Body with Body: Interacting with Children with Congenital Deafblindness in the Human Niche
In deafblind studies it is commonly and usefully advised that partners interact close and face-to-face with children with congenital deafblindness. While recognizing face-to-face as an important mode of interaction this paper advances the simple idea that an equally important form of togetherness is body-with-body. Body-with-body interactions are here understood as interactions where two bodies are aligned with each other: the paradigmatic form is where the back of the child is aligned with the stomach and chest of his partner. I argue that this mode of togetherness can enable agency for a child with CDB through making as good as possible the conditions for perception and cognition. The body-with-body mode will make possible perception of the partners body in action; perception of some of the partners emotions; enable joint attention; enable skill acquisition and use of equipment, and finally enhance distal perception.