Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBE-Q 64.4 Fall 2019

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

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Page 40 of 71

VIDBE-Q Volume 64 Issue 4 41 Catherine Smyth, PhD; Director of Research; Anchor Center for Blind Children; csmyth@anchorcenter.org It is well known that the sense of touch is intimately connected to an individual's sense of self (Metzoff, Saby, & Marshall, 2018) and early attachment to caretakers. Infants who do not receive human touch early in their development are impacted with both immediate and long term consequences (Als, Tronick, & Brazelton, 1980; Ardiel & Rankin, 2010). As children mature, the link between cognitive understanding and tactile perception becomes more relevant during the early childhood of young children with visual impairment, as this population is busy discovering the cognitive interpretation of objects and drawings through tactual discrimination, tactile-spatial perception, part-whole relationships, and an understanding of the second and third dimension. The sense of touch is unique in that it depends on physical contact and is spread throughout the body (Hatwell, 2003; McLinden & McCall, 2002). Touch can be receptive or "cutaneous," as when individuals feel a blanket underneath on the bed or react to the squeeze of a handshake or a hug. It It's More than a Touch: Early Tactual Development in Infants and Toddlers

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