We’ve spent a lot of time this summer adapting our backyard to make it more interesting to our Little Bear with cortical visual impairment (CVI). After posting about it on Facebook and chatting with our fans, we’ve come up with a list of great ideas you can try!
1. Provide plenty of shade
Many kids with CVI are sensitive to bright lights. Little Bear is no exception. We’re lucky to have a lot of shade trees in our yard. We’ve heard from other families who have suggested building shade structures above swing sets or other play equipment. We also put sunglasses on Little Bear if we can’t find shade. We love the Julbo brand of sunglasses for kids.
2. Add some color and movement
We are always looking for ways to take advantage of Little Bear’s visual preferences. Since he loves movement, color and shine, like many kids with cortical visual impairment, we knew this red mylar windsock would be perfect to hang from a tree!
3. Find accessible and visually friendly activities
Lukas’ little sister adores playing with her water table. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for Lukas to join the fun in his wheelchair. Even if he can put his hands in the water, he has a hard time seeing anything in the lower visual field, which means it’s not a visually stimulating activity. Luckily, we found a great solution to this problem at Enabling Devices! A switch-adapted water toy that we can put on his wheelchair! It raises the water higher into his visual field and adds an element of movement and shine. Perfect!
4. Make playground equipment accessible
Mobile children may need other kinds of adaptations in order to make use of backyard play structures. A friend mentioned how she adapted the steps up to her kids’ slide to make them accessible to her daughter with CVI. Adding some yellow mylar paper to each step made it much easier for her daughter to see and navigate the stairs.
What ways have you come up with to make your backyard CVI friendly? Share them with us below or share on Facebook!
You can find many more ideas for adapting the environment for kids with cortical visual impairment on our CVI Tips & Ideas page.