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.
- Blind infant
- Early development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health