Games for children with visual impairment
Games for children with some degree of visual impairment, in addition to their motor development, facilitate their socialization with others. The activities are adapted to the age and level of disability of the child. Playing is an essential activity for the personal development of any child, whether or not he or she has different abilities.
Akros Educational offers sensory play for all children, blind and visually impaired. They train the senses of smell, hearing and touch. This line of toys includes audio cd's to play at recognizing different sounds of animals or real life objects; or games to develop touch with elements of various textures that the child must identify.
Adaptation of the games to children with visual impairment
In practice, games and toys for sighted children require little adaptation for visually impaired children. Activities should seek the following improvements:
- Spatial perception through tactile or auditory stimuli. Toys, made of child-friendly touch and smell materials, can provide acoustic and tactile stimulation. Hearing and touch are the primary bodily senses to be trained. Especially in the case of children without visual remnants, learning is carried out by touching replicas of objects and, if possible, with the touch of the real object so that the child can compare them.
- Tactile and kinesthetic perception, or sensations that inform the position in space of the different parts of the body. To give the possibility of exploring objects in a natural way (touching balls, strings, drawers or other objects used in class).
- Proprioceptive perception, or the total perception of one's own body in motion or in a resting position.
- Motor coordination in safe situations, and learning to fall in unsafe situations. Common sense will show when to avoid games and toys that are complicated or inaccessible to them. It should be considered that the route of the activity is accessible to the child and includes spaces that are recognisable to the touch.
- Children with visual remnants can enjoy games with high-contrast colors and patterns. Toys can incorporate a variety of textures so that the child can notice the differences. The writing in the stories should be increased. Children without visual remnants will need texts in Braille script.
Materials for the play of children with visual impairment
The games will be chosen according to the degree of sensory stimulation they offer. Multisensory stimulation of the child's other senses is sought, so the choice will fall on toys that produce sounds, vibrate or have attractive shapes and textures. Many of today's children's toys offer these specifications.
Toys that provide auditory feedback, such as cars, dolls, musical instruments, mini cash registers, radios, etc. are important. These toys are particularly suitable for the needs of children with visual impairment.
There are special balls and balls normally used by visually impaired sportsmen and women, which are very well suited to children's playful use. Play is made possible because the position and movement of the ball is detected by an acoustic signal from the ball itself.
Tactile books, small stuffed animals, and all toys that provide different types of textures provide the sensory stimulation needed by toddlers.
Crafts for children with visual impairment
To facilitate pre-technological training and manual work, different methods can be used. The colours on a cardboard can be replaced by the application of a thin layer of glue on a cardboard or other surface where different materials are adhered. These tactile artistic compositions can be made from seeds, sand, pulses or other materials. The material chosen will be used both to draw lines, using a pencil or brush, and also to fill in the spaces.
Due to their tactile characteristics, magnets in different shapes, such as letters, fruits or animals, are also very useful. Games that are more difficult to explore by touch, such as board games or playing cards, can be taken advantage of by attaching plates or labels obtained through a Braille printer or labeller. It also recalls that there is currently a wide range of board games available in Braille version.
Computer games for young people with visual impairment
Current technological and computer innovation only becomes important if support strategies are adapted to the changing needs of the child. They must become a means and never an end.
For school-age children and teenagers there are many more possible types of computer-based activities. The choice is wide and attractive: you can enjoy role-playing games in fantasy or adventure scenarios, or other types of hobbies such as crosswords, chess, various card games (poker, blackjack), or naval battle. There is even an accessible version of the pinball game in which an acoustic feedback warning of ball movements is provided.
Most visually impaired accessible game software can be downloaded directly from the Internet, and in some cases for free. To play certain games you must use a screen reader, which is software that reads what is written on the monitor. Other games offer a built-in voice synthesizer that provides all the instructions you need to play.
Games for visually impaired children
The above considerations also apply in case you have to set up the play environment for visually impaired children with residual vision.
It is very important to choose toys made of different materials (plastic, wood, etc.) and have bright colors and high contrast. To make it easier to see that the material can be used, you can modify it with coloured tapes or adhesives.
There are card games manufactured in magnified view format, as well as the most popular board games.
Choosing the right toys for a blind child
The physical and cognitive development of children is stimulated by appropriate play, and a blind child does not have to play with toys that set limits, but rather stimulate the child to develop all his or her abilities.
We need to look at what their concerns are, what they are most interested in, what they are most interested in, what they pay attention to, and how they deal with toys, so that we know what the blind child's needs are in terms of toys, and how we can enhance the skills they already demonstrate.
What are the toys that will stimulate him the most?
As we have already said, we should not choose the different toys based on their disability, since the blind child does not need to be reminded that he or she cannot see in order to play, but rather, as with any other type of disability, we should empower and stimulate the child with the games and toys that we give him or her.
Any option that includes sound effects will be very successful, whether it's balls, toys with pieces, elements of not too small size that allow them to manipulate and recognize them well, as well as all those that present different textures and allow them to guess what they are.
This type of toy article will undoubtedly stimulate the blind child and encourage him/her to play and interact with others, something that is fundamental for all children, but especially for those with any type of disability.
But it will also help you learn different elements, and their main characteristics such as textures or sounds.
Selection of toys for blind children
It is difficult if we think about what we can do to prevent the child from feeling bad about the toy, or from feeling slowed down in some way to develop the activity that the game requires.
What we must do is to consider what type of game or toy is appropriate for their age, and from there, choose among the different options we have, the one that best suits their needs, being in many cases necessary to adapt the game to their particularities by the fact of being blind.
Games adapted for children with disabilities should not be left outdoors, it is a type of activity that children should do, whatever their condition. A blind child can and should do outdoor exercises with his or her peers and friends, and if any of the exercises requires or involves some type of major difficulty, it can be done by assigning a partner and even covering the eyes of one of the participants on the other team.
Carrying out careers, handicrafts, or any other type of habitual task for a healthy child, should be an achievable goal for a child with a visual impairment, and for this we will have to adapt the environment in which the activities are carried out, and the participants.
Fine motor exercises
Adapted games for children with disabilities that include the possibility of exercising fine motor skills will always be a great option to help the child develop it.
These will be games that include activities such as buttoning a doll's clothes, tying the laces, threading, etc.
Tactile and sensory games
For example, touch-photo games, which have different textures and will have to be associated with the corresponding object.
You can play in pairs where one of the components uses touch to describe the object and texture, and the other must guess from the photos, which object it corresponds to.
Animal Sounds game
It helps them to recognize through sounds the different animals of nature. The game is accompanied by photographs of the different animals, which can be used by other children.
More and more studies are showing the benefits of animal therapy for children with disabilities. The cards with drawings of animals will enhance the curiosity of the little ones of the house towards the animal world.
Sense of smell game
This game helps children to develop a sense of smell, discovering and recognizing the aroma of the different fruits that are presented to them.
The best games for children with disabilities
Our games offer educational and playful resources for children with any type of disability. Our goal is that they can enjoy and learn as much as possible from their surroundings.
Enjoy with the little ones and let nothing stop you from showing them new experiences.
In Akros we help you to get the best materials for any kind of need that children may have, such as visual impairment.
Enter our store and discover all the specific items we have that can help you develop children's skills.
Educational intervention in children with visual impairment
The educational model provides the child with environments appropriate to his or her needs. With visually impaired children, you should first use tactile and acoustic stimuli, taking care to get them used to the games and toys. You must constantly explain what is being done so as not to provoke reactions of fear and anxiety. Visual impairment includes children who are blind and have other vision.
Technology is being incorporated into the playful and educational context. It stands out for its importance, the Braille writing and reading system adapted to the computer, and other elements such as:
- Hardware, with expanded keyboards and sensors.
- Software, such as speech recognition programs, speech synthesis, image magnification software for the visually impaired, screen reader software or educational programs.
Approach to visual impairment
The global system used by the World Health Organization (WHO) is called the International Classification of Impairment, Disability and Impairment (ICIDH) and is used to classify types of visual impairment in a standardized manner worldwide. Classifies visual impairment, impairment, handicap or disability.
Impairment is defined as an abnormality or loss of an anatomical, psychological or physiological function or structure. While disability is considered any absence or restriction of the ability to perform activities considered normal for the day-to-day life of the human being. This restriction must be caused by a deficiency. This deficiency places the person at a clear disadvantage in his or her performance in society.
Definition of visual impairment
Low vision is defined as a visual impairment that cannot be solved with glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery that interferes with or prevents the performance of daily tasks.
Causes of childhood vision impairment
You should consider that more than half of the children with severe visual impairment have an additional difficulty. Mental retardation is the most common added difficulty, reaching one in four cases. There are estimates that by the next decade there will be twice as many children with visual impairment and most of them will have added handicaps.
The future trend will be to maintain or reduce the incidence of the genetic causes of visual deficits. At the same time, there will be an upturn in the number of visually impaired children with some neurological impairment.
In developed countries, they are the leading cause of visual deficits, with a percentage varying between one-third and one-half of cases. If we divide the causes of visual impairment in childhood between prenatal, perinatal and postnatal, in developed countries we have genetic defects as the main cause of visual impairment (34-51% of cases). If to this percentage, in addition to perinatal and post natal causes, we add prenatal aspects, the genetic causes reach up to two out of three cases.
According to WHO, the causes of blindness and severe visual impairment are, from the highest to the lowest: cataracts (50%), glaucoma (16%), trachoma (12%), diabetic retinopathy (8%), uncorrected refractive errors (8%) and childhood blindness (3%).