University of Edinburgh

Play and Communication for Children with Visual Impairment and Additional Support Needs

Presented on Monday & Tuesday 1 & 2 December 2008

Video Observation

Mary Lee
Royal Blind School, Edinburgh

Video observation

  • Need structure that does not limit
  • Work together in a group - be open-minded
  • Adopt an analytical way of thinking, that is not just 'what' is happening but also 'why'
  • Know what you are looking for - knowledge of child development
  • The child with visual impairment may not be aware of sending signals

What is the child communicating?

  • Attention
    Drawing attention to self
  • Request
    Requesting an object, person or action
  • Give
    Giving an object to the adult
  • Rejection
    Expressing dislike of object, person or action
  • Finish
    Desire for activity to end
  • Pleasure
    Pleasure or recognition of favourite person or object
  • Conversational
    Maintaining a shared interaction by turn taking
  • Feelings
    Feelings other than like or dislike
  • Imitation
    Attempts to imitate actions or sounds of another
  • Other
    Behaviours different from above
  • Whole body movement
    A whole body gesture
  • Gesture
    Can be made with any body part
  • Body posture
    Turning away, leaning towards etc
  • Eye contact
    A child with peripheral vision may look with face turned away
  • Facial expression
    Anger, fear, surprise, sadness etc
  • Proxemics
    Use of personal space, eg; sitting near to
  • Touch
    Makind contact to convey a message
  • Vocalisation
    Includes sounds and vocalisations

Video Observation
The Approach and behaviour of the adult partner

Physical approach

  • Distance between partners - is this acceptable and suitable?
  • Position and orientation - turning towards, aligning head and adapting to position of the young person
  • Ability to be still
  • How adult partner's movements reflect or tune in with the young person's

Multi-sensory approach

  • Does the adult partner take account of the young person's sensory impairment?
  • Note how touch, sound, movement and vocalisation are used
    - to attract attention
    - to maintain contact
    - to inform person of what is going to happen
    - to back up spoken language
  • Is the touch acceptable to the person?

Use of spoken language

  • Is language used
    - simple, clear and directed to the young person?
    - relevant to what is happening?
    - relevant to the young person's understanding?
  • Is language used to reflect the young person's feelings?
  • Not how questions are used
  • Is sign used alongside speech? If so, how?

Interactive skills

  • Note the pace and timing of interaction. Is it calm and unhurried - does it flow - are pauses and silences allowed?
  • Does the adult partner monitor young person's responses and change interaction to suit?
  • Note how adult partner responds to non-verbal signals, eg; through movement, touch, vocalisation, speech or imitation?
  • Does adult partner follow young person's lead?
  • Is the young person given the opportunity to initiate and make choices?
  • Does the adult partner promote the young person's independence?