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 outside and around the home environment

    Problem Approaches Variations / developments
    Difficulty going over uneven surfaces in the garden

    Ensure good access to garden with handrails if required

    Minimize height variations or provide safe level area

    Ensure safe ground cover Provide coloured foot steps or hand rails to follow to different areas

    Have scooters (to walk with) or push toys to provide stability when moving about

    Allow child to hold onto one's clothing, pulling down, and when holding hands, extend arm and hold it slightly backwards (All these strategies provide the child with a tactile guide to the height of the ground ahead)

    Astro-turf. bark and rubber play mats provide a soft but firm surface, using different colours for these surfaces provides training in crossing outside floor boundaries

    Bright fencing and flush rubber flagstones can be used to 'zone' areas of the garden

    Tripping over obstacles

    Use scooter or dolls pram to push

    Provide safe 'storage zones' for older children to keep toys in when not using (tidy up)

    Encourage a policy of 'slow, look, check, go' using verbal prompts, or a tap on the shoulder when there is uneven ground ahead

    Plan obstacle courses for fun and to develop spatial awareness and observation skills.

    Encourage use of crawling through and climbing over toys
    Difficulty seeing things in the distance eg; bird in tree, plane in sky

    Family member takes picture on digital camera to use (can enlarge on screen), use video with zoom to locate object with the child.

    Re-look at pictures later

    Children can learn to use camera for themselves

    Use verbal prompts and large visual targets to 'cue' child to the chosen target, eg; "look at the red roof, then the blue road sign".

    Give time to process; don’t rush on to next object or give up too soon.

    Encourage the child to select a distant target for family members to find (the child can scan with a video camera)