Reach to Sound: A Springboard to Overall Development

By Tracy Wilks Of the myriad developmental milestones that children achieve from birth to the age of three, reaching to a sound stands out as one of the most important–if not the most important–for babies who are blind or severely visually impaired. Several researchers, including Fazzi, et al. (2002), refer to Fraiberg’s assertion that reaching […]

Gestures in Blind Infants and Toddlers – Pointing

By Meg Wenzelman Gestures are body movements that have meanings and communicate to others.  They have been observed in children before learning to speak (Iverson & Goldin-Meadow, 1997). Gestures are as important as facial expressions when interacting with other people (Ferrell 2011).  Pointing, a common gesture, is an important part of development in language, fine […]

Give & Take Interactions

By Melissa Udelhofen The ability to converse and interact with others begins with the foundational skill of turn-taking (Ferrell, 2011) but how does this essential skill develop in our children with visual impairments? Various forms of turn-taking can be expected in typically developing infants as early as birth to one year old based on The […]

Unrestricted Babies:  The Need for Time for Unrestricted Movement and Less Container Time

By Jennifer Hoffmann Babies need to move.  They need to wiggle, stretch, rotate, and learn about how their bodies move in order to get stronger.  Experience with movement is key to the development of muscle tone (strength) in young children (Wiener, Welsh, Blasch, 2010).  Time which allows for movement is often of increased importance for […]

How Critical Description and Communication is to a Blind Child

By Kristy Duckels It is believed that communication starts as early as in the womb for infants.  It is also believed that direct talk at the infant in the womb can be extremely beneficial for an infant’s language development.  The importance of communication continues throughout an infant’s life.  An infant, as well as a child, […]

Development of Fine Motor Skills

By Rachael Dean This developmental essay will briefly describe the importance of fine motor skills with hands in children ages 0-12 months with visual impairments.  Although the hands are a major perceptual organ, an infant who has a visual impairment often has significant developmental delays in their ability to employ the hands functionally.  Even at […]

Tactile Defensiveness

By Jennifer Berg It is no secret that children born with a vision impairment tend to be tactually defensive.  Families and interventionists must work to encourage infants with visual impairments to tactually explore their environment. It’s understandable that a small toddler who has never seen the world around him wouldn’t want to plunge his hands […]