LightAide dazzles kids with eating difficulties

At New Jersey therapy center, medically complex children respond enthusiastically to LightAide’s bright lights and colors

A therapist applauds as a child respond to numbers on the LightAide

New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates are using the LightAide to teach kids cause-and-effect, turn-taking and concepts such as letters and numbers.

July 20, 2015

At Perkins Solutions, we’re always looking for new ways to use the LightAide, so we regularly loan the device to different organizations and invite them to experiment with it.

As a result, teachers and therapists around the country have discovered surprising new ways to use the LightAide’s versatile grid of 224 multicolored LEDs to promote engagement and learning among children with low vision and other disabilities.

Recently we sent a LightAide to the New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates & Therapy Center. We were delighted to receive the following enthusiastic report:

New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates is a private practice in East Brunswick, New Jersey. We are a center primarily for children with feeding difficulties. However, we also see many children with speech and language challenges. Many of our children are medically complex, and we are always looking for new and different therapy techniques and tools to help these special children.

We first became interested in the LightAide after seeing one of our kids motivated by bright lights and colors. Colin has Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), which is a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain during his birth. He also has cerebral palsy and vision and hearing impairments. Colin participated best in speech therapy when motivated by a disco ball that displayed lights on the walls and ceilings. We knew there had to be an educational tool that could be used to work with Colin, and after months of searching, we were so excited to find the LightAide.

We brought the LightAide to NJPFA and quickly saw how many of our kids were responding to and motivated by the bright lights and fun activities. We have trialed the LightAide with many of our kids, including children with HIE, cerebral palsy, Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), autism, developmental delays, and visual and hearing impairments. Additionally, we have used the LightAide as a motivator for children in feeding therapy.

We have been amazed how quickly the children respond to the activities and attend to the LightAide for an extended period of time. We are able to work on not only speech and communication goals, but occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) goals. Kids practice their fine and gross motor skills to access switches in order to engage in the LightAide activities. As therapists, we know the only way to get children working to their full potential is to find highly motivating activities, and the LightAide has done just that!

In a short time, we are using the LightAide to teach our kids attending skills, cause-and-effect, turn-taking, and concepts such as letters and numbers. Our parents and families are amazed at their children’s responses and attention to the LightAide, and are very interested in carrying over this tool into their child’s school and home environments.

In one short week, we watched Colin take turns with his sister while playing a game, we learned Abigail’s favorite color is purple and we watched Zoe cheer as she scanned through the alphabet and landed on Z for Zoe! And that is only a small sample of what was accomplished since we brought the LightAide to NJPFA.

We feel so lucky and proud to be the first center in the state of New Jersey offering this amazing educational tool to our patients, and we are so excited for what’s to come!

See the LightAide in action at the New Jersey Pediatric Feeding Associates & Therapy Center:

 

Read more about the LightAide, including how it can help children with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and low vision and severe multiple impairments. Schools and other organizations that serve children with low vision or other disabilities can ask to borrow a LightAide. Contact Perkins Solutions for details.

Kelsey Bronski is a marketing and sales coordinator at Perkins Solutions.