Visual Impairment-Autism


This micro-credential is awarded to individuals who have completed the Autism and Visual Impairment: The Better Together Curriculum online class. This online course provides theoretical and practical information for teaching social communication skills to students with visual impairment and autism


In order to earn this micro-credential, participants will need to demonstrate the ability to identify the appropriate methods to use to assess, diagnose, and instruct students with visual impairments and autism.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives

Participants will:

  • List criteria from the DSM V for identifying individuals with autism.
  • Describe learning characteristics and developmental pathways to autism.
  • Define important concepts in understanding autism, including Gestalt learning style, Theory of Mind, Executive Function skills, Central Coherence Theory, Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism.
  • Identify complexity and challenges of diagnosing autism in children with visual impairment.
  • List and compare three approaches to teaching children with autism.
  • Identify four domains for evaluation/ instruction which are components of the Better Together curriculum model.
  • Locate and access criterion referenced instruments from the Better Together Curriculum to assess student skills, teacher skills, and the quality of the adult-student interaction.
  • Develop appropriate IEP goals for students with visual impairment and autism, based on the skills hierarchy in the Better Together curriculum.
  • Describe the implications of various visual problems for social learning.
  • Develop programming strategies based on the stage of the adult-child relationship.
  • Explain and practice three or more strategies to use at each of the four stages of relationship development described in the chapter.
  • Access other curricula and activity guides for both autistic and typically developing children, which can be adapted for students with visual impairment.
  • Locate social skills curriculum and materials specifically designed for students with visual impairment.
  • Describe unique aspects of several commonly used curricula for autism.
  • Develop a "wish list" of materials to use in the classroom or home setting when working with this population.
  • Write lesson plans that embed / infuse social communication goals in functional activities throughout the school day (play, domestic, vocational, academic).
  • Write lesson plans for a social skills class, in which social-communication skills are taught as a separate curricular area.
  • Describe and demonstrate social games designed to teach concepts in each of the four sample units described (Connections, Understanding others’ perspectives, Handling change and transitions, and Coping with strong emotions).
  • Describe social and cognitive play levels and writing skills which correspond to each level.
  • Describe and practice play based strategies for writing with students who have visual impairment and autism.
  • Incorporate teacher and family interests into activities with students.
  • Locate and explain strategies for dealing with specific problem areas, including echoed speech, tolerating change, isolation, restricted interests, mannerisms and self-stimulation.
  • Problem-solve behavioral issues by identifying functions of behaviors and strategies for teaching replacement skills.
  • Make a plan to incorporate concepts and strategies from this course into current or future interactions with individuals who have visual impairment and autism or atypical social development.

Courses Offered

This online course provides theoretical and practical information for teaching social communication skills to students with VI


Professional Development Offering