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Deafness and Autism
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Deafness and Autism

Does anyone have any information on people with autism who are also deaf?  I am interested in any bit of information here.  I have had such a hard time finding information on this topic.  I am an autistic support teacher of a student who is autistic and deaf and am desperate to find other people who are in a same/similar situation and strategies for teaching this student.  I am currently using picture exchange AND sign language with my student.  Any info from parents/families/educators/community workers.... would be very appreciated.
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Hi Angela,
I am an educational audiologist and also have a student who is deaf and autistic.  He does have a cochlear implant.  He has just entered kindergarten but has been in an Early Childhood Special Education program since he was 2 1/2.

Unfortunately there is not a lot of information out there on children who are deaf and autistic.  We found early on that using hearing impaired teaching strategies w/ this child were not successful due to the lack of eye contact and imitation skills.  Sign language has not been very successful, again, due to the above factors.

Autism strategies have been more successful for him and he can successfully use a PEC system for communicating his wants and needs. He can say a few words but that is about it at this point.

It is very frustrating as there is so little information about the combined disabilities.  If you find any info please let me know and I will do the same for you.
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I can't tell you how nice it is to correspond with someone who is in a similar position as me.  I have found PECS to be very useful in getting my student to be able to communicate his wants and needs.  I know he can discriminate pictures and using PECS has definitely helped in his ability to request his wants and needs, but that is as far as PECS can go.  PECS is a communication system, not a language.  For a long time, he did not imitate any gross or fine motor actions therefore, using sign was not an option for him to use.  We have been using it and now, FINALLY, he is responding to our SOME of our directions given in sign.  I have found that using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis has been very successful in teaching my student many new skills.  ABA has been KEY in his learning.  I am from PA but just went to a conference in Boston called "Signing on the Spectrum" which dealt with children with autism who are deaf.  I got some resources from that conference.  Also, there is a magazine or journal called "Odyssey" that just published several articles on the topic.  I would like to give you my email address so we can correspond on the topic if you are interested.  Let me know.
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I have a niece that has a 3 yr old with autism and she says he has been checked for deafness but im wondering if he does have some hearing loss because whenever i stand behind him and clap loudly he dosent even flinch or act as if he heard anything.They live a few hours from where i live so iv done the clapping thing from directly behind him only a few times when they visit and not once does he hear me clap but my niece insist hes ignoring me because he has autism can someone tell me if shes right? shes teaching him sign langauge and hes also in a school for autistic children but it just seems when i clap that loud he would at the very least turn his head or something but he dosent.
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