Blindness and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Current literature and expertise for supporting children who are blind or have low vision are extensive. Similarly, resources for children with Autism are also widely available and comprehensive. These areas, when looked at individually, offer a wealth of support and information. However, in children with the combined diagnosis of blindness/low vision and Autism, these supports are currently scarce. Therefore, it requires families and professionals to consider multiple different considerations. This includes teaching approaches catered to the unique characteristics of the individual child.

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) is an educational curriculum for children who are blind or low vision. The ECC includes the following areas: assistive technology, career education, compensatory and academic skills, independent living, orientation and mobility, recreation and leisure, self-determination, sensory efficacy, and social interaction. For children with Autism their ability to learn skills from the ECC may be impacted based on characteristics of Autism. Areas of impact that an individual may experience with Autism; social skills, communication skills, executive functioning, sensory needs, behavior, motor skills. In this series each video will cover one ECC skill and the possible impact for a child with a dual diagnosis. 

Assistive Technology

Technology is ever-changing and as your child grows their ability to access education may include different assistive technology devices to support their learning. These assistive technology devices may help with low vision, braille reading, computer software and other technology on an iPad/iPhone. 

Career Education 

Careers, jobs, and workplaces have changed over the years. Understanding skills, components of jobs, your child’s strengths, and areas to improve will help support your child’s ability to attain and maintain employment. There are many aspects to career education, and you can begin working on skills at a young age.  

Download the ECC Skill Handout courtesy of Lindsay Tremmel and Kristyn Elste at The Village.