Most app lists touted “for cortical visual impairment (CVI)” consist of bright, flashy, glowy graphics. These apps tend to be about color, light, and movement (CVI 10 characteristics, Roman) and appeal more to children on the lower end of the CVI Range (Roman-Lantzy), where the goal is getting a child with CVI to simply look (Roman). It can be harder to find apps that are appropriate for upper Phase II and Phase III CVI.
Here is a list of apps that we like for Phase III CVI, and why. Keep in mind, sound can always be turned down or off. Even kids in Phase III can be sound averse, and looking and listening can still be a challenge.
All apps can be purchased on iTunes, costs vary from free to a few dollars each, and are used on an iPad.
Animal Discovery for iPad a variety of animals (choose domestic, butterflies, dogs, cats etc) set against a natural background scene of varying visual complexity.
What we like: realistic images of animals are used and tend to be small, which means using ventral stream vision to see salient features and identify animals (Roman).
Cookie Doodle this is just a fun app for kids, and can keep Jasper occupied on an airplane flight for a few hours. Choose Recipe and shake, turn, or tap the device to add and mix ingredients.
What we like: When choosing cookie shapes, kids are challenged to identify abstract shapes of letters, animals, holiday and other symbols.
LetterSchool – Learn to Write! each letter of the alphabet is presented one at a time, and paired with an image. There are four levels for each letter presented and includes tracing practice.
Includes a catchy song for each letter and picture combo, which can be turned down for kiddos who are sound averse. Suggested to us by TVI Matt Tietjen.
What we like: letter tracing uses bold visual targets, such as a yellow and red circle.
Little Matchups – The Matching Game a simple matching game, with images that appear on either side of the screen for kids to match and drag across. Realistic images are used and a maximium array of eight objects can be specified in settings.
What we like: the best thing about this app is that the matching images are not identical, but show a different view of the same object. For example, kids in Phase III must be able to identify both a whole strawberry, and a slice of strawberry, relying on the brain’s picture inventory.
Sound Touch choose from an initial array of color representations of animals, household items, instruments etc, to look at different photographic images of the selected object. Great for practice identifying both color illustrations and realistic images, and talking about salient features (Roman). Suggested to us by Christine Roman-Lantzy.
What we like: practice looking at different representations of the same object, and practice identifying an object against a complex background or scene.
Toddler Memory Match Oh to have the memory of a toddler again. A classic game of concentration. From an array of twelve yellow cards, tap a card to reveal an image, and remember where it is when you find its match. Under settings, you can choose Say matched item, or not.
What we like: realistic images, plain backgrounds (mostly), and testing visual memory. Complexity of array (Roman) increases with each matching pair you find.
Touch the Sound choosing from different categories, explore environmental sounds and match the sound to one of four photographic images. Images can be complex.
What we like: complex task of listening and indentifiyng an abstract sound and matching it with an image or by visually interpreting a complex scene.
What apps does your child in Phase III CVI like and why? Email your favorites to StartSeeingCVI@gmail.com.