• Prepare – If there are any routines that are important to your child, plan to keep those as much as possible. Be sure to have enough of whatever you need to do it ahead of time.
  • Activities – Planning an activity family members can do with your child with autism not only will help your child have something familiar to do, but can help guide family members on how to interact with your child.
  • Trade-Off – Take turns with other family members spending time with your child. Allow your child a way out of activities and events too. It is important for everyone to know how they can get a calm moment if they need it.

PECS is a type of alternative form of communication in which the student uses the pictures to indicate his or her wants or needs.  Visual supports are pictures that accommodate students with daily routine, providing step-by-step pictures of what to expect throughout the day.  Visual supports can also be in the form of social stories, providing pictures of appropriate social interactions in various environments.

A student in high school needs to be getting ready for a real, functional life. The work and activities they participate in daily should reflect that. Reading tasks do not have to be story based anymore (they have spent the last 10 years learning to read stories). Instead, reading can be more for information gathering, invitations, sales, advertisements, and/or safety signs. Math should be focused on money, measuring, and/or time. Making all of their tasks personally significant to them can really help with motivation and understanding of the task. Make sure to look at the skills they are really going to need after school. Where are they going to live? What kind of job will they have? Who will be taking care of them?

The definition of legal blindness set by the Department of Health and Human Services reads like this:


“A person whose central acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses, or whose visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but is accompanied by a limitation in the field such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.” — National Association for the Visually Handicapped

And what that means is this: The visual acuity of 20/200 is what a person with a visual impairment can see at 20 feet can typically be seen by a person with 20/20 vision at 200 feet. And the same goes for any acuity, for example, 20/100 is what a person with a visual impairment can see at 20 feet, a person with 20/20 vision is able to see at 100 feet.
Below you will see some images of what it looks like through the eyes of a person with a 20/200 visual acuity.

Images provided by:  BuzzFeed Images

So, a person who is legally blind may still be able to see and function very well independently. It is always best to keep in mind that visual acuity measurements do not determine a person’s level of function or their ability.
  • If you are looking to schedule an ASD 101 training with a live presenter, please contact Tara Maltby, Program Coordinator for the Alaska Autism Resource Center (AARC). AARC services are free and Tara is able to travel for groups of 10 or more.
  • SESA also has a lending library where you can access books and technology. The Librarian, Anne Freitag, is really knowledgeable and can help you find some great resources: http://sesa.org/content/library

There is not a single cause for deafblindness. In fact, deafblindness has over 70 known causes. Regardless of the cause, the challenges of deafblindness are lifelong. Appropriate education must address both the hearing and vision impairments, as well as any other disabilities that may be present. This condition affects over 9,000 children between birth and 21 years of age in the United States.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life. Autism affects an individual’s ability to communicate, respond to sensory input, regulate his/her behavior, and socially interact.

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