Written by: Sarit Levy National Vision Guide, Yael Carmon Physiotherapist, Ruth Harel Busy Clinic and Elia Team
The basis of our work is the deep understanding that vision affects all areas of development, it is the organizing sense that pushes us to connect with the environment, stimulates curiosity and through which we perceive and understand the world. Vision affects motor, cognitive and behavioral ability. The severity and nature of the visual impairment are the important factors in the effect of visual impairment on development. As the child develops, his visual function seems to improve, but in fact the vision remains as it was. In other words, it seems as if the child sees more, but not so he is, his vision remains and only the functioning of the vision improves.
In early childhood, toddlers explore their physical and human environment by virtue of curiosity and their inherent strait of action. The first agents of the investigation are the "close" senses of touch, taste, smell, and then also join in listening, looking and imitating. Many knowledge and abilities are learned from meaningful context, context and interaction for the development of communication and social abilities. While seeing children can adapt to the environment and infer hearing and vision at the same time, a child with visual impairment will need to mediate the adult in order to reach an understanding of the situation in which he is located. Babies with blindness or visual impairment have fewer opportunities for learning. Due to the disability, they show fewer instaltes and tend to be more static, have difficulty coping with several stimuli at the same time and for learning needs a adapted environment.
In order to enable optimal treatment of children with visual impairment, we must adapt the treatment to the child's character and the characteristics of his disability.
For a review and download of the full article click here: Highlights during therapeutic work with children with visual impairment or blindness