Autism and Deafness: Guide

Joyce Sewell-Rutter and Stephanie Dawson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Complex Needs

Many syndromes have deafness and Autism as part of the complexity of need.   

Autism and deafness and may not be the needs addressed as priority or at all in some cases.  Where opportunities for listening are extended there can be some good outcomes which impact quality of life and emotional well being.

Case study from a Teacher of the Deaf working with a child under 5 years who was later diagnosed as ASD

It involved collaboration with the charity Music in Hospitals and Care.  We held termly gatherings for preschool deaf children with additional complex needs and their caregivers.  Musicians played a variety of live music allowing interaction with the children using hands on approaches and resonance boards for a child with no nerves of hearing.  I witnessed this child seek out the double bass and place his feet on the bass!  The family were overwhelmed at this vibrotactile response.  It was repeatable and consistent over several sessions.

The family now have their own resonance board and it is part of their son's daily activities.

Music is a way into communication for such children.