’Opening Doors - Part 3

Assessment Guide to the Levels

We have given an overview of the framework and we are now going to look at a description of each level. Once an initial response has been developed we are looking at how this can be taken forwards by creating an environment that enables and empowers the child to make progress according to their capabilities.

Case study example for each of these levels using one particular child, Ali.

A case study example describing each of the levels of the framework is presented using one particular child, Ali. It is possible that Ali has a form of Balint's syndrome in addition to her visual impairment as she experiences sensory overload and distress if placed in a noisy and cluttered environment. If Ali is given an experience of a small number of stimuli at once she can be involved in interaction with her environment and with her helper. She benefits from visual and auditory distractions being kept to the minimum as will be evident in this case study.

Case study: visual awareness

Ali has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, epilepsy and is registered blind. Ali's parents shared information which described Ali's responses of distress when in a situation of sensory overload of any kind, for example, when she is taken to a supermarket. Ali would be calm if on her own or in a calm environment. In other noisy or cluttered environments she would become greatly agitated, vocalising unhappily for long periods of time and it would be difficult to calm her down. She would frequently self harm if experiencing sensory overload.

' This is a photograph taken of Ali's first experience of a colour tent. It was an immediate response of calming and she appeared to be using her visual awareness for the first time.'

The next sections of 'Opening Doors' will chart Ali's progress

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