Solution Name: Program for Overcoming A Stroke
Visual inattention is a condition experienced by individuals who have had a stroke or head injury. It is when an individual ignores everything on one side of their visual world. It usually affects people who have had a right sided stroke and they ignore things on their left side.
The Treatment: Visual Scanning Therapy-Visual scanning therapy (VST) aims to improve visual scanning behavior by encouraging patients with neglect to actively and consciously pay attention to stimuli on the affected side, usually by starting just a few degrees past midline, and going out from there:
A set of printed stimuli (usually letters, numbers, or symbols) is presented to the individual with neglect, who is then asked to find and cross out, or cancel, a specific stimulus wherever it appears on the page. If the patient is encouraged to scan line by line, from left to right and top to bottom, this can help to improving reading skills as well.
The difficulty can be adjusted by varying the type of stimuli (letters vs. symbols), the visual similarity of the target to the distractors (stars among letters vs. letters among letters), the size of the set (number of rows and columns), and configuration of the set (random vs. organized in lines). In very severe cases, this task can be as simple as presenting two stimuli and asking the individual to cancel the one on the affected side.
Put a bright line or colored tape down the left side of the page of books, newspapers, or magazines, so that the individual first looks for the line to know where the line starts, and then practices reading from left to right. Add tactile (feel) reinforcement to help find the margin of the page on the neglected side by having the patient feel a Velcro or sandpaper strip at the left margin. Each line can be numbered if needed. The individual can also be trained to follow each line with their finger to improve visual scanning, coming back to the edge each time.
Take the individual with neglect for a walk or community outing. Encourage the individual to look at and describe things on the affected side. Have them use a map to navigate their surroundings or draw a map of their unit or home. Alternately, the individual can be asked to navigate web pages on the computer or complete mazes.
Visual Search Tasks
Place common objects strategically in front of the individual with neglect; then ask to find specific items, including those placed on the affected side. Or lay out a suit of playing cards the individual must pick up in order. Verbal cues such as “look to the left” can help the individual remember to look further and give them a phrase to repeat when they’re searching for things on their own.
Games can be therapeutic and motivating visual search tasks too. Play “I Spy,” “Spot the Difference,” or complete word searches to encourage scanning of the full page or environment. Card games, board games, and computer games nearly always require good visual attention.
1. Alphabet Cards
Description: ABC Flash Cards
2. Number Cards
Description: Carson Dellosa Numbers 1-100
3. Bright Masking Tape:
Description:500 Inch Roll ChrimaLab Masking tape
4. Card Games: Uno
Description: Uno Card Game, Bicycle Playing Cards
5. Board Games
Description: Connect 4, Scrabble and Checkers
Description: Activity Book for Adults 150 Mazes, large Print