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A woman and a young child The Power of Connection in Ordinary Moments

A special weekend for families and their child with DeafBlindness

Friday, December 8 thru Sunday, December 10, 2017

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX


Children with DeafBlindness have special challenges interacting with the world and making connections with others due to the vision and hearing loss they experience.  This can cause a great deal of stress or trauma in their lives as they try to make sense of what is happening to them and around them each day. 

Science is showing us that this stress can cause many other problems for the child in terms of mental and physical health, learning, and overall development. There are ways to reduce the impact of this stress and build resilience in these children.  This special weekend for adult caregivers or parents and the child with DeafBlindness hopes to point the way by improving the quality of our interactions during ordinary moments of family life.

You have been invited to participate in this special "by invitation only" event.

About Our Presenter

ZeedykSmallDr. Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ innate capacity to connect.  Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee (Scotland), within the School of Psychology.  Her academic career began in the USA, where she completed her PhD at Yale University.

In 2011, Suzanne stepped away from a full-time academic post in order to establish an independent training enterprise.  Its aim is to help the public understand all that science has discovered about the importance of emotional connection for human health and happiness.  It’s working!  Approximately 40,000 people have now attended her speaking events, and she reaches over 50,000 people a week on social media.  She works internationally with organizations who are keen to think more deeply about fostering connection, compassion and resilience.

In 2014, Suzanne broadened her public reach even further by founding the organization connected baby.  She and her team work to help parents and professionals make practical use of the science of connection.  Relationships matter – as much for human brains as for human hearts.

Suzanne’s core aspiration continues to be strengthening awareness of the decisions we take about caring for our children — because those choices are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.

About the Weekend

Friday, 8 December (6:30-8:30 PM)

Families will check into the DoubleTree Austin Hotel on Friday evening and have an opportunity to connect with each other, our presenter and the Texas DeafBlind Outreach staff.  Dinner will be provided beginning at 6:30 PM.  On Saturday and Sunday the workshop will take place on the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired campus located at 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, TX.  Below is the agenda for these two days:

Saturday, 9 December (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM)

8:45 AM Welcome, children to child care and housekeeping

9:00 AM The value of responsive interactions plus interactions with your child

10:00 AM Break

10:30 AM  How interactions shape their children’s biology

11:45 AM Lunch

12:30 PM Children to child care

1:00 PM  "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" a film by James Redford followed by a discussion

2:00 PM Break

2: 30 PM  Interactions with your child and discussing the implications of these moments for children’s biology.

4:00 PM Adjourn to the hotel

Sunday, 10 December (9:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

8:45 AM  Children to child care  

9:00 AM Welcome and overview for the day plus a series of interaction activities

10: 00 AM Break

10:30 AM Reviewing the interactions and discussion

11:45 AM Lunch

1:00 PM Exploring ideas for boosting attuned interaction 

2:00 PM Break

2:15 PM How we explain this information to other members’ of the child’s team

3:00 PM Depart


The fee for attending this event is $100 per family.  We have stipends available to cover the cost of this registration for those who request it.  Edgenie Bellah, our Family Engagement Specialist, or other of the Texas DeafBlind Project staff will be in touch with you to discuss this assistance.  We will register you at that time.

If you are a professional and attending with a family member you may register yourself at the ESCWorks registration site

Lodging and Meals

Lodging and meals will be provided as part of this weekend with the exception of dinner on Saturday evening.  We do have financial assistance available to cover the cost of the hotel, this additional meals and transportation as needed.  The hotel, DoubleTree Austin Hotel is located at 6505 N Interstate 35, Austin, Texas,78752.  For professionals and paraprofessionals, to reserve a room please book your room online and use the code IBW.  (All caps.)  For family members needing lodging, please contact Suzanne Slade so that she may add you directly to our room block.  Her contact information is provided below.

Child Care

You will be interacting with your child throughout the weekend. During the times you are listening to Dr. Zeedyk or participating in discussions, your children will be cared for by staff from TSBVI in a nearby room.  Please bring any special toys or items that will help your child to feel more comfortable when not with you.  Also, we will have snacks available for the children, but if your child has a special diet you may want to bring that with you.  We will have refrigerators and microwaves available to use.

We will not have any child care available for the other children in your family.  We can help cover the cost of child care you arrange for at home.  Please let the Texas Deafblind Project staff member know what your plans are for other children in your family so we can help to cover that cost.

What to Wear

Please dress comfortably!  You and your child will be playing together and the day can be long.  You may also want to bring a light jacket or sweater since the rooms may be too cool at times.


Please contact Suzanne Slade at 512-206-9103 or at  if you have any questions or need assistance.