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DBI World Conference 2019 - Promoting accessibility through psychological assessment

DBI World Conference 2019
Communications stream: Concurrent session 7E
Presenter: Vuokko Einarsson & Maria Creutz
Topic: Promoting accessibility through psychological assessment

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DBI World Conference 2019 - Promoting accessibility through psychological assessment

  1. 1. The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools The Swedish government’s support in areas concerning special needs in education. Purpose To support schools in helping their pupils reach their educational goals. 1
  2. 2. Promoting accessibility through psychological assessment in individuals with deafblindness Lynn Skei, Tina Bendixen, Emmi Tuomi, Vuokko Einarsson members of the Cognition network connected to the Nordic center of Welfare and Social issues
  3. 3. AGENDA for this presentation • Why psychological assessment: assessment a tool for promoting development, learning and increased accessibility • What do we get: The childs developmental baseline • How do we get it: through mapping the child's background, environment and assessing different developmental domaines
  4. 4. We are: • Clinical psychologists from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark working in the deafblind field • In this context the word ‘clinical’ refers to working with individuals in real life situations, understanding relationships, and the connections between brain, mind, body and behavior, together with relevant theorys
  5. 5. Why assessment • assessment first and foremost is a tool for promoting learning, development and increased accessibility • Our experience is that many indviduals with deafblindness can be missunderstood and that their abilities often are underestimatied
  6. 6. What do we get • Knowledge and understanding of an unusual condition on an individual and a group level (research). • For exampel Lynn Skei is working on her PhD on CHARGE syndrome, Emmi Tuomi is also doing her PhD, Cognitive assessment of persons with deafblindness with multiple disabilities.
  7. 7. What do we get • Asssessment provides a baseline, which facilitate evaluation, it is often a skewed profile, a snapshot of the functional level “here and now”. • Information about facilitating and limiting conditions in the environment
  8. 8. The developmental profile is often skewed
  9. 9. What do we get • Assessment enhances the awareness of the child’s resources and challenges • Can give us essential information of individual interventions that can be helpful and motivating for the child: • Mental strategies and techniques • Technical aids
  10. 10. What do we get • psychologists both have to describe the child´s developmental possibilities as well as difficulties • Describing, naming difficulties sometimes leads to diagnoses
  11. 11. How do we get the baseline: by using a biopsychosocial model for understanding development • A neuroconstructivist perspective on development • Brofenbrenners bioecological system • A transactional model of developmental
  12. 12. Bioecological system (Brofenbrenner, 1986)
  13. 13. Transactional model of development (Sameroff & Chandler, 1974)
  14. 14. How do we get it: We consider psychological assessment as a part of a multidiciplinarie effort • Medical history, anamnestic information • Interviews with significant others to get information of present medical status, functions, participation and activity • Observations: structured and naturalistic • Individualized psychological assessment
  15. 15. We need to understand how deafblindness and other conditions interact with each other • We need to have knowledge of different conditions – disabilities. • For example, simultaneous disabilities, conditions can be more difficult or easier to handle in everyday life due to cognitive abilities.
  16. 16. How do we get the baseline: • Relationship and communication is the core of assessment • Our experience is that it is informative to expose the child to a testing situation • Through standardized methods with individual adjustments and observations • Through interpretation of information, behavior and the test results
  17. 17. How: assessing different functional domains • Social cognition • Learning and memory • Executive function • Language and communication • Perceptual motor function • Visuoperceptual, visuospatial and visuoconstructional function (These domains together make up the general intelligence)
  18. 18. Concluding remarks • In our assessments:  we search for ways to relate and communicate with the child  we search for resources in the child and the enviroment  we try to find and describe the childs zone of proximal development  we use the childs own baseline when measuring change and development  we always consider results in a developmental perspective
  19. 19. Contact details Website: Phone: +46 10 473 50 00 Textphone: +46 10 473 68 00 Facebook SPSMsverige Twitter @SPSMsverige Instagram Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten 19