Touch and Movement for Children with Visual Impairments

Massage, Motor Skills, and Sensory Integration for Children with Visual Impairments, Blindness or Deafblindness

In this section, families can explore the importance of touch in bonding and communicating with a baby who is blind or visually impaired. Touch and movement are integral to development of fine and gross motor skills, encouraging young children to reach out and to actively explore the world around them.
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.


Infant Massage and Touch

DVI Quarterly, 2003, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)Division on Visual Impairments 
Prof. Grace Lappin describes how infant massage can provide another way for the caregiver and child to interact, establish contact and communication, and develop a deep bond. (Microsoft Word Document)
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
This is chapter 4 from Peggy Freeman's The Deafblind Disabled Baby: A Program of Care for Parents of the Deafblind Baby with Multiple Disabilities. She discusses the stages of touch and offers suggestions for activities at each level. (Microsoft Word Document)

Research: Infant Massage

International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Dr. Grace Lappin's case study suggests that massage may strengthen parental bonds and be a great developmental stimulant for infants with blindness (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Movement and Gross Motor Skills

Organizations and Resources to Explore: Movement

The information in this section of the BCRC site is designed to help parents encourage movement in their young children who are blind. 

Tactile and Fine Motor Skills

Project SPARKLE lists some of the features of touch which make it a crucial sense to children who are deafblind; includes resources and a glossary.

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources: Tactile and Fine Motor Skills

This website is intended as a resource on tactile learning strategies for working with children who are deafblind or who are blind with additional disabilities.

Sensory Integration

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired(TSBVI)
Occupational Therapist Linda C. Stephens provides an overview of some of the ways sensory integrative problems manifest themselves, including sensory defensiveness, activity levels, and behavior.
Scroll down through the articles on Sensory Integration to find neurologist Dr. Fernette Eide's offering. She explains the biology of sensory integration dysfunction and the role of occupational therapy in its treatment.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Lisa Ricketts, OTR, discusses the impact of visual impairment on sensory integration, and how sensory integration disorder manifests in students with blindness and visual impairments.  Treatment approaches and educational interventions are also described.
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
Heather Miller-Kuhaneck gives specific suggestions for incorporating sensory input into daily activities and offers general guidelines for the home.
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
An overview of Sensory Processing Disorder. There are numerous links to other aspects of SPD on this site.


Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
TSynopses of current research findings, with links to further information and full texts.

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources: Sensory Integration

This site includes extensive information about sensory integration dysfunction, with sections focusing on education, classroom accommodations, and additional resources.
This site offers links to numerous articles, including "Preemies and Sensory Integration", "Adoption and Sensory Integration", and more.