Vision is one of the senses that motivates infants and toddlers to reach toward a person or object, and discover what’s there. A young child with a visual impairment will discover movement, interact, and begin to memorize his world—if we help provide him with the motivation to move.Before a child will creep or crawl across the room, he needs lots of practice with his head, shoulders, knees and toes. He learns about the movement of his arms and legs when being dressed or having baby lotion put on after a bath.What does moving through space feel like? Dancing with Daddy? Reaching out with hands or feet to touch a metal bowl? Let him discover the toy–or discover you!–just out of reach.
When a child moves his head, hands, feet or his whole body, he tells us what he’s interested in, or what he is cautious about touching. We need to set up safety zones where little hands and feet have a chance to discover how things work, again and again, until the child is confident in his own abilities and the predictability of what’s around him.
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)
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)
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.
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 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.