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.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/1172972

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Page 41 of 71

VIDBE-Q Volume 64 Issue 4 42 can also be active and exploratory or "haptic" in nature; as when children reach to explore a texture, a toy, or manipulate an item to discover how it works. Traditionally, developmental assessments have posited that a lack of vision can have a detrimental effect on haptic development (Ochiatia & Huertes, 1993; Reynell, 1978), but more recent studies have questioned this assumption. McLinden (2012) found in a current literature review that: While the precise role of vision in early haptic development has not yet been fully ascertained, there is evidence that its function is not as a substitute for haptic perception, but rather serves as a guide or "mediator" of haptic perceptual activities (p. 132). Other past research indicates that young children with visual impairment display similar characteristics in the development of tactual discrimination as infants with sight (D'Anguilli, Kennedy, & Heller, 1998; Schellingerhout, Smitsman, & van Galen, 1997). Studies in tactual discrimination that used cerebral functional imagery indicate that the haptic learning system develops along similar pathways as the visual system (Gentaz & Badan, 2003; Sera & Millett, 2011), and a recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study confirms that early onset blindness leads to changes in brain functioning that supports compensatory development in tactile processing (Bauer et al., 2017).

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