Behavior Resources

Any child may develop problem behaviors, but young ones with blindness or visual impairment are at risk for specific inappropriate behaviors, including repetitive mannerisms and self-stimulatory patterns. Parents and teachers will find explanations that help in understanding the reasons for the behavior, advice for appropriate interventions, and suggestions for reinforcing desirable behavior that will enhance the child's social success.

Find tips to help you sort through why your child is displaying self-injurious behaviors and how you can help them stop.

Source: WonderBaby

The charts in this 6-page document by Marilyn and Jay Gense compare typical development, development of children who are blind or visually impaired, and children who have autism as well as visual impairments. The charts focus on communication, social interactions, patterns of behavior, and responses to sensory information.

Source: New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Tips for parents on observing skills development, missing or delayed skills in children with visual impairments, and dealing with difficult or challenging behaviors.

Source: FamilyConnect

Three behavioral characteristics are commonly found among individuals with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. Author John Walters stresses the necessity of understanding the whole person and the function of behaviors before considering intervention.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Cindy O'Connell describes strategies for understanding and responding to challenging classroom behaviors whose causes are hard to identify. Also available as a PDF.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Barbara Miles and Barbara McLetchie describe types of concepts and the relationships, attitudes, and environments that promote their development in students who are deafblind; in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

This article by Terese Pawletko and Lorraine Rocissano compares the presentation of similar behaviors in children with blindness and autism. "Historically, many of the behaviors exhibited by blind children were labeled as 'autistic-like' but were attributed to their blindness. We seek to clarify some of these misconceptions."

Source: Texas State School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Dixie Jordan's overview helps parents "understand problem behaviors …. If we learn about the behaviors and know when and where they are likely to happen, we can plan positive strategies to teach new behaviors."

Source: U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Psychologist offers suggestions to address sleeping challenges for children who are blind or visually impaired in this video webcast

Source: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins eLearning

This article explores five reasons why a baby might not sleep. Some of these problems are experienced by all babies, some are specific to blind babies. Each sleep problem is accompanied by a sleep solution.


Kate Moss and Robbie Blaha look at self-stimulation as a common behavior during leisure time. They consider whether such behaviors can be stopped or redirected, and whether modifications of the behavior and the environment may be appropriate.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This tip sheet offers specific suggestions to assist a child in understanding and adjusting to changes in routine.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

NCDB is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for information about deafblindness. While most resources focus on the needs of children and youth, there is wealth of information here in the Adult Services section.

PBIS was established "to address the behavioral and discipline systems needed for successful learning and social development of students." The Center provides information and technical support "to assist states and districts in the design of effective schools."

Information on Optic Nerve Atrophy disorder, symptoms, behaviors, research and links to related sites.

Source: U.S.National Library of Health- Pubmed Health

This webcast by behavior analyst Judi Beltis, discusses behavior triggers and effective reinforcement.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Perkins author/education Barbara Miles speaks on the important role that hands and the sense of touch play in communication with children who are deafblind.

Source: Perkins eLearning Webcasts

V. Mark Durand and Christie Tanner use functional behavior assessment to determine why behavior occurs and to design an intervention plan. They offers some specific tips for assessment and for reducing behavior problems.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

A recording of Faye Gonzalez's 2014 presentation on integrating sensory and literacy activities to improve communication skills. Continuing Education credits may be purchased, but the content is freely available.

Source: Perkins eLearning Webinar

This site offers links to numerous articles, including "Preemies and Sensory Integration", "Adoption and Sensory Integration", and more.

Source: Come Unity