O&M Level 2 - Program Planning
Once the assessment information is collected, the team can develop IFSP/IEP goals and begin to plan a program of instruction. Goals should be based on functional outcomes for the learner, resulting in him/her gaining access to something or someone as a consequence of the movement or travel.
The following factors should be considered when planning the instruction:
- Begin in infancy to encourage movement;
- Use the learner’s functional vision and hearing;
- Use and continue to expand the learner’s motivations;
- Use functional communication systems that match the student’s learning style;
- Provide initial movement and travel in environments that are simple, uncluttered, and use all available sensory information;
- Encourage appropriate levels of independence and interdependence;
- Provide collaboration and instruction with an O&M specialist, physical and occupational therapists, teachers, other school team members, and the family.
Movement and Travel Environments
The O&M Specialist will work with the team to design an individualized program of instruction. For most children, simple and uncluttered environments will help the child understand and use available sensory information. Movement activities should be provided in environments that are functional. This may include simple bordered areas for play, the use of reference points, and end points with distinct smells, textures, and temperatures.
Movement and Mobility Devices
There are many movement and mobility devices that can be useful “tools” to assist a child with independent, safe, efficient travel. The O&M Specialist will be able to identify appropriate devices, dependent on the students needs.
A movement device is any device that supports movement of the child and enhances proprioception and vestibular function, both of which assist the student in learning to understand the body and the environment. Examples of devices to encourage movement include:
- Gross motor toys
- Musical toys
- Rocking chair
- Rocking horse
- Teeter totter
- Scooter board
- Therapy ball
- Obstacle course
- Stationary bicycle
- Tandem bicycle
The most commonly recognized mobility device is the long white cane. Mobility devices serve as an extension of the user’s arms, hands, and fingers and provide protection from obstacles while allowing access to needed information about the environment.
Mobility devices are used by the learner to move more efficiently from place to place. The devices should be matched to the learner’s level of functioning but can be as creative as the team working with the individual with deafblindness. Devices may include:
- Motorized cars
- Adapted tricyces and bikes
- Grocery carts
- Push toys (i.e. popper, lawn mowers)
- Wheel canes
- Wheelchair canes
- Rolling suitcase or backpack
- PVC Canes
- Canes with a variety of tips – swivel, ball, marshmallow
- Canes with a variety of grips
Again, the O&M Specialist will be able to work with the team to identify appropriate mobility devices designed to address individual student needs.