’Opening Doors’ Part 5

Visual Location

At this level we are observing whether the child can shift their gaze to scan and track within the tent from side to side, or with using their side preference and possibly upwards. This can be done by using a slow moving light source shone onto the sides of the tent (beginning with their side preference) to observe if the child can visually locate the movement of the light and colour. The child may also move part of their body towards or away from the visual stimulus of the slow moving light source. This needs to be recorded and responded to by changing the light movement to the optimal positioning. The light and colour movement resource could be a projector with a brightly coloured but slow moving colour wheel, which could be placed at the side of the tent to create a light movement. Alternatively a torch or other light source could be used. It is important to ensure that the light source is carefully controlled so that it is not fast, flickering, flashing or causing glare, as this would be sensory overload and the child would not be able to visually process.

Case study: Visually Locating

Ali had previously shown no interest or response to any light stimulus in the multi-sensory room or classroom. However, in the orange colour tent she began to demonstrate a new ability to visually locate, scan and track the slow light and colour movement. She was able to begin using her limited vision from her preferred left side and to extend this to following the movement to the right side. She kept visually attending to the light and colour movement on her left side for many minutes at a time. She became still and quiet and her level of
concentration increased within the tent. Additionally, when outside of the tent she willingly became more involved in other auditory and movement activities which were introduced one at a time (to avoid sensory overload). At this point of locating light movement Ali also began for the first time to show interest in a projector light and colour resource in the multi-sensory room.

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