Dr. Nielsen invested a great deal of time researching and refining the designs for her "perceptualizing aids" or the equipment associated with her Active Learning instructional approach. For this reason we strongly recommend that you purchase only authenic Active Learning Equipment. The authorized dealer in the United States is LilliWorks at www.lilliworks.org.

A perceptual aid is an educational instrument designed to encourage level appropriate learner interaction and development.  It should:

  • be adapted to the learner's level of development,
  • be adapted to the learner's needs and interests, and
  • encourage experimentation and exploration.

Adult's Role

To fulfill a learner's special needs the adult must:

  • Analyze the learner's needs in all areas of development and in every learning environment.
  • Observe whether the learning environment is optimal for the learner, and most importantly change it if necessary.
  • Be ready to wait for the learner.
  • Be ready to share in the learner's interests when he/she needs it.
  • Establish environments appropriate for the next step of the learner's development.

Design Principles of Active Learning Equipment

The basic principles involved in designing the Active Learning environments are:

  1. Feedback: The environment must supply strong responses in multiple modes (auditory, tactile, gustatory, old factory, visual, vestibular).
  2. Support: The child must be supported appropriately in all positions (supine, prone, sitting, standing).
  3. Richness: Related to feedback, the environment must be filled with objects so that minor actions are rewarded with feedback.
  4. Variety: However rich and responsive the environment is, it must be changed periodically in accordance with and to promote developmental changes.

To learn more about the purpose and use of each of these items you may also want to view Dr. Nielsen "R" Video-Perceptualizing Aids: How, Why and When DVD which is available through LilliWorks. 

In the left-hand navigation area of this page you will be able ot link to information written by Dr. Nielsen about this equipment which includes: Essef Board, HOPSA Dress, Multi-functional Activity Table, Resonance Board, Scratch, Position and Grab (SPG) Board, and the Support Bench.