Partial Visual Impairment

WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE VISUALLY IMPAIRED? WATCH THIS VIDEO

WHAT IS PARTIAL VISUAL IMPAIRMENT?

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It’s defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18, but equal to or better than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PARTIAL VISUAL IMPAIRMENT?

According to Salvin (2016), it is caused by inheritance, an infection that is transmitted from the mother to the developing fetus during pregnancy or conditions that causes partial visual impairment.

Some conditions that cause partial visual impairment are:

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Amblyopia: Amblyopia (Lazy eye) is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye physically looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favouring the other eye.  (NEI, n.d.).

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Cataract: This happens when some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens thus reduce the sharpness of the image reaching the retina and the clear lens slowly changes to a yellowish/brownish colour, adding a brownish tint to vision. As the cataract grows larger and worsens, the vision gets more dull and blurry and it’s more difficult to read and perform other activities (NEI, n.d.).

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND CONCERNS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN WITH PARTIAL VISUAL IMPAIRMENT?

BEHAVIOUR ISSUES

Repetitive behaviour issues are shown in children who are partial visually impaired. Such behaviours include:

  • Problems with learning
    • E.g. tired of looking at things up-close, rub his eyes a lot, need extra time to do work, large-printed papers or assistive technology used.
  • Sometimes causes harm to others or himself
    • E.g.  head-butting on their friends or things around them, biting and hitting.
  • Sometimes causes damage to objects or belongings
    • pushing, kicking or throwing materials

 LANGUAGE AND SPEECH ISSUES

  • Problem associating concepts with language
    • Difficulty attaching meaning to objects or actions
  • Using single words or word combinations that are spoken unclearly
    • May cause the child to jabber.
  • Verbalism
    • Having a vocabulary or language without the understanding

 COMMUNICATION ISSUES

  • Submissive remarks
    • letting the other person have their way without your feelings justified
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  • Difficulty sustaining conversations
    • focus on their own interests and not appear to have an interest in others.

 SELF – REGULATION ISSUES

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-May not have proper methods to calm, self-soothe or self-stimulate themselves (They may be physically and aggressive in nature)

SOCIAL ISSUES

Children with visual impairment faced problems of being ignored by peers or other children. This is due to: Related image

  • lack of cooperation and skills in turn taking.
  • lack of skills in inviting friends to play together.
  • lack of skills in building and maintaining friendships.

LEARNER DIFFERENCES AND LEARNING STYLES

A child with visual impairment will typically learn about the world in a different way from a typical child. Depending on individual circumstances:

  • They may use other senses rather vision to obtain information.
  • Clear and repeated explanations for the child to understand.
  • They may learn through direct experience or skills rather than observing it.

TACTILE LEARNERS

Tactile learners learn best by touching or handling objects. They remember
what they did and how they did it. Some preferred activities for tactile learners:

  • Image result for visual impairment activitiesHands-on activities
    •  Touching different textures, manipulatives

PRINT LEARNERS

Print learners prefer to see the data printed in words. When introducing concepts or a process, they like to read about the information with an illustration or other visual aids. Some preferred activities for print learners:Image result for word games for visually impaired

  • Word games
  • Quizzes

AUDITORY LEARNERS

Auditory learners learn best by hearing. With auditory activities do benefit from spoken reinforcement of key ideas. Some preferred activities for auditory learners: Image result for discussions for children with visual impairment

  • Spelling bee
  • Presentation/ reciting concepts to the class
  • Discussion activities with friends or their SPED teachers.

ACCOMMODATING LEARNING STYLES IN INSTRUCTION

Adaptations to the classroom are needed to aid students who are visually impaired to access all areas of the curriculum.

USING LARGE PRINT

Students with low vision will frequently need materials to be increased in size.

Font size: The recommended standard font size for large print is 18 points.

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Font style: Use plain, simple, “sans-serif” fonts, such as Arial or APHont (available online through the American Printing House for the Blind).

It is best to use bold black print on white/cream background. Also, avoid using italics or all capital letters. Generally, lower-case lettering is easier to read.

BRAILLE CODE

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Braille enables children who are unable to read print to become literate and helps adults who lose the ability to read, due to blindness or low vision, to continue enjoying reading.

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Types of Braille

  •  Alphabetic Braille (Grade one)
    • Write out each letter and word exactly as it is spelt out in print.
    • Eg: The word “can” is written by using three separate braille cells—one cell for each of the three letters in the word “can.”
  • Literary Braille (Grade two)
    • Also called “contracted” braille
    • Eg: The word “can” is written in a highly condensed or contracted form, using only one braille cell to represent the entire word.

USE STRONG CONTRAST

A strong contrast between the print and background is very important. Light lettering, such as white or light yellow, on a dark background may sometimes be easier to read than black lettering on a white or light-coloured background.

Image result for Acetate or Color FiltersAcetate or Color Filters

Acetate or colour filters placed over the printed page will darken the print as well as heighten the contrast of the print with the background paper. It’s usually preferred in yellow but is available in other colours.

Highlighters & line guides 

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Highlighters, line guides, and typoscope are especially helpful to students who find it difficult to focus on a word or track a line of print.The typoscope blocks out the surrounding text, allowing the student to focus on the important information. Using a line guide with a highlighter increases the contrast of the print.

SUPPORT/SERVICES AVAILABLE

SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION OF THE VISUALLY HANDICAPPED

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Vision

To promote the needs, interests, and aspirations of the visually handicapped.

Mission

Our mission is to help the visually handicapped help themselves by acquiring new skills and gaining self-reliance to cope with the integration into society.

LOW VISION CLINIC (LVC)

LVC 1 Little Client Making Good Use of Magnifier

The Low Vision Clinic (LVC) is a specialized centre established to offer people with different levels of vision impairment the benefits of low vision devices to maximize one’s remaining vision whenever possible.

The clinic provides a comprehensive clinical assessment and advisory services conducted by a team of qualified Ophthalmologists and Optometrists.

In addition to assessment, the Consultants will work with you on the various adaptive techniques to perform your visual tasks and activities through a diverse range of low vision devices and high addition prescription lenses which is available at the clinic.

To find out more, visit http://savh.org.sg/low-vision-clinic/

VISION REHABILITATION PROGRAMME

The Vision Rehabilitation Programme aims to work towards the improvement of the quality of life of our visually handicapped clients through specialized self-help services that help them to raise self-esteem and to gain self-reliance to cope with integration into mainstream society.

This is done by helping them to develop their support system, foster links with the community, learn new skills and more importantly adopt positive attitudes towards whatever situation they find themselves in

Main services 

  • Casework and Counseling
    • To help visually handicapped individuals and their family members adjust to visual impairment
    • To help visually handicapped persons cope with family or interpersonal problems
  • Information and Referral
    • Offer information and advice to visually handicapped individuals on the appropriate resources available in the community (Eg: special schools for early intervention and job placement services) and to provide referral where necessary.
  • Rehabilitation Services
    • Eg: Orientation & Mobility Training, Sighted Guide Techniques and etc

To find out more, visit http://savh.org.sg/vision-rehabilitation-programme/

ASSISTIVE DEVICES CENTRE (ADC)

The Assistive Devices Centre serves to enhance the lives of persons with vision impairment by promoting the use of assistive devices and technologies so as to allow them to integrate into the society in the area of education, recreation or employment.

To achieve this objective, the Centre offers a comprehensive range of devices: 

  • Mobility white canes
  • Lifestyle talking devices (Eg: clocks, watches, calculators, blood pressure monitor)
  • A comprehensive range of magnifiers and monoculars to cater to varying eye conditions of persons with vision impairment.

To find out more, visit http://savh.org.sg/assistive-devices-centre-adc/

INTERVENTION STRATEGIES USED IN CLASSROOM

  • Use consistent labels for objects
  • Actively assist children to explore the environment
  • Listen and explain everyday environmental sounds and visual information
    • Encourage children to use their auditory cues as landmarks for organizing the environment
  • Work from behind children, putting them through the movements of what is expected of them while providing verbal feedback
    • Hand-over-hand approach
  • Present objects before the instruction, allow child to explore the materials before activity

References

http://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/reading-writing-and-vision-loss/all-about-braille/1235

http://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/reading-writing-and-vision-loss/large-print/1234

https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/material-adaptations.html

http://savh.org.sg/

https://nei.nih.gov/health/amblyopia

https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts

http://www.familyconnect.org/info/browse-by-age/preschoolers/growth-and-development-preschoolers/behavioral-issues-in-children-with-visual-impairments-and-blindness-a-guide-for-parents/1234

http://www.familyconnect.org/info/browse-by-age/preschoolers/growth-and-development-preschoolers/behavioral-issues-in-children-with-visual-impairments-and-blindness-a-guide-for-parents/addressing-challenging-behavior-in-toddlers-and-preschoolers-with-visual-impairments-and-blindness/12345

http://www.familyconnect.org/info/browse-by-age/infants-and-toddlers/education-iandt/whats-different-about-the-way-visually-impaired-children-learn/1235

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/vision-factsheet.html

https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/language-development.html

http://www.tsbvi.edu/curriculum-a-publications/3/1069-preschool-children-with-visual-impairments-by-virginia-bishop

Cengage Learning. (2005). Teaching tools: Diverse populations & learning styles. 1-28.

Gargiulo. R. M., & Kilgo, J. L. (2014). An introduction to young children with special needs birth through age eight. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 127-129

Resnikoff, S., Pascolini, D., Etya’ale, D.,  Kocur, I., Pararajasegaram, R., Pokharel, G. P., & Mariotti, S. P. (2004). Global data on visual impairment in the year 2002. Bulletin of the World Health Organization82(11), 844-851.

Salleh, N. M., & Zainal, K. (2010). How and why the visually impaired students socially behave the way they do. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences9, 859-863. 

Salvin, J. H. (2016). Visual impairment. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org

Continue reading “Partial Visual Impairment”

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Characteristics

What is dyslexia?

According to the US department of education, dyslexia is a type of learning difficulty identifiable as a developmental difficulty of language learning and cognition.

It is a learning difficulty which primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling such as phonological awareness.

Dyslexic-Kid

What causes dyslexia?

The exact cause of dyslexia is still uncertain. However, there has been research findings suggest that it might be associated to neurological differences which may tend to run in the family. Despite it being a neurological condition, one must not that dyslexia is not linked to intelligence.

However, these differences in the brain are likely to influence the way dyslexics think, learn and process information, and they often show weaknesses in

  1. Phonological processing
  2. Ability to learn the relationships between letters and sounds (phonics)
  3. Ability to hold information in their short-term memory and then manipulating that information, such as working on mental arithmetic or remembering a long list of instructions

Deficits as a dyslexic

The primary deficit that is associated with dyslexia is the lack of phonological awareness. It is the awareness that words, both written and spoken, can be broken down into smaller units of sounds and that letters constituting the printed word represent the sounds heard in the spoken word (Hardin-Simmons University, 2016). 

 

Some characteristic features of dyslexia are

  1. difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and processing speed. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

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Symptoms of Dyslexia

  1. Inaccurate and inefficient single word recognition, phonologically and sight reading
  2. Difficulty in sounding out or decoding of unfamiliar words
  3. Inaccurate spelling of words

Red flags 

At preschool and kindergarten age, children are developing the oral language foundation which is necessary for learning to read and understand the world around them. Some red flags which can be a sign of possible difficulties for the acquisition of reading are:

  1. Delay in talking/speaking
  2. Difficulty in recognising and producing rhymes
  3. Difficulty in remembering rote information such as phone numbers and addresses
  4. Difficulty remembering and following directions.
  5. Confusing small words, such as at and to
  6. Letter reversals, such as d for b

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Other language related characteristics which may be seen:

  1. Difficulty in finding the correct spoken word or rapidly retrieving names
  2. Difficulty in repeating and pronouncing words accurately
  3. Difficulty with verbal short-term memory

 

 

Issues

Social Issues for Children with Dyslexia

A dyslexic child frequently faced social relationship problems with their peers, teachers and their family members. As they have difficulty with reading and writing, this could impact their social and communication skills, for example, they will have difficulty in retrieving words quickly, interacting with their peers and responding in a social situation. (“Parents Guide to Dyslexia,” 2016).

  Issues of their social interactions are:

  • They are more immature physically and socially than their peers. This may lead to a poor self-image of themselves and less peer acceptance.(Social-Emotional-Problems-Related-to-Dyslexia.pdf. (n.d.)).  
    • It is difficult for the child to develop a positive self-image from their poor self-image. As they think of themselves as a worthless person when they are not being accepted from their peers. Thus, this lead them to be withdrawn from their peers.(Social-Emotional-Problems-Related-to-Dyslexia.pdf. (n.d.)).
    • According to (Dyslexia Center of Utah. (n.d)) “Students who feel badly about themselves may not have the social confidence or skill to seek and maintain friendships, and may become withdrawn from friends and family.”

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  • They have trouble in reading social cues.
    • For example, they can be insensitive to other people’s body language or being too close with the person when interacting. Thus, miscommunication or misinterpretation may arise between their peers.
  • Difficulty in their oral language skills.
    • They have difficulty to find the right words or even pause for a while before responding. Thus, this is a disadvantage for them when interacting with their peers who may label them as a “slow kid”.

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The role of their families, teachers and their peers plays an influential role to support them to be confident and self-worth to socialize with people.  Therefore, those are the social issues of a dyslexic child faced.

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Environmental Issues for Children with Dyslexia

A well planned educational environment is essential in a dyslexic child’s life that aids in their learning (GreatSchools Staff, 2015).

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When put in an environment whereby learning and reading is difficult for them, they tend to feel mentally mistreated by their peers which leads to trauma and suffering (Hodge, 2000). Similarly, when a dyslexic child is placed in an environment he is not comfortable in, he tends to feel that the environment is controlling him. For example, a child with dyslexia may feel that he is different from his peers when he is unable to process simple instructions and expectations unlike his peers. As such, the child will hold his anger and once he knows that he is in a safe and comfortable environment, he will unleash his emotions to his most trusted caregiver (Ryan, 2004).

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Dyslexic children may often show signs of inconsistent work (Hodge, 2000) which may cause inexperienced teachers to misunderstand their behaviors.  This may cause dyslexic children to think of themselves as being slow and different from their peers (Alexander-Passe, 2015) and thus, affect their self-esteem.

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Even though children are at such a young age, they are able to differentiate the ‘smarter’ students and ‘slower’ ones (Alexander-Passe). Hence, during activities or play times, they may crowd together and eventually, ignore the rest. This situation is often detectable by children with dyslexia because they are able to feel the exclusion by their peers and hence, many of them fall into depression (Alexander-Passe) or isolation to cope with their feelings.

An enriching environment would help children with dyslexia, it is important for teachers to create a comfortable and safe environment where they can provide children with dyslexia, encouragement, and guidance which build on their self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Learning Issues for Children with Dyslexia

Basic reading problem

This occurs when a child has difficulties to understand the relationship between sounds, letters, and words.

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Difficulties in understanding reading.

This happens when the child is unable to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

  • Problems with the letter and word recognition
  • Understanding words and ideas
  • Reading speed and fluency 
  • General vocabulary skills

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There is a chance where dyslexia might not come on its own but it might co-occur with other disabilities such as executive functioning issues which affect the various skills and areas for learning.

Executive functioning

Children with dyslexia may have problems:

  • Organization,
  • Flexible thinking
  • Working memory 

This might affect reading which is a part of dyslexia as children with executive functioning disabilities may get confused about the letters while learning the alphabet. This is due to the fact that once the child has learned something, they may find it difficult to leave it behind and adopt new rules.

For example, a child may get confused between the letter P and R. Once the child has learned the letter P, she might not be able to recognize that R is similar but just with an extra stroke and may still view the letter P as R reflexively. The child would then require sustaining attention long enough to realize that P with an extra stroke turns to an R.(Kelly, n.d).

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Slow processing speed 

Children with slow processing speed struggle to take in, process and respond to information. This makes it tougher for them to master the basic reading skills and understand what they are reading. Furthermore, slow processing skills may impact executive functioning skills. These are the thinking skills that help children plan, set goals, respond to problems and persist on tasks (Kelly, n.d).

Children who have difficulties processing information may have troubles

  • Starting their assignments
  • Staying focused
  • Monitoring how well they are doing in school

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Challenges

Challenges come in all forms for a child with dyslexia. It ranges from learning and social challenges to emotional challenges.

Learning   

Reading

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Children with dyslexia face reading problems, however many people with dyslexia can become quite good readers (Dyslexia Action, n.d.). They encounter a challenge in extracting information from text therefore, it usually takes them longer to read and learn. Due to the unique way children with dyslexia view words, abbreviations are a huge hindering stone to their daily functions.

 

Writing

FAQ_ENGLISHChildren with dyslexia also face troubles when it comes to writing. According to Special Education Support Services (n.d.), children with dyslexia take a longer time to write and very often, their handwriting are untidy or incoherent (Plymouth University, n.d.). Having difficulties with new words, word findings and pronunciations are also huge stumbling blocks for a child with dyslexia.

Information Processing

confused-childMost children with dyslexia may also experience certain difficulties with spoken words. For example, coming up with specific name or date under the pressure of time or remembering a sequence of spoken words such as telephone numbers or home address. This is because, children with dyslexia have troubles retaining and following a list of auditory instructions as well as organisational problems. As such, they are unable to listen and take down notes at the same time.

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Relationship with Peer

Children with dyslexia may be more immature physically and socially in comparison to their peers. Many children with dyslexia have troubles reading social cues and as such, they may be insensitive to personal distance during social interactions and also to other people’s body language (Ryan, 2017).  Therefore, children with dyslexia often feel awkward in social situations and this may further lead to poor self-image and less peer acceptance.

 
d8a7d984d984d981d8b8d98aDue to their weaker oral language functioning, children with dyslexia have troubles looking for the right words, stammer or may pause before answering direct questions, affecting their conversation with peers which may further affect their relationship in future.

 

 

when-your-child-is-a-bully-istockphotoDue to the visible difference in behaviour, children with dyslexia may experience verbal or physical abuse from their peers (Ryan, 2017). Very often, victims of these act ends up being defensive, secretive and some may even isolate themselves so as to avoid similar situations in the future.

Reference Page

The following blog post is on the references that we have referred to while creating this blog. 

Alexander-Passe, N. (2015). The Lifelong Social and Emotional Effects of Dyslexia. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Retrieved on 13 July, 2017, from http://www.jkp.com/jkpblog/2015/08/the-lifelong-social-and-emotional-effects-of-dyslexia/

Dyslexia Center of Utah. (n.d). Retrieved from  http://www.dyslexiacenterofutah.org/dyslexia/social-problems/

GreatSchools Staff. (2015). Dyslexia and the education environment. Retrieved on 13 July, 2017, from https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/dyslexia-and-education/

Hardin-Simmons University (2016). Characteristics of dyslexia. Retrieved from 13 July, 2017, from https://www.hsutx.edu/offices/literacy-learning/dyslexia-characteristics/

Hodge, P. (2000). A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom. Davis Dyslexia Association International. Retrieved on 13 July, 2017, from https://www.dyslexia.com/about-dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia/guide-for-classroom-teachers/

Irwin, K. (2012). Dyslexia signs and characteristics. Retrieved on 13 July, 2017, from  http://nspt4kids.com/parenting/dyslexia-signs-and-characteristics/

Kelly, K. (n.d). 5 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Impact Reading. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/executive-functioning-issues/5-ways-executive-functioning-issues-can-impact-reading.

Kelly, k. (n.d). Processing Speed: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/information-processing-issues/processing-speed-what-you-need-to-know

Kemp, G., Smith, M., Segal, J. (2017, April). Types of Learning Disorders and Their Signs. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism-learning-disabilities/learning-disabilities-and-disorders.htm

Parents Guide to Dyslexia. (2016). Retrieved from https://childmind.org/guide/parents-guide-to-dyslexia/

Plymouth University. (n.d.) Problems faced by dyslexic learners. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/3/3390/Chris_Knight_-_Supporting_dyslexic_learners_in_practice.Pdf

Ryan, M. J. (2004). Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia. Retrieved on 13 July, 2017, from http://www.ldonline.org/article/19296/

Ryan, M. (2014). Why is dyslexia discouraging and frustrating. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/parents/living-with-dyslexia/home/social-emotional-challenges/discouraging-frustrating

Special Education Support Service. (n.d.) Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviour. Retrieved July 14, from http://www.sess.ie/dyslexia-section/dyslexia-and-challenging-behaviour

Understanding Dyslexia. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia#item2

U.S. Department of Education. (2006). Assistance to States for the education of children with disabilities and preschool grants for children with disabilities; Final rule. Retrieved on June 13, 2017 from http://idea.ed.gov/download/finalregulations.pdf