Gross motor development and reach on sound as critical tools for the development of the blind child

Fazzi Elisa, Lanners Josée, Ferrari Ginevra Oreste, Achille Claudia, Luparia Antonella, Signorini Sabrina, Lanzi Giovanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to assess early neuromotor development in 20 congenitally blind or severely visually impaired children, nine without (B) and 11 with associated handicaps (B+H), in order to develop a strategy for early intervention in these subjects. The mean age at first observation was 11.4 months (range: 4-30 months). The mean follow-up duration was 16.9 months (range: 3-36 months). Assessment included developmental history, neurological examination, video-recording of spontaneous activity and administration of the Reynell-Zinkin Scales and neuroradiological and neurophysiological investigations. All B children walked independently (mean age 19.8 months) and 55.5% crawled (mean age 15 months); the B+H subjects displayed absence of almost all neuromotor functions, except one who walked at 20 months. All the B and just one (9%) of the B+H children developed satisfactory fine motor abilities. 'Reach on sound' at distance was achieved by all the B children by the age of 14.2 months while in the B+H group it was achieved by only two subjects at a median age of 19.5 months. We conclude that it is possible to describe the profile of neuromotor development in B and B+H children; strategies to help postural-motor development and 'reach on sound' appear to be fundamental in early intervention in these subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Blind infant
  • Early development
  • Handicap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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