Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Light Box

What is a light box? Well, if you have normal vision, the light box is just a fancy box with a light behind white plexi-glass, but if you are a child who is visually impaired, the light box is the greatest tool on earth! When we first discovered the light box (see Arkansas School for the Blind Early Intervention Program post) with the ASB therapist, we thought that it was a pretty neat device used to show high contrast on objects so that Liam could see them better. Then when we went to our second therapy session at Peds Plus, where we were again introduced to the light box and it became Liam's favorite object in the room. He gravitated to it immediately and would not let it go.

"Mom, I think we have a winner! This is the best reaction we have been able to get out of him the entire time!" the therapist said, looking at me in shock as we stared down at Liam who was using his chubby little fingers to point and pick up precisely the object that was "illuminated" on the box.

The therapist used various colored pegs and flat shapes on the light box for Liam to practice grasping and placing in a grid of peg holes (which he did beautifully with hardly any misplacement). As long as the light box was on, Liam could point to and pick up objects placed on top of it with ease. My heart was overjoyed watching my child pick up the exact object he wanted and not have to scrape and sweep for them with his hand like he normally does at home.

I looked to my husband, "We have to get one of these?..NOW!!" He nodded in agreement and we sat staring and taking pictures of our son FINALLY progressing!!

The therapist was apparently in just as much shock as we were because she kept commenting, "Liam you like the light?" and "I think this will be how we accomplish and approach most of our therapy from now on."

She asked if we had access to a light box to use at home with him daily and began showing us all the different slides and devices we would use as he got older to teach him on the light box. Pam, our ASB therapist, had forgotten to bring the light box (hers and ours) to our second session but will be bringing it to the next. In the meantime, I started Googling the company that makes the light box to see how much it would cost to purchase our own. The light box is made and sold by American Printing House for the Blind, and on their website it was advertised for $135 with all the slides, pegs, shapes and alphabet tracers being sold separately for various prices.
Expensive but do-able!
I looked back at Liam grabbing at the glowing pegs ....And WORTH IT!
Here are some pictures I managed to snap while Liam played with the light box. You might think it is just a bright light with old school projector slides, but to some visually impaired children it is THE greatest teaching tool, or should I say toy, you can find.

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