What Is It About Busy Places?

Many parents identify busy places as being difficult for their children. What is it about these environments that is so hard? This is where CVI careful assessment comes in so we can understand what exactly is problematic for that child’s visual brain.

Don’t be fooled that this difficulty is based on only one thing.

What are the some of the features of busy places?

  • There is increased noise
  • There is increased motion
  • There is increased unexpected visual input
  • There is an increase in the number of unrecognized items
  • There is an increases in the number of new faces

If these are some of the features of busy places, we need to understand each individual child’s reasons for having difficulty tolerating these environments.

How do we know which of these is problematic?

Here is some follow up parent questions I might ask to digging deeper for answers:

What happens at the family’s place of worship?

What might this tell me?

There is limited noise and controlled motion in places of worship. This environment might be familiar since the family might attend regularly. If the child tolerates this busy setting that is hushed, perhaps it is the issue of unexpected sounds that is more impactful to the child. Since the motion in places of worship is more linear and more controlled, perhaps it is the motion of other busy places that is impacting that child.

What happens in busy places with regular motion?

What might this tell me?

If the parents report that is more tolerance of places with more predictable motion (think roller skating rinks, hallways, airports walkways), perhaps the issue is that they tolerate places with predictable motion but not random motion.

What happens in new busy places?

What this might tell me?

If the parent reports that the child tolerates busy place that are familiar, perhaps the issue is the newness of the place rather than either motion or noise? In these new places, the child might also be fearful of unexpected changes in depth or disturbed by the unrecognized environmental aspects.

What happens if the busy place is full of familiar people or the identification of people is supported?

What this might tell me?

If the parent reports that their child can tolerate busy places with known people, the issue for the child could be more about lack of information access about the people around them. It might not be difficulties with motion and noise.

The identification of the child’s difficulty in busy places should not be assumed to be one thing. Careful parent interviewing can reveal the real reason for the child’s visual difficulties. It allow us to put the best supports in place for educational programming that directly addresses that child’s unique issues.

Yet another reason not to hand the parent an interview form to fill out. You would miss so much!


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