A Framework for Understanding Young Children with Severe Multiple Disabilities: The Van Dijk Approach to Assessment
This article describes a framework for assessing young children with severe multiple disabilities that was developed by Dr. Jan van Dijk and colleagues in the Netherlands. The assessment is guided by the lead of the child as it looks at the underlying processes of learning including biobehavioral state, orienting response, learning channels, approach–withdrawal, memory, interactions, communication, and problem solving. Through the use of two case studies, each of the learning processes is described along with suggestions for assessment and intervention. A sample protocol with observations, child strengths and needs, and suggestions for intervention is included.