I just attended a meeting where the school psychologist stated “This child’s skills have plateaued”. Such old and erroneous information! Even with the scientific evident to the contrary, some professional continue to propagate this brain science myth. This is a dangerous myth. It sets a mindset that lowers a team’s expectations for a child’s continued learning across all skills.
In schools, there continues to be a misconception that brain plasticity is fixed to ages between 0 and 3 years old. While it seems true that the young brain learns and reassigns best, this does not mean that after age three, we do not have the expectation for improvements for all skills including visual skills. The brain has great plasticity all through life so we must expect improvements or we will most certainly not get them! We must continue to provide each child with the needed supports. Of course, these needs are determined after careful assessment using the correct tools that measures where and how the child is functioning. For a child with CVI, the correct assessment for functional vision is based on the well known visual behaviors of this brain based visual impairment.
Knowing where and how a child is functioning is the only way to provide first: optimal visual access and second: build visual skills. We move from current functioning, determine the next steps and create goals and objective for improvement.
Here are some resources that I shared with that psychologist, parents and the team:
Psychology Today: Brain Plasticity in Older Adults https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/iage/201304/brain-plasticity-in-older-adults
Dr. Lofti Merabet Looking Inside the Adaptive Brain