Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Child Development; Motor Skills; Vision Disorders


Visual impairment, or blindness, in the pediatric population has been shown to affect several key areas of gross motor development. Many of these areas can be positively influenced by physical therapy techniques. However, some physical therapy curriculums do not teach this topic of study because the prevalence of blindness is low. The purpose of this study is to develop a teaching manual that will provide the physical therapist with specific exercises, activities, and helpful hints that will facilitate the treatment of a patient with blindness in a pediatric setting.

The manual includes information regarding common mannerisms of the blind population and physical deficits that occur with blindness such as body spatial awareness deficits, weakness of certain muscle groups, abnormal gait patterns, and postural abnormalities. The procedure used to perform this study was a literature review that includes a thorough explanation of the developmental problems associated with visual impairment Information regarding the utilization of residual vision and treatment implications related to physical therapy is presented. Pictures of treatment techniques with a pre-school aged are shown for clearer representation of technique. This manual is designed to provide physical therapists with information to facilitate assessment and treatment of pediatric patients with visual impairments.