Deafblind Awareness Week: Touch and Early Communication

The bond between a baby and their parents begins usually from birth. The care needed and touch of the baby helps to form and develop the relationship between them such as eye contact, smiling, and vocalizations. 

For children with MSI this initial time getting to know your baby may be interrupted by the baby’s medical needs. They may spend a prolonged period in hospital, in an incubator surrounded by wires and monitors making early contact between parents very difficult, which would affect both the relationship between parents and the baby’s experiences of positive touch. Their experiences of touch is unpredictable which can be very scary and painful when a nurse moves you or puts a needle in your arm when you are not expecting it.  

Babies with multi-sensory impairments need to get as much information as possible from their residual sight and hearing and from their other senses. For many babies and children touch can provide a means of learning about the world around and a means of communication.