University of Edinburgh

SSC Course 12: Visual Impairment and Autism

Presented on Monday, 16th November 2015 in Aberdeen

Course evaluation summary

What did you find most valuable about today?

That visual impairment and autism may be linked and that certain conditions eg septo optic dysplasia and autism link.
Advice about suspending intuition.
Further info on triad expanding, expanding on this and explaining it so well.
Comparisons of neurotypical and autistic behaviours.
Great overview of VI/Autism.
Case studies.
Online resources wonderful for further reading.
Strategies and approaches to use with children with visual impairment.
Guidance for practitioners.
Learning more about autism.
Learning about strategies.
Bob's case study – this gave strategies that may help when teaching children/young people with a visual impairment.
Clear overview of Autism/VI.
Strategies to use.
Crisis point - no point in revisiting - will or won't - that was good to know.
I think I have a much better understanding of autism and the online resource will prove very useful.
Better understanding of autism and how usual techniques used with VI children can make things worse.
Re-cap of working with children and young people with autism.
A better understanding of autism in general and the range of 'social' challenges faced.
The contrast of strategies used with autistic CYP and how they can conflict with CYP with VI.
Rethinking VI practice.
Website and blog - connections. Signposts for where to get more info.
Insights into strategies with reasons.
Overview of Autism with visual impairment.
Recommended reference material/websites.
Very relevant course with lots of good references for future reading.
Overview of autism and characteristics.
Strategies relating to VI and autism.

What impact will today's learning have on your practice and what will you do differently?

Awareness/what to observe.
I will look at resources and consider strategies for children with VI and possible autism.
Revisit recommendations for classroom practice.
Assessment for mobility to include autism issues.
I feel better informed about impact on the learner and need to respond to their unique and ongoing needs.
Increased knowledge and understanding of autism. Incorporate this into visual awareness sessions I provide for school staff.
Adopt approaches with the children I support.
Adjust my speech.
Write instructions down.
Try the strategies - have a better understanding.
Look at the case studies and strategies.
Challenged me to give pupils more time to process verbal information.
I will reduce/modify language when dealing with certain pupils.
Try written instructions for individual tasks for a pupil who isn’t autistic but needs frequent reassurance she is doing correct thing.
I will think carefully about my use of language.
I will also pass on what I’ve learnt to my colleagues.
'Suspend intuition' with some of my pupils.
When a pupil is stressed not to try and reason with them!
Ideas for working with children with VI and autism.
Re-evaluate strategies currently in place with a young pupil that displays some (not nearly as many as before) of the behaviours discussed, additionally for some of her peers that I am not directly involved when I encounter that have been diagnosed as autistic and will re-evaluate my interactions with them.
Intend to read to gain more background info.
Now have an idea to develop with a pupil.
Will look at the recommended references and material to see if they can give me further insight into how I work with the young people on my caseload.
Greater awareness of autistic learners and autistic learners with VI.
Aware of the need not to jump to conclusions of autism if the child has a severe VI too.
Not get an autistic child to conform.
More of a consideration of autism strategies when working with CYP with VI in role as habilitation specialist (instead of assumption that VI strategies are similar for both.

What further development opportunities would you like?

The information by email please.
TaSSeLS training.
Further time to discuss and start strategies.
Time to look at the resources.
Revisiting social communications work and peer support.
Opportunity to link up and share experience/reflections with colleagues.
Understanding and application of TaSSeLs.
How to teach Maths to learners with a Visual Impairment.
More case load discussion and group ideas re. strategies on course and team meetings.
Look over reference materials.
How to work with other professionals with pupils with VI and autism.
Staff development time to read the materials referenced and the online materials.
I suppose the next step would be sensory processing but I think I need to use the training I've had to date.
Where we 'fit in' with other professionals e.g. Autism professional, OT's etc.
How can we work effectively together.
Explore the Project resources as a next step for myself.