Managing Sensory Needs - Sight

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Sensory Needs

Sight (Ophalmoception)

Strategies to support children with sensory needs involving sight


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.

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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

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You may also be interested in the following pages:

Sensory Management Hearing

Sensory Management Smell

Sensory Management Taste

Sensory Management Touch

Sensory Diet

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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

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