Archives for posts with tag: Visual stimulation

When I am talking about Elizabeth, so many times I say to people ” We are working on it”.  It can be in reference to a skill, or a task or even remembering the steps to complete something.

I use that phrase a great deal when I talk about Elizabeth because she has special needs, specifically Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Global Dyspraxia.  These special needs affect her life each and everyday, and because life is challenging for all of us and more so for her.

For Elizabeth, learning to read essentially means memorizing the English language.  I am told by her therapists that she memorizes words and instead of sounding out a new word, will essentially replace it with a word she knows that either starts with the same letter or looks like the word in questions.   This makes for some interesting sentences for sure.  Learning the new word, she then adds to her memorized list.  It is a hard way to read but it shows once again, how smart and hard working our special needs children are.

Another thing that she “works on”‘ is not losing her place as she is reading.  Sometimes she will read a sentence, pause and then reread it again.  She did this when she was young and found that using a pencil to help guide her eyes helps.  I know this is because Dyspraxia can affect the eye muscles used for tracking thus making this skill hard for her too.

We started looking into the use of a color and how it affects reading ability and comprehension.  As it turns out, the use of color does appear to help in these areas.  So we used one of those plastic binder separators, cut to a smaller size, in the color blue, to use as she read.  I have to say, it seemed to lessen the work that reading was for her.  I know we used it a great deal when she was in elementary and middle school.

I think making our own, way back in the day, was a great help but there are many options now to lessen the struggle to read for your child.  The one I like a great deal is called the EYE LIGHTER

This little reading device is deceptively simple.

It is about 6 inches long and a bit over an inch wide, and looks like a ruler.

The Eye Lighter comes in four colors: green, yellow, blue and purple, all of which are see through. Colored, but see through.

The cost is pretty small as well.

You use it like a ruler to follow the sentence you are reading but instead of the desired sentence being above the ruler it is in the middle of the EYE LIGHTER.  The desired sentence is then highlighted by the device and is to be easier to read.  Another thing is that the Eye Lighter makes it easier to follow the words and sentences instead of using a finger or pencil.  This makes it a great learning tool for a school bag or a sensory bin.

Order one today, especially if your child is showing signs of struggling with reading, it might be a good fit!

I hope the new year started off well for everyone!!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister




newborn picture

Aren’t you tired of seeing the same baby products everywhere? Of perfect moms commanding you to buy the last item of this brand you already know? These 8 items promise to change your routine, as they are innovative for babies and parents. And they are available online! No need to be showered or have baby ready to go to shop these.


Grape tooth wipes - Special Needs Essentials

Oral care for the dummies! The disposable tooth wipes developed by pediatrician Dr. Ray Wagner help prevent children’s tooth decay early and safely. Wrap one around your finger and gently wipe baby’s teeth. They are naturally flavored (apple or grape) and individually wrapped for your convenience. Can even relieve teething if placed in the fridge 30 minutes prior to use.

2. theraputty set of 6

Unlike most play dough, this one comes in different colors and resistances from xx-soft to x-firm, letting babies figure out which one works best for them or progress from one to the other. This is a 6 different recipes pack and you don’t have to make any single one of them at home! Tan is xx-soft, yellow is x-soft, red is soft, green is medium, blue is firm, and black is x-firm.

3. Color My Bath - Special Needs Essentials

Color My Bath non-toxic tablets fizz releasing color when dropped in your child’s bath. The innovative thing here is that they are all natural, non-staining and eco friendly, as they are made of food grade coloring, soap and perfume free.

4. Safety toothbrush - Special Needs Essentials

Serving also as teethers, safety toothbrushes introduce baby to oral hygiene softly, so that they won’t be scared when time comes to do this regularly. They can play with these first quality items by themselves as they are big enough not to be pushed too far. Let them explore!

5. Knobby Q - Special Needs Essentials

“Beyond the pacifier” is what they say. This high end bumpy, round teether offers a fun mouth exercise for little ones without latex, lead, BPA, PVC and phthalates. Meanwhile, the little stem of the Q encourages side chewing and the big size of the item keeps mouth open for sound play. Plus it makes a cool bracelet.

6. Oddballs - Special Needs Essentials

Oddballs are the coolest toys of this list. No boring squares and triangles here, these 4 unique sensory balls have modern graphics and gorgeous colors that even adults love. AND a portion of each sale goes to Free The Children. This non-profit “carries the power of WE globally, empowering communities to lift themselves out of poverty through [their] holistic, sustainable international development model, Adopt a Village.”

7. Turbo Bubble Blower - Special Needs Essentials

Full disclosure: the Turbo Bubble Blower is not the toy that will teach baby to blow. But isn’t it nice to play with a frustration free toy for once? Just pull the trigger and thousands of bubbles will pop up in the air, stimulating baby’s visual sensory development.

8. Bath Toys - water flutes - Special Needs Essentials

Water flutes are also frustration free. No need to place fingers in the right spot, just fill them with various amounts of water and blow to hear beautiful music during bath time. Plus, instructions are included so mommy doesn’t have to figure this all out by herself 😉

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