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ERIC Number: EJ1041639
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0271-1214
Family Voices at Mealtime: Experiences with Young Children with Visual Impairment
Smyth, Catherine A.; Spicer, Carol L.; Morgese, Zoe L.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, v34 n3 p175-185 Nov 2014
Infants with visual impairment often require additional interaction from adults to reinforce behaviors that lead to competency at mealtimes, but parental and professional confidence in teaching these skills is often limited. In the following collective case study, the authors, a speech/language pathologist (S/LP), occupational therapist (OT), and a teacher of students with visual impairment (TVI) questioned whether the level of a child's visual impairment affected child/adult interactions, and if so, how? The authors followed 30 young children with visual impairment from ages 3 months to 3 years. Cases included two groups of participants identified by degree of vision loss. One case had no vision or light perception only and was identified as the "Tactual Learners." The other case, identified as the "Visual Learners," had some degree of usable vision, but still required some type of adaptation to be successful. Using interpretive observation, semi-structured interviews, and artifacts for triangulation, the authors identified results that indicate young children who have less vision and are "Tactual Learners" have specific concerns regarding the development of independent eating skills and that a protocol of family-centered mealtime strategies could benefit their parents. The authors independently reviewed and coded the videotapes, interviews, and artifacts to identify four themes to guide additional strategy implementation for families. The research showed improving caretaker confidence, providing adaptations for an individual child's visual needs, encouraging sensory experiences around food, and teaching developmental expectations can potentially minimize difficulties in establishing good eating habits and promote independence at mealtime.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A