loading page

A narrative review of gait characteristics and development in pediatric populations with visual disorders: where do we stand and where are we going?
  • Eleonora Montagnani,
  • Holly Bradley,
  • Beth Smith
Eleonora Montagnani
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Holly Bradley
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Author Profile
Beth Smith
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Author Profile

Abstract

Understanding gait characteristics and development in pediatric populations with visual disorders is crucial to identify early walking impairment and to promote optimal motor performance. We reviewed existing literature to identify gait patterns, development and differences between infants and children with visual disorders. Children who were blind showed differences in gait compared to low-vision or full sight peers. Differences were identified across ages with slower walking, postural, head, and trunk position alterations, uncoordinated and reduced upper limb swing motions observed in children with blindness. Children who were blind used a wider base of support, more external rotation of the feet and took less steps per minute. There are no studies reporting gait characteristics in early stages of walking development, scarcity of longitudinal investigations, and different variables to measure gait. These prevented the establishment of gait development trajectories in pediatric populations with visual disorders. This review is the first summarizing existing knowledge of gait characteristics in children with visual disorders, advancing understanding of key differences in gait patterns observed in this population. This information can inform future studies in the field, increasing knowledge of gait development in infants and children with visual disorders.