The Deaf Autism Project

More and more deaf children are being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet there are still no instruments designed for detecting autism in deaf children, nor interventions specifically tailored to the needs of deaf children with an ASD. Research into how autism affects the language and cognitive development of deaf children can help inform the development of instruments and interventions specifically for deaf children.

The Deaf Autism Project, led by Aaron Shield, is one of the world’s first and largest studies on autism in deaf children learning sign language. This research aimed to understand how autism affects sign language development in children exposed to a sign language from birth. This study will lead to better treatment options for deaf children as well as a better understanding of how autism affects learning in both deaf and hearing children. More information about the project can be found here.