By rolling, crawling or walking, infants and toddlers explore in wider and wider circles beyond their parent’s reach. “What happens if I go inside this box?” “What makes that sound?” When a child with a visual impairment feels safe and has a good sense of where her body is in space, and her motor skills are becoming more coordinated, then she will be eager to explore in a wider circle.

This is a stage when a child may get stuck under a table, or step in a puddle, or push her head into a toy. It takes time to explore and confirm by touch what is not clear to the eye. Very often, adults interfere and don’t allow the child to explore and discover on her own. If we have vision, we see the task immediately and forget to give the child “wait time.” This style of learning takes longer.

Developmentally, all children need to discover without being told what to discover. A child with low vision needs time to put together the pieces of an object that she has explored into a conceptual whole. We can support this exploration by talking about her movements in simple sentences, focusing on her interest.


Check out the research page for information on:

Watch the video clips for demonstrations of OSEP outcomes:

  • Positive social relationships with adults
  • Thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving
  • Taking care of basic needs, getting from place to place


Judah on Stairs

Rinney Explores

Taylor and the Slide

Movement and Young Children

Movement and Young Children

By Carla Hannaford

Movement is essential to learning. Movement integrates and anchors new information into our neural networks. (Teaching

Orientation and Mobility: The Early Years of Infancy through Preschool

By Tanni Anthony

Within the past five to ten years, an emphasis has been placed on the early O&M skills specific to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are visually impaired. Discussion of physical readiness, cognitive connection, and motivation invitation. (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Secure Infant Attachment

Effects of Secure Attachment

By Allan Schore, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine

Details the neurobiology of a secure attachment.

The Importance of Touch

By Gigi Newton, Teacher Trainer, TSBVI, Texas Deafblind Outreach

Reading their Signals / Mutual Attention

Using Tactile Strategies With Students Who Are Blind and Have Severe Disabilities

By June Downing and Deborah Chen

Wait Time

The Ever-Important “Pause”

By Lyn Ayer, Director, Oregon Deafblind Projec

The importance of “wait time” as a strategy to encourage communication and participation when interacting with individuals with deafblindness or multiple disabilities. (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Building Concepts

Dad, Where’s the Plunger?

By Richard Holloway, from “Future Reflections: A Magazine for Parents & Teachers of Blind Children, Summer 2011, Vol. 30, No. 3,”
Deborah Kentstein, Editor

In this article, Richard Holloway describes how he helped his blind daughter,Kendra,fill in some important information gaps.

Tactile Strategies for Young Children who are Deaf-Blind: A Teacher’s Perspective

By Patty Salcedo, M.A.

Patty Salcedo, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and the mother of a child who has a visual impairment, describes how the infant’s home or young child’s preschool setting can be set up for optimal learning. She emphasizes ways to help young children build new concepts.

Following the Child’s Lead

About Floortime

The “Greenspan Floortime Approach” is a system developed by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan. Floortime meets children where they are and builds upon their strengths and abilities through creating a warm relationship and interacting. Video instruction and workshop links.

Children with Complex Medical Needs

Conversations without Language: Building Quality Interactions with Children Who are Deaf-Blind

By Linda Hagood, Education Specialist, TSBVI Outreach Department

Article based on information from Dr. Jan van Dijk, regarding conversations with children who have limited language skills.

Lily Neilson’s site – Active Learning

Children with multiple disabilities often respond favorably to a different strategy for addressing their learning needs. Lili Neilson’s “ Active Learning” is designed for and reaches learners with visual impairment and other disabilities.