Title: 'Understanding the Game Pieces and Game Changers: Autism and Other Disabilities in Our Children'
Track: -
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss various challenges when trying to identify children who are deaf or hard of hearing with possible additional disabilities
  2. Describe the important role of communication in identifying additional needs, providing interventions, and selecting best practices
  3. Understand how the disabilities such as Autism have evolved over the last several years


The definitions and criterion for what constitutes a disability, such as Autism, has evolved over the last 50 years. Likewise, the lives, needs, and resources available to children who deaf or hard of hearing, their families, and those who work with them have also evolved. Despite those evolutions, one constant game piece remains- a recognition of the high incidence and risk for secondary disabilities in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This presentation will highlight how times have changed in what we know, see and believe to be disabilities such as Autism. Discussions will also reflect on where we are in our understanding of best practices, family impact and engagement, educational decisions, and interventions utilized in the lives and families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. An emphasis will be made on putting the necessary pieces and ultimately the necessary players together to provide the best for children who are deaf or hard of hearing who have additional disabilities such as Autism.
Presentation: Watch Plenary 3: Understanding the Game Pieces and Game Changers: Autism and Other Disabilities in Our Children
Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: EHDI Plenary III- 1794.docx
Plenary 3- 1794.pdf
Christen Szymanski - Primary Presenter
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
     Credentials: Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
      Christen A. Szymanski, Ph.D. is currently the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. As a trained Clinical Psychologist specializing in treatment and behavioral interventions of children with developmental disabilities she has received trainings at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, and the University of Rochester. Her research focus is on children who are deaf and hard of hearing who also have developmental disabilities such as Autism. In 2012, with collaborators from Gallaudet she published the first ever prevalence study of children with hearing loss and autism. She has traveled nationally and internationally discussing treatment, diagnostic and intervention practices pertaining to deaf children with autism and other disabilities.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.