presented by Cynthia N. Potter
Visual impairments have the potential to dramatically affect how children develop and are able to learn. The course outlines delays across developmental domains that can be anticipated as a result of visual impairments. The effect of visual impairment on development of head and trunk control and postural stability is described. Common delays in motor skills and motor planning are explained. Case examples to illustrate use of compensatory strategies are discussed.
Cindy Potter, PT, MS, DPT, has worked with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many different practice settings, including early intervention, outpatient, preschool, school, community-based settings, and ICF/IDD facilities for 39 years. She earned a BS in biology and English writing from Allegheny College, an MS in health-related professions (developmental disabilities track) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Slippery Rock University. She is a former associate professor and chair of the Graduate School of Physical Therapy at Slippery Rock University. She currently serves as chairman of the State Board of Physical Therapy in Pennsylvania and is in her third term on the licensure board. She has presented internationally and has published in peer-reviewed journals. With a strong interest in global health, she has served on 20 medical missions and is the president of the non-profit Honduras Hope Mission, Inc.
This chapter describes the impact that visual impairments can have on the child’s overall development and learning, including motor skills, cognitive abilities, learning differences, social, and communication skills.
Many strategies are available to help manage visual problems during physical therapy intervention and to promote learning. This chapter reviews factors that need to be considered for each child so that they can use their vision most efficiently and looks at using appropriate visual strategies during physical therapy interventions at different ages.