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The Movement-Thinking Connection. Learning Objectives. The Learner Will Contemplate research related to the significance of purposeful movement in individuals with visual impairments 2. Consider the impact of purposeful movement on brain development and learning. Learning Objectives.

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The Movement-Thinking Connection

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learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • The Learner Will
  • Contemplate research related to the significance of purposeful movement in individuals with visual impairments
  • 2. Consider the impact of purposeful movement on brain development and learning
learning objectives1
Learning Objectives
  • The Learner Will
  • Synthesize information presented and be able to state the relationship between purposeful movement, brain development and learning.
  • 4. State the potential role of the Certified O&M specialist in brain development and learning
  • Basic overview of brain development
  • Learning Theories
  • Undesirable consequences of non-purposeful movement
  • Benefits of Purposeful Movement
  • Difference between O&M and PT
  • TVI’s role in determining Need for O&M
  • Role of O&M Specialist in Movement Instruction
  • Questions/Answers
basic function of the brain
Basic Function of the Brain
  • The brain is made up of cells called neurons, which communicate by sharing electrical signals”

basic function of the brain1
Basic Function of the Brain
  • The networks of connections between neurons determine everything that happens in the brain.

basic function of the brain2
Basic Function of the Brain
  • The connections are developed and refined during brain development, based on a person’s specific experiences.
what is learning
What is Learning?
  • Learning is often defined as a relatively lasting change in behavior that is the result of experience.

how do we learn
How Do We Learn?
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Internal mental activity and not from external stimuli
  • The Learner brings knowledge, skills and related experiences to the learning situation
  • The Learner is active participant in learning process
  • Behaviorist Theory
  • All behaviors are acquired through conditioning.
  • Conditioning occurs through interaction with environment
  • Natural Consequences
  • Rewards and Punishments
how do we learn1
How do We Learn?
  • Social Cognitive
  • People can learn new information and behaviors by watching other people. Known as observational learning (or modeling
  • Constructivist
  • Learning created by exploring the world
  • Learning occurs when existing knowledge comes into contact with new knowledge gained through experience
movement s connection to learning
Movement’s Connection to Learning
  • Interaction with the environment – behaviorist
  • Learning brings knowledge and skills – cognitive theory
  • Learning is created by exploring the world – constructivist
  • Learning occurs through observing others – social cognitive
so what
So What?

Good information,

but how does that relate to ME as a COMS?

we like to move it move it
We like to Move it Move it…..

Purposeful Movement is an important part of learning

brings context and experience to life

increases our understanding of the world

  • Orientation skills require the use of sensory information to understand where you are relative to things around you; mobility involves moving safely and efficiently within your environment

Hill & Ponder, 1976)

primary question
Primary Question?

Do individuals with visual and additional impairments (MIVI) benefit from O&M from a COMS?

(MIVI) - Persons with visual and additional impairments such as ID, CP, motor impairments; hearing impairments

who receives o m
Who receives O&M?

National Center for Special Education Research, 2002

sensory integration or not
Sensory Integration or NOT
  • Proprioception: sense that assists with orientation of one’s body in space
  • Vestibular sense – sense which interprets the effects of gravity on the body and head position
  • Haptic sense: sense of touch
  • Proprioceptive and vestibular skills typically are delayed or absent in children with visual impairments
  • People, especially children with visual impairments may not have sufficient vision to aid in developing these senses

(Wiener, Welsh & Blasch, 2010)

  • The haptic sense combines proprioception with touch and describes an individual’s ability to determine physical properties of items like shape, size and texture.

(Pogrund and Fazzi, 2002)

  • “Because visual information informs and helps interpret so much of one’s sensory experiences, vision loss could be said to produce a degree of sensory integration dysfunction.”

(Pogrund & Fazzi, 2002, p. 310)

  • Visual and additional impairments may present even greater sensory and movement integration deficiencies when compared to students with only a visual impairment.
  • This fact may indicate an increased need for targeted instruction in orientation and mobility skills for persons with visual and additional impairments.
movement we don t like
Movement We DON’T Like
  • In an effort to restore homeostasis or a feeling of sensory integration and balance, children (persons) with visual impairments may engage in stereotypical movements such as eye poking, rocking, or self-injurious behaviors

(Gal & Dyck, 2009)

movements we don t like
Movements we DON’T Like
  • Only students with cognitive delays and blindness participated in head-banging as a self-injurious type of stereotypical movement
  • Students with blindness and no cognitive delays did not exhibit head-banging as a self-injurious form of stereotypical movement
        • and were less likely to participate in any form of self-injurious stereotypical movement pattern.

(Gal & Dyck, 2009)

movements we don t like1
Movements we DON’T Like
  • Individuals with visual and additional impairments may participate in stereotypical movement patterns in an effort to reach homeostasis
  • Direct instruction in orientation and mobility may aid an individual in achieving the desired state of homeostasis thus decreasing undesired movement patterns
i can t move it move it
I Can’t Move it Move it…..
  • Theory of learned helplessness
  • The concept of learned helplessness was discovered accidentally by psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven F. Maier.
i can t move it move it1
I Can’t Move it Move it….
  • When people feel that they have no control over their situation, they may also begin to behave in a helpless manner. (lack of motivation to move)
motivation and movement
Motivation and Movement
  • Without motivation, purposeful movement is unlikely to occur
i can t move it move it2
I Can’t Move it Move it….
  • In the absence of direct instruction in orientation and mobility skills the behavior of learned helplessness may occur in individuals with visual and additional impairments
movement and learning
Movement and Learning
  • Brain Gym
  • Brain gym is the creation of Dr. Paul Dennison and his wife Gail Dennison and is based on simple movements which are designed to integrate all areas of the brain and mobilize them into action
movement and learning1
Movement and Learning
  • The specific areas of the brain targeted are:
  • Laterality dimension – the left and right hemisphere; side to side.
  • Focus dimension – the receptive brain stem and expressive forebrain; back to front
  • Centering dimension – limbic system and cerebral cortex; top to bottom.
  • (Li, 2008)
movement and learning2
Movement and Learning
  • The groups studied were 6th graders from a resource room for students with visual impairments and 2nd and 3rd graders with visual impairments in a self-contained classroom.

(Li, 2008)

movement and learning results
Movement and Learning: Results
  • According to this research, the spelling test average rose 10 points for the 6th grade resource students.
  • The student with diagnosed learning disabilities manifested observed improvements in adaptive social behaviors, following instructions, and taking initiative

(Li, 2008)

movement and learning survey
Movement and Learning Survey
  • 1. Do you know any students who have visual and multiple impairments who receive orientation and mobility instruction from a certified orientation and mobility specialists? 11 out of 13 respondents or 84 percent responded ‘yes’.
movement and learning survey1
Movement and Learning Survey
  • 2. Of the MIVI students you know who receive orientation and mobility instruction from a certified orientation and mobility specialist, have you noticed changes in their intentional, purposeful movement? 7 out of 11 respondents or 64 percent responded ‘yes’, 2 respondents skipped the question.
movement and learning survey2
Movement and Learning Survey


  • “learn and retain simple routes they did not know before training”
  • “use proper guided travel technique...grip guide's arm properly when instructed”
  • “deliberate reaching for objects and switch activated activities -increased activity level within the little room environment -rolling to activate a blowing fan”
  • Gal, E., Dyck, M.J. (2009). Stereotyped movements among children who are visually impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 12, 754-765.
  • Hill, E., & Ponder, P. (2003). Orientation. Orientation and mobility techniques: a guide for the practitioner. (pp.3-11). New York: AFB Press.
  • Li, T. (2008). Do students with visual impairment benefit from movement-based learning (brain gym?). AER Journal: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness,. 2,
  • 78-80.
  • Pogrund, R., & Fazzi, D. (2002). Early focus: working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. New York: AFB Press.
  • Wiener, W., Welsh, R., Blasch, B. (Eds.). (2010). Foundations of orientation and mobility. (Vols. 1-2). New York: AFB Press. 05.asp