Month: September 2016

The Happy Little Yellow Box: A Pop-Up Book of Opposites

This looks like such a great book for children with CVI (with some reduction in complexity)! It is by David A. Carter who has several like it. I ordered one for a child in Phase II that is able to attention to 2D. The concept behind this book creation (non-complex, yellow color, the ability to create movement with the 3D box and movement of the pull tabs) will match many children’s assessed needs around CVI and beginning literacy. I’ll keep you posted but am looking forward to adapting it for my students in all Phases (Christine Roman-Lantzy).


A Primer on Cortical Visual Impairment

This is a great article about CVI written by Sharon S. Lehman, MD, Wilmington, Delaware.

I am so pleased to see this in a medical magazine, “Review of Ophthalmology”!

This is the subtitle:

“We owe the parents of children with CVI a better explanation of their child’s condition. Here’s a look at how to start providing one”.

For too long, the ophthalmologists have not “owned” CVI. They have focused on the ocular system and completely disregarded the obvious lack of visual skills in the child sitting before them. They have referred their small patients to the neurologists where the families still found no answers. Most upsetting to me it’s the lack of referrals for these children to teachers of students with visual impairments. So much of learning is visual so help from a knowledgeable TVI is key to visual improvements and visual access.

Take a look:

Visual Motor: Where to Access the Bow Ends?

From my last blog entry, I mentioned that I highlighted the ends of a bow to help a student have visual access to where to grab to untie the bow.

I got a comment to that blog that I think would be great illustration of a misconception. Much thanks for the comment that allows me to clarify!

Here is the comment:
“Great idea to put a string on a book to be opened each time! Why not use a shoe string with plastic ends? You can get them in the buck store –like 6 pairs for $1.”

So why didn’t I use colored shoe strings for this? First of all, what is my goal? My goal is for the child to have a visual anchor to the bow ends, not the bow itself.  If I used shoe strings that are colored, the child still will not know where to grab. With the whole bow highlighted, reaching to the whole bow completely defeats the purpose: grabbing the end. I always think about what exactly I want the child to do. Where exactly to I want to draw visual attention? Where exactly do I want the child to reach to for function? I keep these questions in my mind every time I think about visual supports for students with visual impairments.

Highlighting for Fine Motor/Independence Skills

The occupational therapist in our program wanted one of our students to untie a bow on a calendar book. This would require the child with CVI to visually locate a small bow end to pull. When the occupational therapist tried to encourage this independence task, the child clearly was struggling to access the bow end to untie. He couldn’t see where he was supposed to reach to grab. Looking at the task, I felt the complexity of the object (Roman Lantzy: Complexity characteristic) was too great for access. Matched to his assessment results using the CVI Range (Roman Lantzy 2007), I used a favorite color green with shiny attributes (movement) to highlight the “where to grab” area.


Professionals working without collaboration with others on the team can look at a skill from their own lens and see skills in their own context alone. This OT might have decided this was a motor planning or fine motor difficulty. In this case of collaboration between team members, professionals working collaboratively can look at a skill and eliminate lack of visual access as a factor.

Free Active Learning Series

I can’t recommend this series strongly enough! I believe Active Learning is a core philosophy for providing our students and children ACCESS to materials and concepts for learning. Especially for children with CVI or children with multiple disabilities. The world must be brought to them to explore, wonder and experiment!

This is a free series, all online through Perkins eLearning. I’m signed up! It starts September 22 so don’t delay.

From the site:

“In this series of Active Learning webinars we will share ideas for moving from assessment to IEP development to delivering instruction. Attention will be given to organizing the student’s day and delivering both general curriculum and expanded core curriculum content using an Active Learning approach.”



Teaching Staff About CVI Pays Off!

I complete CVI inservices to the educational teams every fall and throughout the school year as needed. One inservice helps teams understand the overall concepts about CVI and the other inservice helps teams understand the CVI Range (Roman-Lantzy 2007), the functional vision assessment results for each child. With this information, teachers and therapists understand CVI and understand their student’s visual needs. They can adapt toys and learning materials to meet those assessed needs.

Here is an example of a toy adapted by the speech therapist for one child’s assessed visual needs. It provides color support with red duct tape at the activation button. Pushing the button creates a light show!

This is a box of holiday lights but left in the box. It is available from Amazon.

string lights

string lights box

string light amazon