Happy Learners - Managing Sensory Needs - Sight

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Sight (Ophalmoception)

Strategies to support children with sensory needs involving sight

Hyposensitivity

Children who are hyposensitive to sight are visually under-stimulated. Strategies that can support them include:

Increasing visual stimulation in learning tasks.

Use hand gestures and extra visual supports such as puppets.

Use colour to highlight important pieces of text

Eyes are naturally drawn to movement so move around the classroom when speaking and incorporate animation effects into interactive whiteboard presentations.

Use natural lighting or bright lighting

Video based learning

Computer based learning

Use larger and more colourful fonts which are san serif to aid clarity or alternatively use a 'weighted' font such as OpenDyslexic which is bolder at the bottom of each character.



Hypersensitivity

Children who are hyposensitive to sight are visually over-stimulated. Strategies that can support them include:

Limit visual stimulation and provide access to a less visually busy space to go to when needed. Sitting facing a blank wall space.

Encourage the child to rest their eyes for a couple of minutes at intervals throughout the day

Seat the child away from visual distractions such as doorways, windows, computers and wall displays

Reduce time under fluorescent lighting and use natural light or a lamp

Block out strong sunlight using blinds or seat the child in a shaded area of the class. Allow them to wear a cap when outside and this may also be useful indoor.

Use off-white paper such as cream or buff for handouts. This reduces the reflective glare from white paper

Children who wear glasses may benefit from having tinted glass

Wearing a cap can help if the student is socially comfortable wearing one


You may also be interested in the following pages:

Managing Sensory Needs - Hearing

Managing Sensory Needs - Taste


Sources:

Cheng, M., & Boggett-Carsjens, J. (2005). Consider Sensory Processing Disorders in the Explosive Child: Case Report and Review. The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review, 14(2), 44–48.

Laurie, C. (2013) Sensory Strategies London: The National Autistic Society