Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 6, Lesson 3
Technological Supports for Vision
Major assistive devices for infants and toddlers with vision concerns are:
- light boxes,
- highly contrasting backgrounds used for the presentation of toys,
- toys that have cause and effect sound makers,
- large cardboard picture books with large print and primary colors, and
- good lighting.
As children get older they may need access to pre-Braille and Braille material, low vision aides and devices such as monoculars, telescopes, dog guides, etc. The ITDS can assist the family by providing ideas for resources such as those on the web pages at the end of this module. As resources are needed and appropriate, the family should be put in contact with their local Lighthouse for the Blind, the Florida Division of Blind Services, and the local Assistive Technology Educational Network (ATEN). The family should be reminded of these resources as the child approaches transition from Early Steps, particularly if assistive devices will be needed as the child grows and develops.
Community Services for Vision
In addition to the resources mentioned above for assistive devices, the ITDS should remember that Plans of Care must always include emotional support as well as community supports that will build the future for the child. This can include other services from the local private vision rehabilitation provider (such as the local "Lighthouse for the Blind"), lending libraries that have lighted switch toys for children with low vision, as well as teachers who specialize in vision services including orientation and mobility.
Camps such as Lions Camp Florida in Lake Wales are sponsored by the Lions Club. Parents can go there with their child to learn strategies that support development.
A family may also want to be put in contact with another family who has a child with visual problems. It may be helpful to call the local Early Steps office and with the family's permission, refer them to a Family Resource Specialist who can assist with this linkage or a linkage to a support group. Support groups are typically provided through a local Lighthouse for the Blind or similar organization.
Although many excellent resources exist, it is important to not overwhelm a family by presenting too much information at one time. It is best to take one to two resources at each visit and discuss them with the family.
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