Children with communication needs may have poor or fleeting eye contact. Good eye contact is important for social interaction. Prolonged eye contact helps children get more information about language through facial expression and gesture or signs. When working on eye contact, place toys near your face to encourage your child to look at you. If your child looks away, stop the activity and call your child before starting again. Try to encourage your child to want to look at you, but never force them to!

Using clothing

Remember, when working on eye contact, place objects near your face to encourage your child to look at you. If your child looks away, stop the activity and call your child before starting again. Try to encourage your child to want to look at you, but never force them to!

Here are our favourite things to use to help develop eye contact:

Sunglasses: Try putting dark sunglasses on and off to encourage your child to look at you.

 

Scarves: Try putting a coloured scarf over your own or your child’s face and play peep-po games.

 

Hats: Put hats on and off or hide your face behind a hat and play peep-po.

 

Remember to supervise your child and stay with them while they’re playing with these items to keep them safe.

Using games

When working on eye contact, place toys near your face to encourage your child to look at you. If your child looks away, stop the activity and call your child before starting again. Try to encourage your child to want to look at you, but never force them to!

Peep-Po Games: Peep-po games can be played from behind the furniture, the curtains, another person, under the table or when getting dressed.

Ball Games: Pass a ball slowly from left to right so that your child can follow it with their eyes. Make it disappear behind your back or behind your head and wait for eye contact. When playing games of roll and catch, wait for your child to look at you before rolling the ball, or hid it behind your back until you get eye contact.

Masks and faces

Face Masks:

You can use masks to develop eye contact. Don’t worry if you don’t have one at home – you can make face masks from paper plates or cardboard and cut out holes for eyes, a nose and mouth.

  • Use the mask to play peep-po or;

  • Use it to play “boo!” games – you could even use a cushion or book to hide your face if you’re not very ‘crafty’!

  • You can alter which side you appear from – so sometimes peep above the item, or to the sides or even underneath. Remember we’re trying to encourage your child to make eye contact with you when they see your face, so don’t forget to give them praise for ‘good looking’ if they do it!

 

Funny Faces:

Make funny faces or wink/blink and wait for your child to copy you. It make take them a few seconds so try counting to 5-10 in your head to give them time to respond/copy.

Speech and Language Therapy Hull

Email: hello@new-options.co.uk

Phone: +(44) 7969 970501

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter