The benefits of playing with sound with a child who is visually impaired
Toys that make sounds can be anything from a purposeful instrument, an electronic item with inbuilt noises or something that inadvertently makes a noise when played with, it can also include singing. Auditory input is going to be forever a huge part of your child’s life and not just through play. As your child grows older, they will use auditory feedback throughout their lives to navigate the world. Sounds may be added to everyday objects to make them accessible, such as clocks or microwaves. Working on developing good listening skills from a young age will be beneficial to their development.
Having good listening skills is one of the fundamentals of development. It is a valuable skill to have for education and literacy skills, it is also key in the development of language. Being able to identify the direction from which a sound is coming, being able to memorise auditory information and the awareness of rhythmic patterns, all play a big part in speech and language.
Toys or activities that incorporate sound will be crucial in helping this development. Discrimination of sounds, akin to textures, is a key skill to work on. Being able to determine the source of a sound is something that a vision impaired person will utilise throughout their life – so working on this skill through play in the early years will help them.
Music will be fully accessible to a VI child and it has great effects on the brain. Music is one of the very few mediums that will stimulate every part of the brain!