[Pibe-division] any suggestions convince other related service proovidrs of student whose visually inpaired with autism that picture exchange systemis right way to teach student rather than signs

Sara Rooz sararooz at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 17:34:44 CDT 2012

Hi List:

One of my students is a 7 year old boy whose has a visual impairment of cortical visual impairment with a visual acuityof 20/70; the student  also  has autism and is ambulatory but nonverbal. I have been teaching this student for close to three years primarily how to communicate a requested food and presently an tem to play with using the picture exchange system.  and have read the book Autism Spectrum Disorder and visual impairment as well as attended a mandatory autism workshop to meet my state's educationrequirments. Both the valuable text and workshop stressed that the picture exchange communication system is the best suited for my student. in addition, a nmore experienced tvi observed me and agrees how I am educating this student is appropriate.  


However, I have a an issue to dal with at the student's school with all other related service providers which include speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and the special education teacher. All other people are using the Carbone method that teaches communication skills via signs. For the past two years, this student has sttruggled with this approach but has made significantimprovement  to requeest a food and a particular activity when I use the picture exchange system. I've also personally explained to the person who uses signs to teach students who have autism that this approach is not a suitable approach for my student whose visually impaired. 

This converstation was occurred last year. 


I  autistic.The parents plan to initiate a team meeting to discuss my observations and that my student has excelled while I have been teaching him over the past3  years. a particularl speech therapist is struggling to teach this student and has finally agreed to observe me  teach this student when I reach this student this week. 


. The parents have felt all along that the student has made the most progress when I've been teaching me and plan to advocate for more consistency as to how other related services are provided and have realized themselves prior to sending the child to the schoool hool that the student is attending that the child was able to request itmes by presenting to the parents with  a picture of an item. Most recently, the parent informed me that the student had indicated by placing his hand on a piece of bread his desire for bread. I have assisted the parents to get for this student an updated eye report.


  I  have annual progrgress reports about my student's progress as well as various materials to back my position that the picture exchange communication system is the best approach to teach my student from the text that I've purchased and read from AFB press as well as hand outs that I received from a mandatory autism workshop. 


Any suggestions from tvis who teach students who are visually impaired and autistic how I make other related service providers, school principal, school superviisor of education, and school social worker understand the best way all service providers and the special education teacher should be open to implementing to teach my student.


 Lastly, since my student cannot understand what a particular provider wants from him the student is constantly crying and doesn't always want to cooperate with other providers.


Although the student will cry a bit wile I am attempting to teach im via the picture exchange system,  I've developed a system that after the student hands the p[picture of the desired item and completes a few steps in the activity that the student can go  for a walk. This reward motivates the student and praise for his successful completion of a given ttatask has madethe student willing to participate in presently selecting the picture of a puzzle, handing the picture of a puzzzle to me when sitting on my side as wellas  when sitting across from me and completing a puzzle with four shapes. 


Thanks for any advice other experienced tvis have to share about how to deal with  my curent situation.

Sara Rooz

Certified Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired in New York

Independent Related Service Provider Vision Education Services in New York City

Email: sararooz at gmail.com

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