Make a Rainstick Sensory Bottle
When April showers bring May flowers, make a rainstick sensory bottle! A rainstick is a musical instrument that when tipped from top to bottom makes a sound similar to the gentle pitter-pat of rain falling. The gentle sound can help very young children focus and learn to self-regulate. Even adults find rainsticks soothing.

Rainstick sensory bottles are commonly made in the shape of a tube and partially filled with pebbles, sticks and rice. Tipping it from top to bottle causes the rice to bounce off the sticks and produce a sound reminiscent of rain falling. If your child uses their vision, they can also watch the rice fall through the sticks. Learn how to make a rainstick sensory bottle HERE.
Top 10 List of Rainy Day Activities

  1. Listen to “It’s Raining Outside” by Nancy Kopman
  2. Read a book together about rain.
  3. Go outside and feel the rain on your face or splash in a puddle.
  4. Count raindrops. How many raindrops fill an empty cup?
  5. Talk about how rain makes things grow and plant a container garden.
  6. What is wet INSIDE your home? Is the dog’s nose wet? Why do we wash our hands?
  7. Sing a song about the rain or make up your own rain rhyme.
  8. Make a “sensory-recipe” such as pumpkin pie play dough.
  9. Splish, splash in a bathtub or a smaller tub of water. Add bubbles, cups and toys.
  10. Make "rain" on a sunny day! Use a squirt bottle for "pretend" rain. Turn the dial to "mist" and spray the water into the air above your child. The water falling down will feel a bit like raindrops.


Solve a Laundry Basket Puzzle
Your child who is blind or visually impaired might explore your home without ever stopping in the laundry room. They don’t have the benefit of the incidental learning that occurs in one of the busiest rooms in your house. Incidental learning refers to learning that occurs throughout the day as infants and toddlers observe people and activities in their daily routines. Doing laundry together can give your child access to all the steps in this familiar chore while developing important sensory, travel and fine motor skills.

If laundry’s NOT on your to-do list, just start with an empty laundry basket and make the puzzle shown above. Place favorite toys on the bottom of a laundry basket and string a web of colorful yarn on top of the toys. Your child will have fun twisting and turning their toys or trying to pry them out of the basket. This activity develops reach-and-grasp skills and fine motor skills.Try more laundry basket playtime ideas HERE.


What Is Albinism?

Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the eyes. Melanin is required to complete the development of the retina and optic nerve. Therefore, a lack or absence of melanin can lead to impaired vision in varying degrees.
 
People with albinism have vision concerns that can't be fully corrected. However, low vision devices, such as magnifiers and telescopes, are often helpful. In some cases, a glasses prescription may be appropriate. Individuals with albinism experience increased sensitivity to light. It is important to introduce sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats starting in infancy. When a child is around three years old, a low vision specialist can begin teaching your child to utilize simple low vision devices. You can find many resources on the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation's website HERE.
500 EI Professionals Are Qualified in the New
Vision Screening

Nearly 800 early intervention professionals – 600 from Colorado and the remainder from 12 other states -- have completed the free, virtual vision screening course conducted by A Shared Vision in collaboration with EI Colorado. Five hundred of those professionals are now qualified to use the protocol.

In this 90-minute virtual course, participants learned to conduct virtual vision screenings, evaluate and score the results, and determine appropriate next steps. View the full list of qualified professionals HERE. Sessions are now available through May. Register HERE.
Briefings for
Pediatricians & Optometrists

This March, A Shared Vision presented a briefing on Colorado’s new vision screening protocol for the American Association of Pediatrics - Colorado Chapter

The briefing highlighted visual behaviors that should be considered during pediatric well-child visits as they may indicate a neurological-based visual impairment (e.g., CVI) and warrant evaluation by a pediatric eye doctor and EI-TVI. Click HERE to view the briefing.

In April they will be conducting a similar briefing for the Colorado Optometric Association.
A Shared Vision is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the leading provider of in-home and community early intervention vision services in Colorado. We inspire and empower families to nurture the development of their very young children who are blind or visually impaired so that all children may discover their brightest future.
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