White Cane Travel Tips for Little Ones

Joseph Cutter and Lilli Nielsen are the pioneers in using canes with children, recommending that children be introduced to cane travel as soon as they are walking, to encourage independent exploration and movement. Mature cane techniques can be refined as they get older and develop better fine motor skills. The pre-cane device is even more recent and we utilize toys or specially made devices to help those children who require extra support to explore or walk on their own with confidence.

Travel Tips for Little Ones

  1. Select pieces of stable furniture to use for orientation and cruising.
  2. Place cut out sponges or other cushy materials around sharp edges for protection.
  3. Begin trailing/walking with two hands on the wall.  Gradually assist with trailing/walking by using one hand on the wall and holding the other hand. Encourage hand extension in front of the body.
  4. Put toys on the sofa or table surfaces to encourage pulling to stand and exploration.
  5. Identify child’s room and bathroom with tactile landmarks on the door frame.
  6. Use sighted guide by holding two fingers or wrist.
  7. Encourage protective techniques with forearms place in front of head or body, called “bumpers.”
  8. Use push toys to encourage mobility in open spaces. Place sponges or cushy material in front of cart or pre-cane so not to mar furniture.
  9. Try to keep furniture in the same place. If you do move the furniture around, your child may need to be re-introduced to the new placement.