We were lucky enough to get an iPad for Jaxon recently through his amazing vision therapist! I immediately began researching the best iPad apps for CVI. After moving house last week, I finally got it all set up for him. He LOVES it! Of course Axel will play with it too, but the primary focus of it is for vision therapy activities for Jaxon, as well as speech and overall development.
First, I def recommend getting a protective case and screen protector. We all know how rough little hands can be, especially as Jaxon will probably knock it off his stander tray easily. I chose this super cushioned case and purposefully chose the black colour. Fun patterns like camo or bright colours like blue may be tempting, but to kids with CVI that is just adding another layer of visual complexity that could distract them. So with a black case, it blends into the iPad and won’t detract visual attention from the screen.
I was in awe of Jaxon when we started using the iPad. He loved the Fluid app right away and was batting around and laughing and giggling, knowing he was the one who made the colours appear on screen. In Peekaboo Barn, I showed him a few times what to do (touch the barn, then touch the animal that appears to continue the game) and then he did it himself after that. Technology is SO useful to everyone, but especially kids with additional challenges, and I am so glad Jaxon is born in a time when this stuff exists!
Jaxon is 2.5 and still within the early ranges of CVI, and with limited mobility, so the best apps for him so far have been Little Bear Sees, Fluid and Peekaboo Barn.
They require simple touches or movements that he can do, and are good for him to work on tracking since he does not reliably track objects yet.
Some of the other ones on this list seem to be a bit advanced for him right now, so if your kid is like Jaxon and either young, or early in the CVI range (Phase 1/2), then check out those apps first.
Here is the full list of apps I have loaded on his iPad.
The Best iPad Apps for CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment)
- Fluid (free)
- Peekaboo Barn (paid)
- Little Bear Sees (free or paid options)
- Dexteria Jr. (more for OT than vision but it’s really good)
- CVI Visual Tracking
- Choice Boards (speech related)
- Speech Cards
- Yes or No (speech related but simple colours and bold words make this good for kids with CVI too)
I have also purchased a few downloadable PDFs I saved to the iPad. My favourites are these high-contrast counting bears, everyday objects flashcards and this starter adapted book bundle. These are paid resources but are well worth the few dollars each they cost.
Bonus Tip: Locking the iPad Into One App
This took me wayyyy too long to figure out but there is a way to keep the iPad inside the app you’re currently in so that your child’s misplaced swipe or button press doesn’t close it and take you back to the home screen. This used to happen all the time with Jaxon using my phone and then lose our momentum or progress in the app we were on.
It’s called Guided Access and this tip works for both iPhone and iPad. You can see how to set it up here.
Basically, you set it up in your Settings like the article above says. Then when you’re inside an app, press the Home button on the iPad 3 times to “lock” it to only that app. Then when you want to exit, press it 3 times again and enter your password and voila. So easy and SUCH a useful feature.
I hope this list has helped you discover something new to help your child with CVI. If you have any more app or resource recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!