We worked with a parent who really wanted their child to respond to other people when he was greeted. Because the child was nonverbal we decided as a team to work on the “high five” (when a person greets you with a raised hand, you touch return the greeting by touching their hand).
We brainstormed and created this strategy to address this important parent generated goal. We greeted this young boy with a “Hi Jimmy” and showed him our hand in a red glove with shiny dots on each finger tip. This supported Jimmy’s visual need that we uncovered during the assessment of his visual behaviors. Motion and bright color supported his visual attention. Soon with the predictable auditory cueing, Jimmy began visually locating the glove. A bit later, with hand under hand support at first, Jimmy would look and reach to the glove to “high five”.
Mission Accomplished but wait…When children show improvements in skills with CVI, we want to remove the supports carefully. We would remove the shiny fingertip dots and make sure skills remain. Later we would remove the fingers of the glove and finally remove the glove all together.
Assess improvements the child is showing and remove the supports carefully to move this child’s visual and visual motor skills to the next level.
In my assessment of your CVI visual behaviors, I know that you benefit from color highlighting to outline the target to be found. Because you are still struggling to find the cow, I use strong, bright color highlighting to outline the cow’s features that will help you find that image in your visual library. (You have the benefit of a robust visual library that children with CVI do not.) See how much this helps you find the cow!
For those of you still searching your visual brain for recognition of this picture, I will give your brain some clues.
First I will orient it the correct way it appears in the world. I will tell you to look for the “cow”. Now you can limit your vision search to what you know about “cowness”. Can you now see the cow looking at you? There are two dark ears near the top left and a dark nose near the bottom middle of the picture. Because you know that the eyes are near the ears, you can easily see these. You have the benefit of visual memory.. You have seen thousands of pictures of cows and real cows too. Children with CVI can build these skills by exploring real items and then linking what they now know to what is seen. The hallmark idea: CVI can improves! With careful assessment of the visual behaviors, you create educational programming and environmental supports to build visual attention and visual recognition skills. We don’t just hope for, we expect improvement because we don’t know an individual child’s capacities for visual change! We don’t know who will make changes and what kind of changes those will be.