The following is excerpted from my book From Flapping to Function: A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills
If your child loves lights, take advantage of the following activities to encourage visual attention.
Caution: If your child has a seizure disorder check with your physician first.
Light Table or Box
You can buy or make a light table to encourage manipulating objects on a surface. To make your own, place a battery-powered light inside a clear plastic container with a lid. Cut small openings of different shapes in the lid in order to use the light box as a shape sorter. Children may be more visually engaged when looking at toys-such as pegs and pegboard-placed on top of a light table or box. In addition, they may be motivated to touch or manipulate them. The video demonstrates clients performing simple fine-motor activities placed on top of the light box. This particular box was purchased from a company that makes products for the visually impaired.
1) Collect plastic 20-ounce or two-liter soda bottles. Place an activated glow stick inside each one. Then use a ball to bowl over the bottles.
2) Scatter glow sticks inside a play tunnel for your child to gather. These toys remain lit for several hours after being unwrapped. You can buy a tunnel or make your own by draping blankets over chairs or tables.
3) Play catch with balls that light up, have flashing lights or make funny sounds when squeezed.
Toddlers and older children who love lights may be motivated to manipulate the following types of commercially available toys:
- ring stacks that flash lights and play music when rings are stacked on them (such as the light up Lion Stacker by Fisher Price).
- toys that light up when a button is pushed (such as the Light Up Princess Wand by Playmaker Toys)
- Lite Brite pegboard (sold by Hasbro) is a lighted board or box with small pegs to push into its frame. This is appropriate for older children who no longer put objects in their mouths.
The following video demonstrates a ring stack made out of an aquarium lamp.
Source: Sensory Lamp Ring Stack for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders by RecyclingOT
The photograph demonstrates a light up Princess Wand being used as a ring stack.
I share products that may be used to promote visual attention with Amazon links. I make a tiny amount of money if you shop through these links.... Thanks!