Hand-Under-Hand

For many children who are deaf-blind, their hands are a primary learning tool.  Children must explore with their hands and use their hands to do tasks to make this learning channel efficient. But some children resist when an adult tries to show their hands how to do things.

Using a hand-under-hand approach, instead of hand-OVER-hand, has been demonstrated to be a far superior way to encourage children to learn with their hands. Instead of moving the child’s hands through actions, the adult’s hands lightly touch beside the child’s or the child’s hands ride on the adult’s hands and feel what the adult hands are doing.  In hand-under-hand touching the child and adult explore together, are interested in the object together.  The child is invited to feel, not forced or heavily manipulated.
Hand-under hand: is non-controlling. lets the child to know how you are touching the same object or what movements your hands make to do a task, and does not keep the child from experiencing the object because he is so aware of your hands controlling his.

Learn more about using hand-under-hand techniques

Hand under Hand
(Washington Sensory Disabilities Services)
The site has good descriptions of hand-under-hand strategies and video clips that depict the use of hand-under-hand with students. http://www.wsdsonline.org/video-library/deaf-blind-videos/hand-under-hand/

Hand under Hand Activities Information Sheet
(Provincial Integration Support Program)
A fact sheet that gives examples of ways to use hand-under-hand techniques. http://www.pisp.ca/strategies/strategies106.pdf

Talking the Language of the Hands to the Hands (Barbara Miles)
This classic article describes the importance of respecting the hands of children who are deaf-blind. http://www.nationaldb.org/NCDBProducts.php?prodID=47

Barbara Miles Webcast on Touch and Learning – The wonderful Barbara Miles talking about the importance of the hands of children who are deaf-blind and how we should interact with them. http://support.perkins.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Webcasts_Reflections_on_Deafblindness