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Diane: Visual attention to distant targets for a child in phase 2 may extend beyond near space, and sometimes up to four to six feet away.  This is especially true if the target is moving.  The general rule of thumb would be to present objects at near, then with highly motivating targets, slowly move them back to practice distance viewing.  A red blinking cup like this might be a highly motivating target for a child in phase 2.  This could be placed up to four feet away, and in the student's best field of view.  Remember to watch for contrast as well.  Use the student's preferred color and the cup's blinking capability will help to draw their visual attention.

Diane: During phase 2, children are generally able to handle more complexity.   Objects have more colors and patterns, more targets can be placed in an array, and the student can tolerate low levels of background noise on possibly tactual interruptions.  Looking and listening to a noise-producing toy may still be difficult.  The looking stops, and the child only uses the auditory learning channel.  When motor demands are high, such as when in a stander, use non-novel favorite preferred visual targets.  When in a more supported position, encourage use of vision with more challenging tasks.  Say, several items in an array, such as in this example, where the child might be encouraged to grasp one of the objects and put it in the bowl.

Diane: Color preference and choice of color will still be important, but usually students are starting to attend to more colors and patterns as they enter phase 2.  They may still be most attentive to bright single-colored objects but now will attend to more of a variety of colors.  As I noted earlier about neuroplasticity, initial change is just temporary.  The brain learns through lots of repetition, and therefore, even though a child might attend to more patterns, you want lots of repetition with targets he is familiar with.  But now targets can generally have two colors, possibly more.  You might introduce new colors paired with movement qualities, which always seems to be an attractant.  Here's a possible new color that you want them to start to attend to, and because it has the movement qualities maybe they're used to, the Mylar reflective qualities that they're attracted to, this might become a color that they will attend to as well.

with Diane Sheline, Independent Consultant, CTVI, CLVT. www.strategytosee.com.

Diane: Students functioning in phase 2 are integrating vision with function.  They generally demonstrate more looking behavior than students in phase 1, but still require some control of sensory input in the environment for looking behavior to take place.  In this phase, students should be encouraged to use their vision to make something happen or to get moving.  This could include reaching for and grasping a lighted toothbrush to get ready to brush their teeth.  Reaching for a lighted cup to take a sip, or to reach for an interesting toy just out of reach, and then reach again, and then reach again, which starts the process of a combat crawl.  Students might be encouraged to visually locate and press a switch, which activates a vibrator or a fan.

Diane: Students in phase 1 seem to alert more quickly to targets that have movement or reflective qualities.  A single colored slinky, or a single-colored Mylar pom-pom, are often the toys of choice for a student in phase 1.  Shiny toys simulate movement particularly when supplementary light source is shining on them such as a bright flashlight shining on a bright, single-colored Mylar pom-pom.