Apps That May Improve Your Child’s Vision

SMARTPHONE 4Tablets and other portable electronic devices can get a bad rap for negatively impacting our children’s vision. Now, there are apps that were designed to improve the vision of children struggling with certain types of vision impairment. According to various reports, they actually work!

Young children especially need the visual stimulation that some of these apps provide. These apps are also slower in pace and utilize calmer sounds so children aren’t overstimulated.

Many of these apps were designed specifically for children with something called CVI or cortical visual impairment. CVI is actually an issue in the brain, not the eyes. The brain struggles to process what the eye is actually seeing, so the visual impairment is more about the brain not processing the image correctly versus an eye that’s unable to see the image.

For children struggling with CVI, apps that introduce visual cause and effect, show bright colors, show contrast and movement can be very helpful in teaching the brain to recognize what and how it sees.

If your child or someone you know is suffering from CVI or similar visual impairments, here are a few apps to take a look at.

Children’s Apps

Tap N See Now

($2.99 or try the Lite version for free, available for iPhone, iPad or Android)

Tap N See is the first app specially designed for children CVI, and it specifically addresses each of the common characteristics of CVI. In it, hand drawn images dance around the screen, in a clear and clutter-free environment. After watching the image (say a teddy bear) gracefully bounce across the screen, the child is encouraged to touch the image. After the image is touched, it grows to fill the whole screen and the child is rewarded with sounds (like laughter or applause), so that they know they’ve succeeded.

Children with CVI need help tracking objects, recognizing colors, and deciphering what it is they see, so this app was uniquely designed to accomplish all of those things.

Doodle Kids

(Free for Apple and Android devices)

Doodle Kids was actually written by a nine year old in Singapore. The little boy wanted to create a program to help his sisters. In this app, children can draw random shapes in random colors and learn to clear the screen by tapping with two fingers. Children can also use the camera to put a picture in the background of what they doodle.

Essentially, your budding artist can feel free to enjoy and explore drawing and coloring! They also learn to hold what’s called “visual attention” as they create their works of art.

Infant Zoo

(Lite version is free in Apple app store)

This app was designed for babies and includes simple, high-contrast illustrations. The app allows children to respond to bright colors and soothing sounds. Babies can simply “watch” the images as they go by and gain exposure to the animals and the pictures. They can also “play” and practice touching the screen to make the images change at different paces.

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