contrast
C C C
text size
SM L

Learning to move

Vision plays a major role in encouraging an infant to grasp, reach (for a toy), sit, crawl, stand, and walk.Vision confirms for the infant where they are in space and provides opportunities to explore environments with confidence. Without vision the infant might lack spontaneous exploration and be less likely to repeat purposeful actions.

Liz Kassis working with young boy anmd green boy

“Repeated opportunities to experience movement and be motivated to self-explore is crucial for children with vision impairment” Liz Kassis, paediatric physiotherapist.

Liz Kassis works with children and infants 0-5 years that have developmental delay. She has particular interest in working with children who have vision or hearing impairment. Liz is the director of Insight Kids, a paediatric physiotherapy service that provides home and community based services in Sydney.

Liz strongly believes in the benefits of complementary services working together to achieve better outcomes for children with vision loss.

Two disciplines that incorporate goals and improve gross motor development for children with vision impairment are physiotherapy and Orientation & Mobility (O&M). Paediatric physiotherapy focuses on motor development and factors impeding movement including weakness, spasticity, hypotonia, balance,rotation, and protective reflexes, while O&M focuses on body awareness, movement and the environment.

“This provides repeated opportunity to practise movements and to educate teaching staff and family on how best to incorporate the activities into a functional task” Liz Kassis

Complementary services in action

Dallas is an inquistive 4-year old girl who has just started school, so there are many opportunities for exploratory learning. Dallas was born without vision and low muscle tone. She can sit alone momentarily, rolls freely, and enjoys exploring nearby. Liz Kassis and Carolyn Bates, an Orientation & Mobility Instructor with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, are currently working with Dallas. In O&M sessions Dallas is encouraged to move independently and explore new objects. Some physiotherapy and O&M goals include moving into a sitting position on the floor, standing for short periods without support, actively assisting with all transfers by standing, sitting and pushing off with her hands and feet. Both Liz and Carolyn work with Dallas on movement transitions and environmental awareness.

Funding options are available for children with moderate or profound vision impairment through Better Start for Children with a Disability, for further information visit:

www.betterstart.net.au

www.insightkids.com.au

“This provides repeated opportunity to practise movements and to educate teaching staff and family on how best to incorporate the activities into a functional task” Liz Kassis

Comments are closed.