Sensory Series – Hypo-visual: Resources or equipment to support

Hypo-visual: Resources or equipment to support

abstract streetlights

Being under sensitive to visual input can have a huge impact on someone’s home, community, and school life. It can make completing school work difficult, make finding things hard, or even result in dangerous situations. Hopefully some of the suggestions in this post will be helpful resources for those who are hypo-sensitive:

  • High contrasting work sheets – Standard worksheets that we use in schools (especially since we tend to photocopy/print in grey-scale due to budget constraints) may be completely useless for someone who is hypo-visual. Using bold contrasts and specific colours to highlight the important information can make school work a lot more accessible.
  • Well lit work space/spot light –  Now this could have the unintended effect on the individual seeking sensory input from the light, but may have benefits by putting spot light on the work space and tasks, providing more visual input from that area.
  • Coloured Lens Sunglasses – Now this might seem counter intuitive but this is for individuals who sensory seek by doing things like staring intently at the sun or at spotlights. Obviously this can be damaging to the eyes and it might be difficult to completely stop them – regular sunglasses could dull the sensory input they desire but experimenting with sunglasses with different coloured lenses might identify a colour that satisfies sensory seeking whilst helping to protect eyesight.
  • Videos to explain topics – Those who are visual seeking may find it difficult to learn through listening to the teacher talk, listening to parental instructions, or if presented with visual supports like pictures. A short video, either from somewhere like YouTube or filmed by those who know the individual could help to convey the information better as it is a more visually stimulating format. This combined with positive data for video modelling makes this method worth trying.
  • Handrails – This helps those who find navigating stairs difficult due to being hypo-visual. Most larger stairs have handrails, but if they don’t then they should because it is not just those who are hypo-visual that benefit. However, the hypo-sensitivity doesn’t go away just because there are only three or four stairs. Installing handrails or brightly coloured hand-holds of some description could greatly assistant stair navigation.
  • Important items are brightly coloured – This isn’t a resource so much as a strategy for multiple resources. For a student – make all of their equipment the same, bright colour so it is easier for them to locate. At home a child, adolescent or adult could decide on their preferred or most easily located colour and this could be used to colour coded important items for them. If you know yourself that you are hypo-visual then you can do the same thing and code the important things you need to remember so you don’t forget them – keys can be painted or topped with brightly coloured caps, oyster cards or bus passes can be put in colourful wallets, and wallets and many other essentials can be purchased in a wide array of colours.

This is not a definitive list but hopefully it is useful for some people – feel free to let me know your experiences with being hypo-visual in the comments or share other resources you have found.

Until next time.

Disclaimer: The opinions and information provided in this post are my own, and based on personal, educational, and work-based experience. They do not reflect the opinions of any of the authors of the content referenced in this post. I am not affiliated or supported by any organisation, and this is meant to be an educational series of posts. The information posted here is not a substitute for advice and information provided by your own GP, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or other professional in the field of autism, and should not be taken as such.

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