Help Your Child Explore Visual Stimulation

By Laura Funk, Occupational Therapist

Does your child avoid bright lights or cover their eyes or squint when playing outdoors?  A child who demonstrates oversensitivity to light in brightly lit environments may have difficulty processing visual stimulation.   On the other hand, does your child seek out very bright lights, fast moving screens, or bright colors and busy patterns? These behaviors may indicate an under-sensitivity to light and other visual input.  The goal in either situation is to help the child adjust to the visual input in their environment in a calm and playful manner.

The following activities are helpful to those children experiencing Sensory Processing Disorder related to visual challenges.  As always, you should discuss this with your healthcare professional and choose activities that are most appropriate for your child’s specific needs.

Sensory Activities to Help Your Child Explore Visual Stimulation

  • Dimmer switches can help to dim or brighten lights in a room.
  • Consider a lava lamp in your child’s room to help them adjust to intermittent light.
  • Avoid the use of fluorescent lights and instead use soft lights with filtering shades.
  • Wearing sunglasses outdoors may be helpful in bright sunny weather.
  • A hat with a front brim can help to shade a child’s eyes from light.
  • Use natural daylight as much as possible and turn off overhead lights when possible.
  • Screen time should be limited particularly if visual sensitivity is severe.
  • Play with visual sensory toys, like glitter wands, rain sticks, or liquid motion timers can be calming.

For more information about teli Early Intervention Services as well as  Vision Services  call 412-922-8322.