The population of children with visual impairment has grown increasingly diverse in recent years. A growing number of students with visual impairment are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The relationship between autism and visual impairment is complex. Therefore, the issues related to identification of autism in children with visual impairment remain controversial. As the theoretical controversies continue, parents and teachers are faced with a growing number of visually impaired students who have trouble building social connections, which typical sighted children establish during the first years of life.
The goal of this manual is to provide practical suggestions for teachers and parents who want to build important foundational relationships and teach social skills to children with visual impairments and autism or other types of atypical social development. Better Together provides a systematic scope and sequence of relationship-based goals and objectives, as well as examples of activities and strategies for teaching the objectives. Sample thematic units are presented that can be used by teachers to organize relationship-based instruction.