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Autism and visual impairment

  • In the case of visual impairment and autism, we have to deal with a problem in processing information coupled with lack of information. If the missing visual information is clarified verbally, it is often difficult for an autistic person to process it because it is too challenging. Support your words as much as possible with concrete materials (e.g., a coin as a reference to shopping).
  • A person with autism and visual impairment does not understand that a comment or question is intended for him or her; therefore, always mention first his/her name.
  • To increase clarity and predictability, it is sensible to teach the activities in a definite and fixed order and not to deviate from that order during implementation. A step-by-step plan is helpful in these situations. This also applies to daily routines related to getting up, getting dressed, meals, etc.
  • A visually disabled autistic person hardly understands body language and mimic.
  • We often observe a tactile defence. For example, someone might not like being touched or cannot tolerate certain materials on his or her body and therefore refuses to wear certain clothes. Even water can cause ‘pain’ to the skin.
  • The person seems to not hear well; does not react to noises. (“Lives in a world of his/her own”).