Understanding the similarities between the profiles of learners with autism and learners with sensory losses.
Have you ever wondered if your child or a student in your class or caseload has autism in addition to vision loss or deafblindness? Have other service providers or medical professionals suggested that an autism diagnosis should be pursued? You’re not alone with those questions. For decades we have recognized the similarities in the behaviors of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and those with deafblindness or vision loss. While it is possible to be diagnosed with both sensory losses and autism, it is very likely that a learner who is deafblind or blind/low vision simply appears similar to a child with autism and other people do not have adequate or appropriate information about the characteristics of these sensory losses. In this presentation, we’ll consider the similar characteristics in both profiles and offer explanations of how sensory losses could explain these “autistic-like” characteristics and ways to interpret the meaning of those behaviors.