As I stated in a previous post, many people with brain injuries have visual scanning deficits. Often this is due to an injury to the right side of the brain. An easy (and free) way to practice visual scanning skills is through an adaptation of the game I Spy.
The adapted version of I Spy is a very simple game to play. At least two people are needed to play. To start, pick a location or room with lots of items to see but which is not so familiar that everyone knows the location of all the items by heart. One person is the “spy” and has to find an item that is visible to everyone. The spy then says “I spy with my little eye ____ (the item).” It is the job of the other players to point to the item to show that they have found it.
When I Spy is used to practice scanning skills after a brain injury, it is important to vary the location of the items that are being “spied.” For instance, you may first want to “spy” an item on the right side and then an item on the left side. Varying locations forces a person to scan the entire visual field. If this game is being played with someone in a wheelchair, make sure that each item can be seen from his or her visual perspective. Often items that are easy to see when standing are obstructed when sitting. Also, make sure that the item is big enough to be clearly seen by all the players. Sometimes a person with a brain injury loses some of their visual acuity due to the effects of the injury and may not be able to clearly see small items. If the person playing has left neglect, they will likely need extra help and direction to scan the left side of the visual field.
I Spy is an easy, portable method to practice visual scanning skills while still having fun!
Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org