Resources for professionals working with children and young people

Many professionals in health, education and social care will only occasionally meet a family who have a child who is deafblind/multi-sensory impaired and may be uncertain how best to support them. 

Children who are deafblind/MSI often behave differently to sighted hearing children. These children get very little information about the world around them, and so find it difficult to understand.

This does not mean that they have cognitive learning difficulties, although some children do. Similarly, many children who are deafblind/MSI show difficulties with communication and social relationships, without having autistic spectrum disorders. Other peoplecan help children who are deafblind/MSI to understand the world around them by using key approaches. These approaches will also help the child to develop relationships with others.

General resources

  • Route map to meeting the needs of deafblind children and young people in the new SEND system (PDF): Multi-disciplinary guide for professionals
  • Deafblindness and the other senses - information about the senses and how they are affected by deafblindness
  • Key approaches for professionals who work with children who are deafblind. Information about six key approaches to help a child learn
  • Observational asessments - information about understanding behaviour, including observational assessments, what and how to observe, and factors affecting behaviour
  • Information on communicating with people who are deafblind, including communication modes and aides, developing communication and further resources of information
  • Information for teaching professionals, including key approaches, teaching strategies, communication with and understanding deafblindness and how it affects the education of a child with multi-sensory impairments
  • Learning environment - information about adapting the environment to suit development and learning
  • Information about the curriculum, including how to modify it for children who are deafblind or have sensory impairments
  • Teaching strategies - information to help teachers effectively work with children and young adults who are deafblind
  • MSI Curriculum - download a copy of the curriculum document for multi-sensory-impaired children, which was created in 2009 by Heather Murdoch and the MSI unit at Victoria School, Birmingham, and published by Sense

First published: Monday 21 May 2012
Updated: Wednesday 26 July 2017