Children with visual perception (ophalmoception) needs make lack the flexibility in how they see that is taken for granted by most of us. They may perceive colours and shapes differently for example or struggle to concentrate in poor or bright light conditions. Meeting their needs requires careful assessment and identification of successful strategies.
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.
Children who are hypersensitive 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.
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.