Understanding Faces and Facial Expressions

all the same

Faces are very hard to discriminate!  Look at these faces above.  Are any of the photos the same person???

Changes in hair color, haircut, glasses and even facial expressions completely change the face.

Children with CVI often struggle to discriminate faces and facial expressions.  I will often ask parents to come in to the classroom for a surprise visit.  I ask that they enter quietly.  The child might look and it is clear there is no recognition of this very familiar face.  I ask parents to remain quiet and to move to 12 feet, then 6 feet then 3 feet.  This helps me assess the child’s facial recognition.  When the parent then greets the child verbally, the child lights up to voice and turns to find their much loved parent.

The child might have an easier time discriminating faces at home since there are fewer possibilities (Mom is the only woman who is 5’6″ tall with brown hair.  Dad is the only tall man with a beard).

This is important information to know so we can support children.  One simple strategy is to just introduce yourself.  Children with CVI often find it easy to code by color.  Greetings like “Hi Sue, its Ellen.  I have a green shirt on today” help the child with facial recognition problems find you in the room just by searching first for green.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s