University of Edinburgh

Ideas to assist visual difficulties due to brain damage

    The following ideas have all been suggested by parents and carers and patients with visual difficulties due to brain problems. Not all the ideas will be useful to everyone. It may be that only one or two of the ideas will actually help to make a difference. We are always looking for more ideas and suggestions to add to this list. Please email ( me if you wish to add any other suggestions or change some of the ideas that you think are wrong or wish to improve upon.
    Kind regards.
    Andrew Blaikie


    Strategies which were described as proving helpful within the home environment.

    Problem Approaches Variations / developments

    Difficulty going downstairs

    Hand rails on both sides to guide foot placement
    Carpet with no pattern
    Good lighting to enhance stair boundaries
    Highlighting of stair treads with bright paint or bright dots on the middle of each step

    Wooden or plain stairs without pattern
    Verbal prompts to remind child to slow down and hold hand rail
    Spotlights at landing and base of stairs, to create enhance depth perception by creating shadows.

    Coloured marker on the floor beyond the last step to indicate the end of the staircase
    Tripping on floor surfaces and floor boundaries

    Remove patterned carpets in favour of plain or laminated floor surfaces
    Ensure good lighting

    Talk the child through 'trouble spots' with verbal clues about how to proceed to remember as prompts.
    Place picture or symbol at the child's eye level to act as a visual prompt to identify the location of an obstacle
    Bumping into furniture and door frames

    Reduce the amount of furniture

    Enhance the colour contrast with flooring

    No sharp edges or glass furniture

    Consider 'traffic flow' through each room and allow adequate space

    Not moving furniture

    Coloured mark on door frame, or door at eye level on the side that is bumped into

    nvolve child with room organisation, especially if furniture is to be moved
    Consider coloured 'room trails' on the wall for child to follow to lead to different rooms or put coloured foot prints on the floor as a foot guide in locations where collisions take place

    Remove doors which are often collided with
    Cannot find toys, books and other possessions in bedroom

    Plain walls, floors and bedspread

    Remove excess furniture

    Organise possessions in 'zones' eg; clothes, toys, schoolbooks.

    Spotlighting of key areas

    Child helps to organise room their way

    Choose different paint using pastel shades for a calm environment and bright colours to colour code specific locations
    Difficulty enjoying TV programmes

    Large screen TV

    Flat screen if possible

    Allow child to sit up close to the TV so that surrounding visual clutter is minimised

    Try smaller TV if large screen is too much to scan.

    Try different programmes such as early cartoons and films which have fewer distractions and slower pace than current films

    Join film club, obtain old videos and DVDs second-hand