Motor development and orientation and mobility in space

Sensory awareness is the infrastructure for the absorption and understanding of our world. Proper vision allows the child to perceive and understand at a glance, where he is in relation to space, to efficiently and quickly scan the near and far environment to see the destination and plan the route to it. In a child with normal vision, the information is absorbed automatically, at a glance, without much effort.

A child with visual impairment or blindness is limited in his ability to absorb visual information from the environment, due to the decrease in visual acuity and / or field of vision he has difficulty scanning the space to locate figures or objects and get all the visual information he needs to understand the situation and move freely. /> The beginning of spatial orientation begins in the child together with the stages of motor development and the perception of the body as the starting point for the world around him. Perception of the body includes first of all the knowledge of the various parts of the body, an understanding of the functional ability of the body organs and later also a recognition of the relationships between the two sides of the body and the boundaries of the body.
ילדים בעלי לקות ראייה And early childhood blindness tends to lag behind in motor development, motor delay is manifested in varying degrees, depending on the severity of the visual impairment.
In children with complete blindness there are also difficulties in motor development such as jumping, running and complex and coordinative motor tasks.

Why do children with visual impairments differ from others in motor development?

  • There is little curiosity about the near and far environment, who are unaware of it due to visual impairment.
  • Fear and anxiety from an intimidating and unfamiliar environment, from exploring the environment and the risk of moving in an unclear space.
  • The tendency of those around them to overprotect and prevent the children’s motor independence.
  • Poor experience and exposure to the space in which they operate.
  • Need to listen intensively to the environment

Lack of or avoidance of motor activity and movement may lead to acquired passivity on the part of the toddler, limited acquisition of skills and lack of motivation for physical activity. The poor volume of movement causes muscle weakness, poor posture and sometimes even obesity. In the long run we can expect pain in joints and limbs that are not physically active.

Motor activation for ELI children is necessary, in order to expose them to their abilities without fear, teach them to plan their steps in space independently, enjoy movement that is so necessary for normal emotional development, strengthen their muscle strength, teach them to be alert to their posture, dare and move in space, discover World and be independent.

Since the body schema is built from experiences from the moment the baby is born, all the children in the daycare center should be exposed at all levels of functioning. Improving mobility and orientation skills does not depend only on the child’s ability to walk or crawl, does not depend only on verbal, communicative or cognitive ability. In other words, the rehabilitative work on orientation and mobility takes place in all kindergarten classes in the ELI, with each child receiving treatment adapted to the stage he is at and in accordance with his needs.

Orientation and mobility: (Orientation and Mobility – O&M)

The ability to move in space with confidence, comfort and efficiency. Know how to get along in space and control it.

The ability to know where the various items in space are, where I am in relation to them and understanding the spatial relationship for the purpose of planning an effective trajectory, with the help of signs and towards a goal.

Meaning: The ability to use the senses to understand a person’s position in the environment at any given moment.

The ability to move from place to place or from situation to situation.

Possible types of mobility: rolling, crawling, walking and using accessories if necessary.

What influences orientation and mobility?

  • Visual impairment
  • Child’s personal abilities: cognition, temperament, motivation
  • Environment: Environment adaptation, different function in different environments, familiar / new, stimulus load
  • Environmental security
  • Learning technique for orientation and mobility in space and practicing the skills.

Elia runs an orientation and mobility program in order to develop techniques and skills for spatial orientation and mobility, so that a child with a visual impairment or blindness can move safely, efficiently and safely in different environments according to his needs and abilities.

The program is based on the “circle model developed by the municipality of Toral when she worked as a physiotherapist in ELI. The model was developed based on the knowledge and experience gained over the years in ELI and is based on research and literature from Israel and the world. The Neur-Developmental Physiotherapist Municipality has worked at ELI for 29 years at ELI, initiating and promoting rehabilitative treatment with orientation and mobility individually and in groups, has been a clinical instructor for a young physiotherapist team and has participated in parent and infant groups over the years.

The circle model of the municipality of Toral

The beginning of the program is an assessment developed in ELI that includes 5 developmental stages from the immediate environment and the boundaries of the body to a distant environment.

  • Learning concepts : concepts of body, directions, prepositions, dimensions and distances, concepts of space and environment (door, room, floor, yard, road, intersection ..)
  • Development of sensory skills: Hearing, smell, perception of movement, touch, sense of time and distance, sense of face.
  • Knowledge of the language of mobility: Terms such as starting point, sign, hint.
  • Orientation and mobility in the immediate environment and in a new environment: Learning anchors, fixed routes, self-exploration techniques, beginning brain (mental) mapping of space / space.
  • Initial acquaintance with the white stick

The activity takes place under the guidance of ELI physiotherapists individually or in groups.

To donate for the activity click here

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