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ERIC Number: EJ903161
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1544-6751
Deafness and Autism
Morton, Diane D.
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v9 n1 p4-5 Spr-Sum 2008
At the most basic level, autism is a neurological disorder that most likely involves a distinct abnormality in brain structure and affects a child's abilities in two areas: communication and social development. It also is marked by repetitive or stereotypical behavior. Because of the variability in the causes of deafness as well as autism--genetics, maternal exposure to viruses, toxins, birth and developmental issues--the simultaneous effect of both autism and deafness creates a more intricate puzzle. As the number of deaf children with autism grows, the impact on deaf education and the deaf community is of great concern. There is a tremendous need for additional training for teachers focusing on deaf autistic individuals at all levels. At the preschool and elementary levels, where autism is first identified and behavioral programs are initiated, teachers need to be provided with state-of-the-art teaching techniques and enhanced skills for developing programs to maximize the attention, appropriate behaviors, and learning potential of deaf autistic children in the classroom. Secondary school teachers and those at community colleges need to be ready and equipped to handle high-functioning autistic deaf students and their often inflexible and socially odd behavior. Vocational rehabilitation counselors, placement specialists, and job coaches should be prepared for a new kind of comprehensive evaluation for deaf autistic clients that focuses on the capacity to function in the work environment and the variability in individual behaviors, including rigid and stereotypical behaviors that can lead to difficulties on the job. For teachers, administrators, and parents, increased knowledge and training can translate into increased success for deaf autistic individuals.
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A