How to motivate children who wear adhesive eye patches
Some children may resist when asked to complete their daily vision therapy treatment using adhesive eye patches or fabric eye patches. There can be many reasons for this. For example, it is not nice for the child to have poorer eyesight in one eye compared to if both worked equally well. Or, the child may feel self-conscious about wearing patches, or fear being teased.
Below are a few tips and tricks for motivating children who wear adhesive eye patches.
Make it special
Keep children preoccupied with activities that they find interesting or exciting, so their focus is moved away from wearing the eye patch. For example, this could be making a challenging construction using LEGO, if the child loves LEGO, or preparing a box of arts and crafts materials, which can be brought out when the child has to put their eye patch on, or something entirely different.
You can also find inspiration for ‘Vision therapy exercises’ here.
Teddy bears are useful for supporting children in terms of their feelings and emotions. Most children usually have a favourite teddy bear or doll. Put an eye patch on the teddy bear or doll at the same time as the child wears theirs, so they can take part in the vision therapy treatment together.
Some parents succeed by rewarding their children for actively engaging in their vision therapy treatment – whether with a few chocolate buttons after each day’s completed therapy, or with a reward that they receive after a longer period of being good at wearing their eye patch.
We have made some great reward posters that are ideal in this regard. After the day’s adhesive eye patch has been worn, then let the child place it on the poster. When 50 days are completed, it can then result in the child receiving a reward that has been agreed in advance between the child and parents (e.g., an ice cream, a trip to the cinema, etc.). Rewards are a way of getting eye patch therapy into a regular daily routine for the child.
Plan milestones throughout the process in order to be able to celebrate the small but important steps your child is making e.g., invite the child’s friends and family over. Read more about our thoughts about celebrating milestones on the page: ‘Tips and tricks
On this page you can find free printable diplomas as a way of celebrating. View our FREE downloads.
Vision therapy exercises for better focus
Keep children preoccupied with activities that they find interesting or exciting, so their focus is moved away from wearing the eye patch. A number of suggested exercises can be found on the page: ‘Vision therapy exercises’. Also see the snippet on ‘Rewards’ for additional suggestions for making wearing an eye patch more fun.
Some parents choose to let their children watch TV or play on the computer/iPad at the same time as having to wear their adhesive eye patch.
What works for you?
If you want to share your best tips for motivating children to engage in their vision therapy treatment using eye patches, then feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Then they can be added to our list for the benefit of other parents in the same situation. 🙂