Make Toys and Visual Stimuli for Developing Vision and Improving Cortical Visual Impairment
Harper is a sweet little baby girl that was born with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy HIE (brain injury due to asphyxia during birth) and has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Her mom reached out and asked if I could make some toys that could possibly help her to see and improve her Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). We are on opposite coasts and I didn't know how I could help but wanted to. It is not every day that I get to help the visually impaired to see!
I did my research and found that something that is found to help with CVI is red, light, and viewing against the contrast of a black background. I also thought of what a little girl would think is fun to look at. Here's what I made.
I just sent these to her recently and will update when I hear back from her mom and therapist what is helping. I wanted to share these projects because it was hard to find toys for developing vision and improving CVI. These are easy projects that friends and loved ones who want to help can make to support the family.
This is my first round and I'll make more as we see what she responds to and what works!
Harper & her twin brother <3
My research and Harper's mom came up with a list that is helpful to consider when making or purchasing CVI therapy toys, or trying to give them something that can help them see more clearly.
- Simple and clutter free
- Bright colors (Harpers therapist said red works well)
and her mom suggested trying faces.
Step 2: Bright Colors
I gathered all my red materials and thought of what I could make that fits the above criteria and would be delightful for a baby girl. I made the following projects and would love to learn about what you come up with.
Step 3: Bright Colors, Simple, Movement
I tried to make things that move, and were not just flat.
I included clip art that you can print out use as a template to cut out with scissors or laser cut.
After I cut out the pieces I put them on paperclips so they could be hung as a mobile.
Step 4: Things That Glow
Harper has lights on a rope which her mom reports is working well for her.
Research also says that light boxes work well, and there are iPad apps too.
Step 5: IPAD Aps for Children With CVI
Art Of Glow By Natenai Ariyatrakool
Peekaboo Barn By Night & Day Studios
Infant Zoo Lite By treebetty
My Talking Picture Board by Little Bear Sees
Sago Mini Sound Box By Sago Sago
iLoveFireworks Lite By Fireworks Games
fluidity HD By nebulus design
The Cat in the Hat By Oceanhouse
Media Sensory Electra By Sensory Apps Ltd
Interactive Alphabet By Piikea
StTap-N-See-Now by Little Bear Sees
Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box By Cognable
Big Bang Pictures By Inclusive
TechnologyRead2Go By Benetech
Pocket Pond By TriggerWave LLC
Peeping Musicians By Inclusive Technology Bebot
Robot Synth By Normalware
Bloom HD By Opal Limited
EDA Play By EDA Play
Bubbles By Hog Bay Software
I made this "IQ" lamp for Harper.
I was hoping it would be more translucent. Next time I would use vellum or some kind of cloudy red plastic.
Step 7: Op Art
Kinetic art and Op art is always so mesmerizing!
I am thinking of making some op art inspired therapy toys and possibly some more advanced faces. I am thinking of ways to make Kinetic Art slower, more simple and easy for someone with CVI to see and understand. If it's done in a way that they can see it, it may encourage them to focus for a much longer period of time.
Step 8: Resources & More Projects
CP Daily Living
Southern California CVI Consortium: CVI Packet (includes suggested apps for CVI therapy)
**Feel free to post more links and resources in comments below**