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Nicola: The use of sign language with a blind, autistic child

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A treatment program employing the simultaneous use of speech and sign language with a ten-year-old, congenitally blind, autistic girl is presented. Simultaneous communication has been successfully used to train nonverbal autistic children to communicate. Although apparently inapplicable due to its reliance on visual cues, sign language, accompanied by speech, has also been used to train deaf-blind children. Thus far, however, it has not been applied to blind, autistic children. After eight months of training, Nicola was able to acquire a functional sign vocabulary of 19 signs. Treatment techniques, her progress through the program, and outcome are discussed.

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Correspondence to D. S. Hunter.

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Hunter, D.S. Nicola: The use of sign language with a blind, autistic child. Child Youth Care Forum 12, 321–336 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01115475

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  • Social Psychology
  • Treatment Program
  • Functional Sign
  • Sign Language
  • Autistic Child