University of Edinburgh

Emotional Isolation: helping young children with sensory impairments to feel calm, curious and emotionally connected to their caregivers

Presented on Friday 21st November 2014


This was an excellent opportunity to learn from Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, who is well known for her production of the documentary film, "The Connected Baby". Her research investigates the human need for emotional and physiological connection. This need influences not only parent-child relationships, but all relationships that babies and children have with significant adults, including professional caregivers, teachers, foster parents, and support staff.

This course explored understanding how the need for connection drives children's behaviour and helps adults to see that behaviour is always communicative. This stance gives new ways to respond to that behaviour, strengthening the relationship with the child. The participants will have gained the opportunity to understand how children make emotional connections with others, and how that influences their brain development. The impact of the course will be that participants have practical suggestions for creating connection to children emphasising the importance of starting all engagements from a place of curiosity.

"Speaker was exceptional and really engaging. Enjoyed opportunity for group to share experiences and ideas. Great balance."

"I enjoyed and learned much from all 3 sessions, especially: deeper knowledge of attachment, difficulties VI/HI children may have forming attachment, and difficulties they may encounter if attachment is not established."

Target Audience

Suitable for anyone involved in supporting and caring for babies and young children with a sensory impairment in mainstream settings, including early years workers, teachers, classroom assistants, ASN staff, parents, foster parents, relief staff, and all professionals working in these sector.


Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Developmental Psychologist and Honorary Fellow based at the University of Dundee


10.30 am Attachment: Connection vs Isolation

11.45 am Attunement: Why it helps to re-connect

1.45 pm Human Brains: How they develop

3 pm Attachment, Attunement & Brain Function: Pulling it all together

3.45 pm Course Evaluation and close