05. Why Deaf-Blindness and Autism Spectrum Disorders Look So Much Alike

Speaker Bio: Julie Maier, MA

Session Handouts:
Educational Checklist
Web Likes and Dislikes
Why Deaf-Blindness and Autism Can Look So Much Alike

Session Description:
The similarities in the ways that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and deafblindness present in children have been recognized for a long time, as have diagnostic strategies for differentiating between autism and deafness. Families and educators serving children with deafblindness 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 deafblind and be diagnosed with autism, it is much more likely that a child who is deafblind simply appears similar to a child with autism and, conversely, the child with autism might appear to have certain features consistent with deafblindness. The purpose of this webinar is to look closely at the key features of ASD and deafblindness and consider why children who are deafblind 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.

Credits: Act 48, ACVREP, ASHA, Psych
Audience: Special Education Teachers, Teachers who work with students who are blind or visually impaired, Teachers who work with students with hearing loss, Teachers who work with students who are Deaf-Blind, Speech therapists, General Education Teachers, Supervisors/Administrators, Occupational Therapists, and/or Physical Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, School Counselors and/or School

headshot of Julie MaierSpeaker Bio:
Julie Maier is the Project Coordinator of  California Deafblind Services (CDBS) and faculty member in the Department of Special Education at San Francisco State University. Julie has been working in the field of special education for 35 years and earned California teaching credentials in moderate-severe disabilities and multiple subjects and  a Masters of Arts degree  in Special Education. Throughout her career Julie has supported, trained, and taught many individuals with deafblindness or the label of autism. Initially,  for 3 years in adult services and then in inclusive elementary schools. Julie has also taught courses in the San Francisco State University teacher preparation courses, including The Nature of Autism,  Environmental Design for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities, Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities. She has also taught courses in deafblind education and assessment and deafblind intervention at SFSU and  guest lectures in the SFSU and CSU Los Angeles Visual Impairments Program on deafblind topics. For the past 11 years she has provided training and coaching in deafblind intervention and assessment to educational teams and families receiving technical assistance from CDBS. Julie has presented about deafblindness at numerous national webinars and national and international educational conferences including the International CHARGE Syndrome Conferences, the German CHARGE Syndrome Conferences, and Council for Exceptional Children Conferences. She has written articles and developed resources about deafblind practices related to: assessment practices; self-determination; autism and deafblindness; use of peer supports; supporting and involving families in educational transitions; and literacy development.

Email: jmaier@sfsu.edu
Website: www.cadbs.org