Congenital Deafblindness and the Effects of Sensory Deprivation

Congenital deafblindness refers to a condition in which an individual is born with both hearing and vision impairments. The psychological effects of congenital deafblindness can be profound, as these sensory deficits can significantly impact various aspects of a person’s cognitive, emotional, and social development.

It’s important to note that the degree of impact can vary widely among individuals, depending on factors such as the severity of the impairments and the availability of support and intervention.

  1. Communication Challenges:
  • Limited Access to Information: Restricted access to environmental stimuli, can affect their ability to gather information about the world around them. This limitation can impact cognitive development and learning.
  • Communication Difficulties: Deafblind individuals may face challenges in expressing themselves and understanding others, leading to frustration and isolation.
  1. Social and Emotional Development:
  • Isolation: Due to communication barriers, deafblind individuals may experience social isolation. This lack of meaningful social interactions can affect emotional well-being and contribute to feelings of loneliness.
  • Dependency: Deafblind individuals may rely heavily on others for assistance and support. This dependency can impact their sense of autonomy and self-esteem.
  1. Cognitive Development:
  • Delayed Development: Limited access to sensory input may contribute to delays in cognitive development, including language acquisition, spatial awareness, and conceptual understanding.
  • Adaptation Strategies: Deafblind individuals often develop unique strategies to navigate their environment, relying on their remaining senses. These adaptive strategies can enhance certain cognitive skills, but they may also face challenges in areas where sensory input is crucial.


  1. Educational Challenges:
  • Access to Information: Traditional educational settings may not be well-equipped to meet the unique learning needs of deafblind individuals. Specialized educational approaches and technologies may be required to facilitate learning.
  • Inclusion Issues: Deafblind individuals may face challenges in inclusive educational environments, where communication and social interaction are central. Efforts to create inclusive and accessible educational settings are essential for their development.
  1. Psychosocial Impact:
  • Identity Formation: Deafblind individuals may grapple with questions of identity, self-perception, and acceptance.
  • Resilience and Coping: Many individuals with congenital deafblindness develop remarkable resilience and coping mechanisms. However, they may also face mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression.

In addressing the psychological effects of congenital deafblindness, interventions such as early sensory stimulation, adaptive communication strategies, assistive technologies, and social support play critical roles in promoting overall well-being and facilitating optimal development. Raising awareness and fostering inclusive attitudes in communities can also contribute to a more supportive environment for individuals with congenital deafblindness.

The Sexual Link:

When writing SEETHINGS, I included a parallel between sensory deprivation and the deprivation of physical intimacy within a romantic relationship — a marriage. “

“Is sex an important human sensory experience that for some, without it, can have an adverse effect on their psychological wellbeing?”

Most of us have heard or read of the mental trauma reported in the media ith sex without consent. My curiosity wonders if there’s an opposite that’s worth exploring. Is it possible that forced celibacy can also create a trauma that few people know exists or are even prepared to acknowledge? If so, there are between 15-20% of married couples who are currently experiencing a non-consensual sexual relationship of the forced celibate kind. This means some partners are experiencing a silent trauma all of their own, yet are reluctant to address or call it out.

This is where my protagonist’s journey begins and ends.

If you’re part of the 15-20% of sexless marriages, you might also know of the awkwardness, frustration, disappointment, and loss of self-identity through the loss of sex within your relationship. You are the reader most likely to enjoy the novel SEETHINGS.

Michael Forman (Author)

Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer specialising in taking lightning pictures may be the only witness.


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