University of Edinburgh

Working with Pupils with a Dual Sensory Impairment or Deaf Pupils with Complex Needs

Presented on Wednesday 26 November 2008

Profiles of Pupils with a Dual Sensory Impairment

Pupil T
Age 11years

Severe visual impairment (Coloboma), but has learned to use residual sight well. Can understand pictures and is beginning to understand the written word. Severe sensori-neural and conductive hearing loss, wears hearing aid in one ear, other ear is deformed. Although we feel that pupil T can hear (and possibly understand) the spoken word, she does not use spoken language to communicate. Understands and uses basic sign communication. Has additional learning difficulties. Spirited child whose understanding can surprise those who know her well.


Pupil S.  
Age 18 years

Severe visual impairment, but has learned to use sight well. Profound bi-lateral sensori-neural hearing loss. Recurring and severe congestion problems - ears, nose. Physical impairments, deformity of hands and feet, curvature of spine, wheelchair user. Has additional learning difficulties. Communication, social & emotional difficulties give rise to severe challenging behaviour at times. Uses sign and fingerspelling to communicate, but very difficult to understand due to speed and to deformities of the hands. Understands and uses pictures and the written word.


Pupil E.  
Age 12 years

Severe cortical visual impairment as well as nystagmus and convergent squint. Visual awareness of the environment continues to improve gradually. Uses touch primarily to gain information about the world.  Also has severe learning difficulties. Although no hearing loss is diagnosed, pupil does not use spoken language at all. Does appear to understand simple, clear, spoken language. Very sociable pupil.


Pupil K.  
Age 5 years

Severe visual impairment (Retinopathy of Prematurity), bilateral cataracts, right eye better than left. Will move this eye around with finger to explore lights and objects visually. Uses touch to explore also. Hearing not yet assessed accurately due to unreliable responses, but suspect mild/moderate loss. Significant general developmental delay. Only very recently learned to walk and to eat orally (formerly gastro-nasal tube).