Overlooking Children

I hear too often that a child can’t have CVI because they can look and reach or can move through the environment. This is incorrect. Children very impacted by CVI are easily identified because they are very visually impaired and appear blind. It is easy to understand their visual impairment even for untrained people. Children who have better visual attention but who struggle with visual recognition are more difficult for people to understand. The untrained person sees this visual attention and mistakenly believes the child can use their vision effectively to learn. It is essential to have an complete CVI assessment around this visual recognition before deciding whether a child has CVI or not. It is only through rigorous assessment around the well known visual behaviors of CVI that we can determine a child’s functional vision. These children with better visual attention can often track and move around well but struggle with visual recognition of landmarks in the environment . This lack of visual recognition is the major roadblock to learning. The lower field is often still a problem depending on the area of brain damage. Facial recognition is often strongly effected. Children should certainly see an ophthalmologist to rule out any ocular issue but a trained TVI who understands CVI and how to use the many tools for assessment must do this functional vision assessment. It is this full and complete functional visual assessment that identifies visual skills so learning access is optimal.


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