Concept Development Bibliography

by DB-LINK on Apr 1, 2009
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the NCDB Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 4/2009


The Application of Werner and Kaplan's Concept of "Distancing" to Children Who Are Deaf-Blind --Bruce, Susan M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT & BLINDNESS, vol. 99, #8, August 2005, pp. 464-477. (2005) This article discusses the application of Werner and Kaplan's concept of distancing and how it has shaped research and practice in deaf-blindness, including the theories of Jan van Dijk. Through the process of distancing, children develop an understanding of the differences between themselves and others, themselves and objects, and objects and representations. Adults can support progressive distancing in children who are congenitally deaf-blind by applying strategies such as the hand-under-hand exploration of objects, the selection of communication forms that are based on children's level of representation, the use of cues for recall that are based on children's experiences, and modeling of more complex play schemes. Distancing is essential to the development of communication, including the understanding of symbols. Available in Spanish.


Embodied Cognition and the Development of Language for Individuals who are Congenitally Deafblind --Deasy, Kathleen; Lyddy, Fiona. DBI REVIEW, #38, July-December 2006, pp. 4-7. (2006) The article states the cognitive processes necessary for language development become associated with the specific way one who is deafblind interacts with the environment. The embodied cognition approach, by focusing on the manner in which a mind, body and world mutually interact together, may prove informative with respect to facilitating communication in this group.


The Formation of Representation in Deaf-Blind Children --Suvorov, A. V. SOVIET PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 22, #2, pp. 3-28. (1983) The author discusses his personal experiences as a deaf-blind student, his theoretical views of representational development in deaf-blind individuals, and findings from practical work with deaf and blind children. Representation is defined as a form of mental activity that is responsible for the creation of images of all possible situations (i.e., an image of the world as a whole) in which a person is active. The question of how it is possible for the image of one's actions to coincide with the image of their object is explored. The role of speech and communication in representational abilities is also discussed.


Guide to Learning to Learn Model and Instructional Materials --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D; Schwiegert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland: Design to Learn. (2005) The Learning to Learn model is an educational approach for children with severe and multiple disabilities including deafblindness and involves instruction in communication development and concept development that is integrated into typical classroom activities. The four components of the model are : Assessing the Child, Developing a Learning Plan, Teaching & Learning and Monitoring Performance to Promote Progress. This guide, in overview fashion, lists all of the materials and tools that have been developed and includes useful graphics that put the tools in relationhip to the model components. Available on the web:


Hands-On Problem Solving for Children with Multiple Disabilities: Guide to Assessment and Teaching Strategies --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Center on Self-Determination, Oregon Health Sciences University. (1997) This publication was produced by a research grant. It contains: an introduction to the concept of learned helplessness and justifies the need to teach problem solving skills to children who have sensory deficits; a description of problem solving skills (skills, motivation and flexibility); a description of the research project; a list of thirty-three problem solving skills; assessment strategies; instructional strategies, including embedding opportunities into existing activities and routines and creating new activities; and a section on documenting progress. An 2002 updated version of this publication (same title) is available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Learning to Learn: a Systematic Child-Centered Model Skill Development in Young Children Who are Deafblind : Final Report --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Oregon Health & Science University. (2005) This final report describes activities and accomplishments of a five-year federally supported project to develop a seamless model of skill development for young children (ages 3-8) who are deafblind. The instructional model addresses the fundemental skills necessary to understand and master the social environment (social interaction, pre-symbolic communication and symbolic communication) and the physical environment (manipulating objects and negotiating obstacles and barriers that arise at home, in class and in the community). The instructional content consists of the social, communicative and concept development skills needed to interact with the social and physical environments. The outcome is understanding of the social and physical environments such that the child can take in the new information, respond to it and act on it appropriately. The instructional approach is individualized so that intervention harnesses the instrinsic motivations of each child in the pursuit of learning. The instructional approach is systematic so that families and professionals understand how learning unfolds and how intervention plans relate to the child's current skills and support the development of new skills. Learners include not just the child, but family members, who need to understand the child's behavior and how the home environment influences learning; and professionals who need to understand how the social and physical make-up of a classroom influence the child's ability to learn. It involved sites in Oregon, Washington, Texas and California. Final products associated with the project are included in the appendix. Available on the web:


Number Concept and Elementary Arithmetic for Children in the Perkins Deaf-Blind Department : Adapted From Techniques for Brain-Injured Children --Lazzari. (1969) This curriculum for teaching numbers and early arithmetic skills includes sections on beginning concepts such as shapes and forms, size and length, more and less, one-to-one correspondence, and counting; addition; subtraction; simple problem solving; higher numbers; telling time; tens and units; introduction to working with money; measurements; multiplication; division; and addition.


Principles and Strategies of Van Dijk – Volume 1 --MacFarland, Stephanie, Ph.D. The Blumberg Center at Indiana State University. Important Topics in Deafblind Education. (1997) This video presents the principles of the Van Dijk theory of educational programming for deafblind students. It describes the main principles including the distancing principle, developing self-concept, and concept development strategies of the theory. Resonance phenomenon (to develop turn taking), co-active movement sequence, attachment and rapport building, calendar boxes, and discrimination strategies are discussed as well. Order information can be obtained from the Blumberg Center, School of Education, Room 502, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, PH: 800-622-3035.


Understanding and Preventing Learned Helplessness in Learners Who Are Congenitally Deafblind --Marks, Susan Bruce. Hilton Perkins Program. Workshop Proceedings of the 1997 National Conference on Deafblindness: The Individual in a Changing Society, Washington, DC June 6-9, 1997. (1997) This paper also appears in JVIB, vol.92, #3, March 1998. While there are many reasons for an individual to exhibit passive behavior, congenitally deafblind children are at risk to develop a passivity that is both pervasive and enduring. The loss of both distance senses creates the need for the learner to rely on others to motivate exploration and communication, which is the foundation of concept development. This article connects the literature base in learned helplessness with best practices in deafblindness to address how caregivers and teachers can prevent or reduce learned helplessness in learners who are congenitally deafblind.


Understanding Deafblindness : Issues, Perspectives, and Strategies --Alsop, Linda, M.Ed. (Ed.) Logan, UT: SKI-HI Institute, Utah State University. (2002) A comprehensive 2-volume curriculum for parents, interveners, and service providers working with children and young adults who are deaf-blind. Aspects of deaf-blind programming covered include communication, concept development, vision, hearing, touch, sensory integration, intervention, family issues, physical education, additional disabilities, orientation and mobility, community support, and evaluation. Individual chapters were written by professionals with expertise in their respective subject areas. Available from Hope Publishing, Inc. Phone/Fax: 435-245-2888. E-mail: Cost: $160.00

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