PowerPoint Presentation - Common Characteristics of Students with

Motor Development and
Characteristics of Students
with Visual Impairments
Based on
Impact of Vision Loss on Motor
Chris Strickling
Holistic vs Sequential
Seeing the whole picture vs. “stringing beads”
of experience to get an approximated
understanding of the whole.
 “Vision helps interpret sound and movement
experiences, build motivation and
anticipation, and fix the world spatially so that
sensory information makes sense.”
(Strickling, 1998)
Questions to be asked:
What are the common characteristics in the
motor patterns of persons with visual
 How are they related to visual impairment?
 Why are they important?
 What techniques and strategies can
TVIs/O&Ms use in working with these
Decreased Postural Tone
 Especially
in the shoulder girdle and
 Caused by impact of vision loss on early
sensory experiences and the
development of reflex activity.
 The trunk and extremities are also often
How is decreased postural tone
related to visual impairment?
 Optical
head righting
 Labyrinthine righting (righting of head
and neck based on gravity)
 Equilibrium responses
Why is decreased postural
tone important?
 General
muscle weakness and the
inability to establish stability.
 Stability of the neck and shoulder girdle
especially impacts visual efficiency.
 Decrease of endurance in performing
complex motor skills ---such as reading
Sensory Integration
 Learning
to use all of the senses
together to form a meaningfully whole
interpretation of the environment.
Decreased or inaccurate
interpretation of proprioceptic
– the ability to perceive
and interpret the influence on gravity or
pressure on one’s body and awareness
of body parts.
 Learning the connection between the
“feel” of a position and the visual
appearance of that position is critical.
 Proprioception
Decreased or inaccurate
interpretation of vestibular
Vestibular understanding of the movement of
one’s body through space.
 Perhaps THE single most important motor
area for persons with visual impairments.
 Problems with understanding vestibular input
contribute to problems with muscle tone,
bilateral integration, and midline orientation.
Problems with tactile
 Tactile
 Avoid
tactile contact with novel objects
 Perform perseverative and non-purposeful
actions on objects
 Reject specific textures and temperatures
 Others
 Thought
to be caused by lack of
integration of early protective tactile
 Insecurity
with environmental exploration.
 Avoidance of prone positioning.
 Over protection
Problems with gait:
 Feet
 Pelvis rotated forward
 Often exhibit exaggerated weight shift
because of proprioceptic problems.
 Deviation of the head from midline.
Shoulders, Arms, and Hands
 Poor
proximal control
 Weakness of arms and hands
 Decreased grasp strength
 Delayed development of pincer grasp
 Problems
crossing midline
 Poorly developed arch of the hand due
to lack of arm weight bearing and
manipulation of objects
 Limitation or late development of wrist
 Inefficient hand manipulation
Legs and Feet
 External
rotation from the hip
 Widened base of support
 Stability
is critical to efficient visual
 Especially true of the shoulder girdle.
 Causes
EEG changes that either calm
or excite the central nervous system
 Those with injuries or disease
processes closer to the brain exhibit
more mannerisms.
For more information on this topic, see:
Strickling, C. (1998). Impact of vision loss on motor
Development: Information for Occupational and Physical
Therapists working with visual impairments. Austin, TX:
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.