Instructional guide to Introduce the Pediatric Belt Cane
Lessons learned introducing belt canes to two-year-olds
a. Have Confidence
b. Have a Plan
c. Keep trying, they will get it.
Goal: Wear the belt cane all day, every day.
For children who are blind or visually impaired the pediatric belt cane is essential. The child puts on the belt cane in the morning and wears it till bedtime.
Charna is blind. Wearing her cane she locates a toy.
Children do not have to be independent walkers before they begin wearing belt canes.
Young children sometimes cry when introduced to new things. Adults can help them accept positive new things.
Pediatric belt canes reduce fear of walking and increase independence.
Charna's cane pushes the toy under the chair.
Introducing the belt cane for success:
Be confident in your choice to provide the belt cane to your child.
Encourage the child to find objects with the cane.
Charna tries to reach the toy, it rolls further under the chair.
Make putting on the belt cane about what's next "we're going to go find your favorite toy. It helps to be very specific, name the toy, the room, the location and the specific activity."
Come here to me
Let's go to the toy shelf and get the puzzle
Let's go get ice cream in the kitchen freezer
Charna locates the toy with her foot.
Ideas to Introduce the Belt Cane
When you first put the belt cane on the child, you just add the belt cane to current activities.
You can continue to guide the child.
The child can just stand still.
When walking your child can continue to hold hands at high guard., holding the cane frame
Charna is able to reach the toy with her hand.
Show child the benefit of wearing the belt cane.
Tap the cane frame.
Help the child find and bump into things with it, bang it against walls, find people, toys, carpet, floors anything.
Keep the cane on most of the day. Adults know what is best to keep children safe. The belt cane is a safety device as it prevents bodily harm.
Provide rewards through fun and action.
Charna gets the toy herself.
This age group responds well to distraction.
Distract the child with toys and activities.
When the frame of the belt cane locates objects say,
"Hey, let's see what you found." Name the object, help the child touch it.