I really appreciate the questions. Your questions bring up great ideas and topics for blogs!
I received this blog question regarding the Littleroom:
Our colleague wrote: “I would also love your thoughts on the objects placed in the Little Room. How often would you change the objects? Would you move the same objects to different areas of the Littleroom? And do you have a good way to document how a child interacts with the toys, which toys are more often explored, etc?”
When thinking about providing the child with CVI with a littleroom playspace, I think about my goals. If my goal is listening, touch and activation using compensatory skills, I use a regular littleroom with many objects hung close to the child for accidental activation. As the child begins to know where things are, I raise the objects just a bit at a time to encourage reaching and more distant exploration.
If my goal is looking, I think about the visual environment and use the assessment to make the design:
- Use bright, single colored objects.
- Hang things in the littleroom on elastic so they move.
- The littleroom is a playspace that is created and no one need to hold objects for the child. It allows things to hang in the child’s visual space as long as the child requires.
- Hang materials in the best visual field.
- If the child is looking in their best field to an object, I move it to the weaker visual field. Use the favorite toys first.
- Clutter: cover the top of the littleroom with a white gaze or felt (see picture below) so the child has a great plain background not a complex ceiling with tiles and lights. Toys can make noise in the littleroom and although the child might stop looking, its just fun. There is time to look again.
- All the materials in a littleroom hang at near!
- With accommodations for extra response time, best visual field, bright color, movement and the reduction of clutter and provision of spacing, the child has the best chance of reaching.
I keep things the same in the littleroom for as long as a child needs. I think we think kids are bored but children like sameness. (I think of how many times I read the same book to my daughter!)
I will response to the last part of the question tomorrow.