Why use light-up toys with children with a vision impairment?
If your child has no usable vision or light perception, they will be unable to take any benefit from using toys that have lights as a feature, for that reason we have included light-up items in our packs that also have a tactile element for them to explore. In the majority of cases, vision impairments factor in some acuity of sight and/or light perception. Lights on toys can increase how visible they are to your child, therefore encouraging them to make use of what sight they have.
Similarly, choosing toys with bright colours or high contrast, improve your child’s chance of being able to see the item and enjoy an activity. Starting light-based play at a young age is important as it can help your child to use whatever degree of sight they have. This can, in turn, be useful in later life and will benefit their development and teach some valuable adaptation skills.
When a VI child is very young, being able to determine their exact level of sight can be quite tricky as they are unable to verbally communicate what they can or can’t see. Ophthalmologist’s and QTVI’s can conduct some vision tests but the results are not completely accurate as it is dependent on the cooperation of the child during the tests. What they can and can’t see can be quite complex, there are so many different types of visual impairment and the effects differ from child to child. As a parent, be prepared to be asked the question about your child’s level of vision frequently! It may feel that it is important to know the exact answer, but having a definitive one isn’t always possible. Have a think about the best way to answer that question and use it as your ‘go-to’ response whenever you are feeling uneasy about how to respond.