Peer contact of a child with congenital deafblindness


People with congenital deafblindness (CDB) need competent communication partners to help them to make sense of the world around them and to guide them in their contacts with other people (Janssen & Rødbroe, 2007). As people with CDB are not considered competent communication partners themselves due to their impairments and their use of idiosyncratic signs, it is difficult for people with CDB to establish spontaneous peer contact with each other (van der Heijden, 2009). This study was undertaken with the thought that if people in general benefit from having contact with peers, then why would this be different for people with CDB. The study wanted to look at the role of peer contact in general and the peer contact of a child with CDB (M.) in particular. The child with CDB is looking for contact with her peers on her own accord and is therefore considered an exemplary case.

The starting point of the study was to develop a conceptual framework derived from the literature to enable looking at the role of peer contact. The conceptual framework has proven to be very useful throughout the study, and led to several findings. The findings for the case study were especially remarkable, because it highlighted differences between M.’s peer contact at school and at home. The overall findings show that carers in the field of CDB need to be aware of the relevance of peer contact for people with CDB. Carers could look at peer contact in different settings using the conceptual framework.

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PEER CONTACT OF A CHILD WITH CONGENITAL DEAFBLINDNESS by Manon Fallon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Netherlands License, and is available as docx, doc, odt, rtf, and pdf.