Cycles of miscommunication often occur within the caregiver–child dyad when a child has a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability, influencing sensitive and responsive caregiver behaviour and child happiness. This study aims to examine the efficacy of using interactive technology, the Barti-mat, to promote sensitive and responsive caregiver behaviour, specifically mirroring behaviour, and increase the happiness of children with a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability. The secondary aim is to examine the social validity of the Barti-mat. A mixed-method approach was used, combining quantitative data from a multiple within-series single-case design and qualitative data comparing play-as-usual with play on the Barti-mat. Eleven caregiver–child dyads participated in a home-based study. No significant effects were found for Attunement nor for Valence. Significant improvements were found for Total Mirroring, Happiness, and Arousal. Overall, the caregivers enjoyed using the Bart-mat and were enthusiastic about the development of specialized play material for children with visual impairments. Results of the current study suggest that the Barti-mat can act as catalyst for caregiver mirroring behaviour and improve the happiness of a child with a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability. Caregivers were generally motivated to use and recommend the Barti-mat again. Minor product improvement recommendations were made. The Barti-mat is appropriate for a diverse group of caregivers and children with a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability and would be a good adjunct to preventive attachment-based interventions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding was received from Bartiméus Fonds (nr. P100180).
© The Author(s) 2021.
- caregiver sensitivity
- Caregiver–child interaction
- interactive technology
- multiple within-series single-case
- visual impairment