Children with vision impairment often experience delays in reaching their gross motor milestones due to the crucial role vision plays in early development. Visual experiences enable the brain to gather information to help children understand the world around them.
VisAbility physiotherapists work towards client-centred goals to determine what’s most important for the child and their family to achieve.
Our physiotherapists can travel throughout the community to deliver therapy at home, school, day care, local pools, or the park. Research shows therapy undertaken in a child’s natural environment creates better outcomes.
It’s more meaningful because it’s where they spend most of their time and allows a caregiver, or parent to develop a better understanding of how to promote movement day-to-day.
This could be encouraging a child to complete an obstacle course with their friends, go down a slide at the playground, climb on monkey bars, walk up and down stairs, ride a bike and jump in puddles.
Physical function and movement skills
Physiotherapists can help support your child with a range of physical function and movement skills to help them engage in their environment.
These can include:
- Strength. Strength refers to the ability of muscles to generate force against resistance. Assessing strength is when a physiotherapist evaluates the capacity of muscles to produce tension. Strength training exercises are essential for functional activities and stability.
- Static and dynamic balance. Static balance refers to the ability to maintain a stable and upright position while stationary, such as standing on one leg without swaying to control body alignment. Dynamic balance is when you can maintain stability while in motion, such as running, or walking where co-ordinated muscle action is involved.
- Depth perception. Depth perception is the ability to understand relative distances between objects in the environment – a skill crucial for reaching and navigating obstacles.
- Coordination. Coordination is when body parts work together to perform smooth and accurate movements. Good coordination is important for activities that require precision and accuracy.
These are specific aspects of physical function and the foundations of movement. Furthermore, they enable children to develop motor and play skills to engage in their community and participate in an active and fulfilling life.
Physiotherapists often assess and work on these aspects of physical function to address movement limitations and improve functional abilities.
Treatment plans may include exercises, interventions and strategies tailored to individual specific needs and goals to promote mobility.
We make our physiotherapy fun. A little help can go a long way.
Physiotherapists use adaptive equipment to help with movement to promote independence. Adaptive equipment is a device, tool or machine to help with tasks.
Our physiotherapists can offer advice and recommendations on appropriate equipment to suit your child’s needs.
There are plenty of assistive technology items we prescribe such as:
- specialised footwear
- audible bell balls (link opens in new window)
- high-contrast sports equipment
- standing frames
- adaptive trikes
Before purchasing a piece of equipment, our therapists can arrange a trial of that item to see if it suits requirements.
We believe in a multi-disciplinary approach, so we collaborate with other therapists to support skill progression. To find out more about how physiotherapy for children with vision loss can be beneficial enquire today.
How to get support
If your child has a diagnosis of vision impairment, please contact our friendly team to find out what low vision services and support we can provide both now and into the future.
If you are a provider and wish to refer a client, please use our low vision medical certificate (online referral form) to make your referral.There are also a number of low vision support groups within Perth and across the state, which can connect you with like-minded people to build friendships and offer support.