advocacy and advocate, (b) rights and equality, (c) expectations, (d) role of education in change, (e) deafblind expertise, (f) characteristics of effective change agents, (g) advocacy is teamwork, (h) future advocacy. In the classroom, the participants learned about policy issues, communication considerations, and leadership, then applied this knowledge in the legislative arena. Through the advocacy process, they learned to apply their personal strengths as advocates and experienced the importance of teamwork in advocacy.


The Impact of Assistive Technology on the Educational Performance of Students with Visual Impairments: A Synthesis of the Research --Kelly, Stacy M.; Smith, Derrick W. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 105, #2, February 2011, pp. 73-83. (2011) This review article examined the research literature from 1965 to 2009 on the assistive technology that is used by students (preschool through grade 12) with visual impairments including those with additional disabilities ("deaf blind," "deafblind," and "deaf-blind" were included as search terms). The authors located and reviewed 256 articles for evidence-based research on assistive technology that had a positive impact on educational performance. Of the 256 studies, only 2 provided promising evidence-based practices.


Challenging Behaviour in an Adult Male With Congenital Deaf-Blindness: Analysis and Intervention --Jacobsen, Karl; Bjerkan, Bertil; Sorlie, Randi. SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF DISABILITY RESEARCH, vol. 11, #3, pp. 209-220. (2009)People with severe congenital disabilities have been assessed on negatives, on what they do not have. Skill training and education of these missing abilities have been the major focus for the habilitation since emergence of the normalization ideology in the 1960s. Developmental theories and movements like quality of life and positive psychology have changed focus from training and education to well-being and other internal states in people with disabilities. This article describes how challenging behaviour vanished in a 28-year-old deaf-blind man when developmental theory was applied as the framework for his habilitation. Emotional processing and initiatives increased and the man became easier to understand for the staff. The special case of a deaf-blind man illustrates how simple a focus on internal states may slip and be exchanged for intervention dominated by demands and training. The article discusses whether the framework employed in the present intervention should be present in all kind of habilitation.


Authentic Practices for Assessing Skills of Young Children With Sensory Impairments and Multiple Disabilities --Chen, Deborah; Rowland, Charity; Stillman, Robert; Mar, Harvey. EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES, vol. 3, #4, pp. 323-338. (2009) The article reports the results of a qualitative study of assessment practices for children who are deaf-blind. It involved in-depth interviews with 14 professionals representing different disciplines in one state and a focused interview with a group of 10 experts from 10 different state deaf-blind technical assistance (TA) projects. In addition, family perspectives were collected via e-mailed responses to two questions by 12 family specialists from state deaf-blind TA projects and survey responses from 62 parents of children who are deaf-blind. The data indicate similar concerns about challenges assessing young children with sensory impairments and multiple disabilities--in particular, a lack of appropriate assessment instruments and frequent use of traditional and standardized procedures that result in faulty or inadequate information about a child. The article concludes by providing specific considerations and suggestions for conducting authentic assessments in this population of children.


The Relationship of Perceptions of Service and Support Adequacy to Family Quality of Life for Families of Children With Deafblindness (Doctoral Dissertation) --Kyzar, Kathleen. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database. (2010)This study investigated the relationship between families' perceptions of supports and services and family quality of life (FQOL) for children with deafblindness. Two-hundred and twenty-seven families of children with deafblindness between the ages of birth and 22 completed the "Service Adequacy and Family Quality of Life for Families of Children who are Deafblind Survey." Results indicated that families' perceptions of supports and services were significantly related to FQOL and that this relationship was dependent on the level of satisfaction families had with family-professional partnerships and the age of the person in the family. Important predictors included friend and family support, related services, and information services. A discussion of the findings is provided and implications for practice, policy, and future research are discussed. Available from ProQuest: (AAT 3412876).This dissertation was completed at the University of Kansas.


From Active Touch to Tactile Communication: What's Tactile Cognition Got to Do With It? --Nicholas, Jude. Aalborg, Denmark: Danish Resource Centre on Congenital Deafblindness. (2010) This publication reviews research about tactile cognition including tactile memory, tactile learning, and how the brain processes tactile information. It also covers the relationship between touch and the emotions, how emotions are felt in the body, and the role the brain's limbic system plays in emotional experience. The last few pages focus specifically on what this all means for individuals who are deaf-blind and the link between tactile cognition and communication.


A National Transition Follow-Up Study of Youth with Deaf-Blindness: Revisited --Petroff, Jerry G. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #4, Fall 2010, pp. 132-138. (2010)This article reports the findings of a study on post-school outcomes of youth who are deaf-blind. It used the same survey methods as a 1999 study that asked parents about the transition and post-secondary experiences of their children with deaf-blindness. Both studies gathered descriptive information on the characteristics, demographics, and experiences of youth with deaf-blindness and the level of parental satisfaction in their child's secondary education and post-school life. The current survey was completed by 109 respondents. Findings are reported for past school experiences (educational setting, use of dedicated interveners or para-educators, transition planning) and post-school life (employment, living situation, community participation). The article concludes with recommendations for educational and adult service systems and a discussion of policy issues.


Deaf-Blind Young Adults in Action: Legislative Advocacy and Leadership --Parker, Amy T.; Bruce, Susan M.; Spiers, Elizabeth; Ressa, Suzanne V.; Davidson, Roseanna C. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #4, Fall 2010, pp. 124-131. (2010) This article describes a one-week course on leadership and advocacy in Washington, DC for six young adults with deaf-blindness. The young adults were briefed on four legislative topics: the need for Support Service Providers (SSPs); increased support for the state deaf-blind technical assistance projects; the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009; and increased support for the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC). Each selected one or two of the topics as the focus of advocacy during Congressional visits. During the course, the participants refined their communication, self-determination, and advocacy skills and participated as co-researchers examining their development as change agents. An evaluation of the program found that the participants were highly satisfied with the training they received and that the following are important features of effective advocacy training: access to information on policy issues, knowledgeable mentors who understand deaf-blindness, and opportunities to practice advocacy skills while engaging with elected officials.


Aging with Dual Sensory Loss: Thoughts from Consumer Focus Groups --LeJeune, B. J. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #4, Fall 2010, pp. 146-152. (2010) The initial purpose of a series of focus groups of persons aging with hearing and vision loss was to identify themes that could assist in developing survey instruments for a large research project funded by the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research. However, the results of these nine focus groups of 68 persons were so rich that it was felt that the information should be shared. General themes that emerged included difficulties with service-delivery programs, including feeling abandoned by these programs. Other findings described in the article are organized by the following topics: assistive technology, concerns about the future, communications, consumer groups, employment, prevention of vision loss, family concerns, depression, support service providers, and the pyschosocial impact of combined hearing and vision loss.


Street Crossing Signs: Travelers Who Are Deaf-Blind Obtaining Assistance When Pedestrians Are Not Present --Bourquin, Eugene, A.; Hogan, Susanne H.; Sauerburger, Dona J. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #4, Fall 2010, pp. 139-145. (2010) There are streets and lanes where the risk of crossing is unacceptable for deaf-blind pedestrians and a lack of passing pedestrians presents a barrier to asking for help. It has been suggested that assistance to cross a street can be obtained by soliciting help from passing drivers. Heretofore, there have been no studies available to assess the efficacy of using printed signs to prompt drivers to stop their vehicles and offer assistance. This article describes a pilot study which indicates that under particular conditions, travelers can effectively gain assistance to traverse a street using a sign to get help from passing drivers.


Interaction of Dual Sensory Loss, Cognitive Function, and Communication in People Who Are Congenitally Deaf-Blind --Dammeyer, Jesper. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 104, #11, November 2010, pp. 719-725. (2010) The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship, if any, between communicative abilities and cognitive function among persons who are congenitally deaf-blind. All 123 people in Denmark aged 18 and older who were known to be congenitally deaf-blind were included in the study. A questionnaire asking about demographic characteristics, medical problems, communication, and cognitive functioning were completed for 117 of the 123 individuals by personnel who worked with them (the majority were living in institutions for individuals with intellectual or sensory disabilities). Findings included the following: older age was associated with reduced cognitive function, limited communication abilities were associated with reduced cognitive function, and the more partners with education in deaf-blindness a person with deaf-blindness had, the better his or her communication abilities.


Observing the Behaviour and Interactions of Adults with Congenital Deafblindness living in Community Residences --Prain, Meredith; McVilly, Keith; Ramcharan, Paul; Currie, Sally; Reece, John. JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY, vol 35, #2, June 2010, pp. 82-91. (2010)This study examined the nature of interactions between adults with congenital deafblindness (CDB) and the staff who provide support, and investigated the reliability of an observation coding system, originally designed for observing adults with severe intellectual disability. The behaviours of 9 adults with CDB, including their interactions with support staff from 2 community residences, were recorded and subsequently coded by 2 observers. The adults with CDB were predominantly observed to be disengaged, with few observations of engagement according to the coding schedule's definition of engagement. Interactions between the residents and support staff were rare.


Cognitive Functioning of Children with Severe Intellectual Disabilities and Children with Deafblindness: A Study of the Perceptions of Teachers and Parents in the USA and India --Narayan, Jayanthi; Bruce, Susan M.; Bhandari, Reena; Kolli, Padmavathi. JOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, vol. 23, pp. 263-278. (2010)This purposes of this study were to explore how teachers and parents perceive the cognitive functioning of their child/student with intellectual disability or deaf-blindness and to compare how these perceptions differ between parents and teachers in the USA and India. The participants were 125 teachers and parents from both countries. They completed a questionnaire of 13 yes/no items with space for the respondents to explain their responses and provide examples. Analysis of the yes/no questions revealed that many of the perceptions of the participants were similar in both countries, as were the examples cited in the narrative responses. The teachers in this study tended to credit performance more readily than parents and were more likely to report emerging skills and teaching strategies. The narratives highlighted the importance of functional assessment in the child’s natural environment over time to most fully capture the child’s present abilities and potential.


More About Cochlear Implantation in Children with Charge Association --Lina-Granade, Genevieve; Porot, Monique; Vesson, Jean-Francois; Truy, Eric. COCHLEAR IMPLANTS INTERNATIONAL, vol. 11, #1, June 2010, pp. 187-191. (2010)This study describes the outcomes for five boys with CHARGE association who received cochlear implants at a cochlear implantation center in France. Two of the children had visual impairments. The article provides information about the type of surgical procedure that was used, the process of fitting and mapping, speech and language outcomes, and communication modes used by each child at the time of the last assessment.


Teaching of Emotional Expression using Finger Braille --Matsuda, Yasuhiro; Isomura, Tsuneshi. 2010 Sixth International Conference on Intelligent Information Hiding and Multimedia Signal Processing. (2010)Finger braille is one method of tactual communication used by deaf-blind people in Japan. Because there is such a small number of non-disabled people who are skilled in finger braille, deaf-blind people communicate only through an interpreter. The objective of this study was development of a finger braille support device to assist not only verbal communication but also non-verbal (emotional) communication between deaf-blind people and non-disabled people who are not skilled in finger braille.


Language and Play in Students with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairments or Deaf-Blindness --Pizzo, Lianna; Bruce, Susan M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 104, #5, May 2010, pp. 287-297. (2010) This study explored the relationships between play and the development of communication in 11 students (aged 3 to 10 years) with multiple disabilities and visual impairments (5 children) or deaf-blindness (6 children). The parents and teachers of the students were asked to complete the Play Assessment Questionnaire, an observational measure designed to assess play behaviors. The Communication Matrix was used to assess the children's communication skills. The findings indicate that students with higher levels of communication demonstrate more advanced play skills and that the use of play-based assessment and exposure to symbolic play are important instructional considerations.


Frequency of Usher Syndrome in Two Pediatric Populations: Implications for Genetic Screening of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children --Kimberling, William J.; Hildebrand, Michael S.; Shearer, A. Eliot; Jensen, Maren L.; Halder, Jennifer A.; Trzupek, Karmen; Cohn, Edward S.; Weleber, Richard G.; Stone, Edwin M.; Smith, Richard, J. H. GENETICS IN MEDICINE, vol. 12, #8, August 2010, pp. 512-516. (2010)Newly developed molecular technologies can detect the underlying gene mutation of Usher syndrome early in life providing an estimation of its prevalence in at risk pediatric populations and laying a foundation for its incorporation as an adjunct to newborn hearing screening programs. In this study, a total of 133 children from two deaf and hard of hearing pediatric populations were genotyped first for GJB2/6 and, if negative, then for Usher syndrome. Children were scored as positive if the test revealed 1 or more pathogenic mutations in any Usher gene. The number of deaf and hard of hearing children carrying Usher syndrome mutations was 15/133 (11.3%). The population prevalence was estimated to be 1/6000. The authors conclude that Usher syndrome is more prevalent than has been reported before the genome project era and that the results demonstrate that DNA testing for Usher syndrome is feasible and may be a useful addition to newborn hearing screening programs.


Current Assessment Practices for Young Children Who Are Deaf-Blind --Rowland, Charity; Stillman, Robert; Mar, Harvey. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #3, Summer 2010, pp. 63-69. (2010) Practitioners face a host of challenges in conducting quality assessments of children who are deaf-blind. Assessments developed for children without disabilities or for children with other developmental disabilities are unlikely to be appropriate without adaptations. Some instruments have been developed for the target population, but these are not widely known. This article presents the results of an investigation of current practices in the assessment of 2- to 8- year-old children who are deaf-blind. Two nationwide surveys provided information on assessment instruments used and ratings of their characteristics. An investigation of the inclusion of assessment results in individualized education plans (IEPs) and individualized family service plans (IFSPs) was also conducted. Results include a list of assessments commonly used to assess the population, ratings of the instruments, and a discussion of the degree to which assessment instruments and results inform IEP/IFSP development. Although standardized assessment instruments are rarely useful, a number of appropriate assessments instruments are available for evaluating learning skills in young children who are deaf-blind.


Family Survey Results: Children With Deaf-Blindness Who Have Cochlear Implants - -Bashinski, Susan M.; Durando, Julie; Thomas, Kathleen Stremel. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, Summer 2010, vol. 3, #3, pp. 81-90. (2010) This study examined families' feelings and perceptions about their child's cochlear implant and its impact on the child and the family. Survey research methodology involved both Web-based and paper and pencil formats to maximize the response rate. The survey questions asked about the process of implantation, child outcomes, and the availability and use of support services following implantation. Sixty families completed the survey. Eight-five percent indicated they would again decide to seek an implant for their child, knowing what they know now.


Reliability and Fidelity of the van Dijk Assessment --Nelson, Catherine; Janssen, Marleen; Oster, Teresa; Jayaraman, Gayatri. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, Summer 2010, vol. 3, #3, pp. 71-80. (2010) The van Dijk Framework for Assessment of Children and Youth with Multiple Disabilities and Deaf-Blindness provides a child-guided approach to assessment that examines the processes children use as they learn and internalize information. However, the fluid nature of the child-guided assessment creates challenges for determining interrater reliability. This study examined specific quality indicators for successful implementation of the model, the ability of practitioners to implement the assessment with fidelity, and the ability of multiple examiners to look at the same child assessment and reliably come to similar conclusions. Nine educators with responsibilities to conduct assessments of individuals with deaf-blindness each used the assessment with two children or youth (between the ages of 2 and 21 years) with deaf-blindness and multiple disabilities. On average, the educators were able to implement the assessment with fidelity. In addition, multiple examiners were able to reliably reach similar conclusions in all assessment areas.


Understanding Teachers' Self-Efficacy to Support Children with Deaf-Blindness --Hartmann, Elizabeth S. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, Summer 2010, vol. 3, #3, pp. 91-97. (2010) In this study, the self-efficacy of teachers who supported children with deaf-blindness was examined using an approach based on the work of Bandura and Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy. Thirteen special educators with varying levels of experience working with children who are deaf-blind were asked to respond to open-ended questions on their judgments about their capability to educate this population of children. Qualitative analysis identified factors that differentiated teachers with varying degrees of self-efficacy and helped to define teacher self-efficacy in deaf-blindness. Results indicated that teachers’ self-efficacy was affected by contextual factors, including (a) education/training, (b) employer support, (c) past teaching experiences, (d) collaborative experiences, and (e) general attitudes toward children with deaf-blindness.


Neuroplasticity Associated with Tactile Language Communication in a Deaf-Blind Subject --Obretenova, Souzana; Halko, Mark A.; Plow, Ela B.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Merabet, Lotfi B. FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 3, article 60 (14 pages) (2010) This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the neural correlates associated with language processing in a 37-year-old man who is congenitally deaf and lost his vision due to trauma at age 6. It compared the neural networks associated with three modes of tactile communication--Braille reading, Print on Palm, and a tactile form of American Sign Language. With all three modes of tactile communication, identifying words was associated with robust activation within the brain's occipital cortical regions as well as posterior superior temporal and inferior frontal language areas. The authors write that the results demonstrate that in the case of early onset visual and auditory deprivation, tactile-based communication is associated with an extensive cortical network implicating occipital as well as posterior superior temporal and frontal associated language areas. Available on the web:


Autism Spectrum Conditions in Individuals with Möbius Sequence, CHARGE syndrome, and Oculo-Auriculo-Vertebral Spectrum : Disagnostic Aspects --Johansson, Maria; Gillberg, Christopher; Rastam, Maria. RESEARCH IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, vol. 31, pp. 9-24. (2010) This study analyzed the applicability of current autism diagnostic instruments in individuals with multiple disabilities. The diagnostic instruments analyzed included the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADIR), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), and the Autistic Behaviour Checklist (ABC). The participants included 25 individuals with Möbius sequence, 31 with CHARGE Syndrome (3 deaf-blind), and 20 with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum (1 deaf-blind). Autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) were diagnosed in 45%, 68%, and 42% of the individuals in each group, respectively. Diagnostic difficulties due to additional disabilities such as mental retardation (MR), impaired vision, impaired hearing, and cranial nerve dysfunction were experienced in all three groups. The authors conclude that an extensive battery of diagnostic instruments, including observational schedules and parent interviews, and, if possible, independent judgments from two clinicians, is essential in the diagnosis of ASCs in these individuals and that the applicability of current autism diagnostic instruments in individuals who are deaf-blind is highly questionable. They also note that symptoms caused by disabilities other than ASCs (e.g., sensory deprivation) but that resemble ASC symptoms, may be misinterpreted as symptoms of ASCs and vice versa.


Hands and Reading: What Deafblind Adults Readers Tell Us --Ingraham, Cynthia L.; Andrews, Jean F. BRITISH JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, vol. 28, #2, pp. 130-138. (2010) This qualitative study used in-depth interviews to explore the language and reading histories of three deaf-blind adults. Each participant was interviewed for 1 hour. The participants reflected on how they learned language and how they learned to read as children. They also described the technology that assists them in reading print. The interviews were conducted in sign language, videotaped, transcribed into English, and analyzed. The findings suggest that deaf-blind adults use a variety of auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic strategies (e.g., Braille, large print, and raised print) in decoding English.


Ophthalmologic Disorders in Children With Syndromic and Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss --Johnston, Douglas R.; Curry, Joseph M.; Newborough, Brian; Morlet, Thierry; Bartoshesky, Louis; Lehnam, Sharon; Ennis, Sara; O'Reilly, Robert C. ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY HEAD NECK SURGERY, 136(3), March 2010, 277-280.(2010) The goal of this study was to identify the rate of eye disorders in 77 children with syndromic and nonsyndromic congenital sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), but with no other history of ophthalmologic disease. Children with well- defined risk factors for ophthalmologic and auditory impairment (e.g., prematurity, congenital infections) were excluded. The method was a retrospective review of the medical records of children with congenital SNHL seen in a department of otolaryngology at a pediatric hospital over a 5-year period who received ophthalmologic and genetic evaluations. A clinically significant ophthalmologic disorder was identified in 25 of 77 (32%). When children with multisystem genetic disorders known to be related visual loss were excluded, the rate fell to 23% (12 of 53 without, as compared to 13 of 24 with, a multisystem disorder). Although this rate of vision loss is lower than the rate for children with systemic disorders, it is still 2 to 3 times that of the general pediatric population. This indicates a need for ophthalmologic evaluation in children with apparently isolated SNHL. The children with multisystem conditions had a variety of conditions including CHARGE syndrome (2), Down syndrome (2), Waardenburg syndrome (2). None had Usher syndrome. The degree of SNHL was not predictive of eye or vision abnormalities. The most common types of problems were motility disorders (inward or outward eye deviation), refractive disorders (near-sightedness, far-sightedness, anisometropia, astigmatism), structural disorders (iris heterochromia, coloboma, cataracts), and neuro-ophthalmologic disorders (optic atrophy, nystagmus, optic disc anomaly).


College Students Who Are Deafblind: Perceptions of Adjustment and Academic Supports --Arndt, Katrina. AER JOURNAL: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 3, #1, Winter 2010, pp. 12-19. (2010) This descriptive qualitative interview study explored the perspectives of 11 college students who are deaf-blind in order to gain insight into their experiences. Results indicate that students have to manage both adjustments to visual impairment and academic supports as they navigate college life. Implications for service providers include begin knowledgeable about deaf-blindness and supporting students self-determination skills.


Interaction Coaching with Mothers of Children with Congenital Deaf-Blindness at Home: Applying the Diagnostic Intervention Model --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, J.; van Dijk, Jan P. M.; Ruijssenaars, Wied A. J. J. M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 104, #1, January 2010, pp. 15-29. (2010) This article describes the application of the Diagnostic Intervention Model and its effects in two case studies of 3-year-old boys, Rolf and Ruud, using individual interaction coaching with their mothers. The purpose of the Diagnostic Intervention Model is to teach educators and caregivers to establish high quality ("harmonious") interactions with children who are deaf-blind. Positive effects were found for all the target categories in both cases, although an interaction that used materials appeared to be more complex.

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