Deaf-Blindness and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Bridging Best Practices and Interventions: Two-Part Webinar

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following webinar opportunity:

Deaf-Blindness and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Bridging Best Practices and Interventions

Two-Part Webinar

March 20, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM andApril 10, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

 The similarities in the ways that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and deaf-blindness present in children have been recognized for a long time, as have diagnostic strategies for differentiating between autism and deaf-blindness. Families and educators serving children with deaf-blindness increasingly hear other educators, service providers or medical specialists say that these children seem to act autistic or to have “autistic-like behaviors.” While it is possible for children to be both deaf-blind and be diagnosed with autism, it is much more likely that a child who is deaf-blind simply appears similar to a child with autism and, conversely, the child with autism might appear to have certain features consistent with deaf-blindness.

 The purpose of this 2-part webinar is to look closely at the key features of ASD and deaf-blindness and consider why children who are deaf-blind might, in some cases, share many of the same features associated with ASD and how vision and hearing loss and other sensory impairments can explain these “autistic-like” features.

 We will also look closely at current evidence-based practices related to instruction of learners with ASD and compare those practices to highly recognized field-based best practices related to deaf-blind education. This presentation will outline the unique educational needs of learners with deaf-blindness and offer suggestions for how to match and tailor some evidence-based ASD practices with deaf-blind practices when planning instruction and support for those learners. Particular attention will be paid to the areas appropriate: access to curriculum and social relationships, communication skill development, concept development, and self-determination skills.

 Presenter:  Julie Maier, MA, Educational Specialist with California Deafblind Services

 Credit: Act 48 Clock Hours or Instructional Credit Hours will be granted if registrants attend both parts and complete the survey assigned to each session by the deadline.

 Registration Information:

You may register online:

For content related information and questions, please contact Sue Ann Houser at or (800) 441-3215.

 For general registration information and questions, please contact Lorraine Byer at or (800) 441-3215.

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