How to fit the belt
The picture shows how the belt is designed to be worn. At proper fit, the hook and loop squares connect half way. There should be room to cinch belt an inch wider and an inch tighter.
How does the belt cane help?
Plain and simple the belt cane provides important information through touch.
1. Surface - When the frame of the cane moves along a clear path, it communicates "clear path" to the child. It also sends information about the surface, "wood floor", "carpet", "cement", "tile", "concrete", "grass", "snow", "puddle", "gravel", etc.
2. Objects - When the belt cane frame contacts an object, it communicates "blocked path" to the child. It says either the object is fixed and unmovable or that the object moves. The harder a child pushes, bangs, scrapes and explores with the frame, the more information it communicates about the object (e.g., height, weight, size, material).
3. Drop-offs - When the base of the cane drops below the feet, the belt cane communicates drop-off- the floor is lower. The child can learn to stop when that happens and carefully slide the feet closer to the edge to get more information about depth and to locate a handrail, or to decide to turn around and avoid it altogether.
Question: Is the belt cane hands free or hands optional?
Answer: Both! The belt cane is hands optional, as children should be able to walk without guiding the cane. And, the more children wear their cane the better they become at manipulating it. Adults may have to adjust the cane to be in front of the child, too.
a. Children grasping and touching the cane happens naturally as the child gains confidence.
b. It is good to show the child that they can hold the cane and lift the shafts and bang it, but they do not have to hold it when they walk.
1. The cane frame finds things, let's contact and name them. This is done by helping the child to contact obstacles with the frame as soon as possible.
a. Put obstacles nearby and help move the cane shafts to contact them.
b. Use the cane frame to locate the wall, door jamb and repeatedly knock them.
c. Allow the child to locate an adult's feet with the cane frame.
More to come...