What you need to know
Many people with CdLS have difficulties with vision and hearing. These systems should be checked annually as they affect the child’s success in school. When a child cannot see or hear well, they depend on their other senses—touch, taste and smell to explore their world. Home and school modifications and assistive technology become necessary for the child to learn.
Autistic-like behaviors may be seen:
- Repetitive and ritualistic behaviors
- Compulsive behaviors
Other behaviors that may be seen:
- Self-injurious behavior
- Pica (eating non-food items)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Behavior issues may appear and/or worsen during the onset of puberty.
What you can do
A special teacher of the visually impaired or deaf or hard-of-hearing or a deafblind specialist should be brought in to work with the school team and family on how the child will be able to learn.
- Materials and programs may need to be adapted.
- Techniques may need to be taught so that the child understands what is happening around him.
- Incidental learning may not happen without modification of materials.
- Make sure that the teaching strategies being used are appropriate for children who are already socially engaged.
- Discuss involvement of behavioral or mental health professionals, or medications with the parents as needed.
- Firm directions, rules, and clear expectations are helpful.
Many children have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior. This is especially true when handling unplanned changes.
- Talk through expected changes.
- They usually thrive with consistency and routine. They can be easily upset with disruption.
- Prepare for any change in schedule.
- Provide a safe area to share emotions.
- Teach and model use of words and/or pictures in sharing emotions.
- Teach, emphasize, and reinforce behaviors you want to see.
- Make sure they have an effective communication system.
- Quiet spaces when needed
- Small group instruction
- Calming activities
- Clear concrete plans and visual cues (i.e. visual sign for quiet)
- Proactive behavioral plans that include goals, rewards, and consequences for appropriate behavior.
- Structure and predictability
- Reduced level of environmental noise/sound, natural lightening, and avoidance of crowded areas.
- Predictable transitions and signal with visual cues
- Non verbal cues and feed back
- Alternative to stressful events
- Breaks and downtime if needed
- Rule out any medical problem that could be related to behavior
- May prefer routine, order, and sameness, which can be a coping mechanism for dealing with complexities of everyday life
- Provide information to and discuss differences with the child’s peers.
- Help develop confidence and focus on strengths.
- Work on conversational skills and friendships
- Provide positive reinforcement.
- Teach appropriate social behaviors/skills (e.g., how to ask a friend to play).
- Teach how to recognize facial expressions, body language, and moods in others.
- Teach how to regulate own body – sensory strategies may be helpful.
- distract individuals