CVI with ocular conditions

Perkins School for the Blind CVI Symposium April 7, 2017

Spread the word about this important event! It filled very quickly last year so sign up if you are interested.

CVI Symposium: Best Practices and Current Research presented by experts in CVI

Held at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts

Friday, April 7, 2017 8:30 sign-in, presentations 9:00-4:30 

$100.

6.5 ACVREPs, 6.5 PDPs, 6.5 CEs

There will be discussion about current research and best practice related to brain-based visual impairments.

From the website:

Topics and Presenters include: (with more to be confirmed)

  • Visual Processing and the Impact of Damage: What We Know and How We Know

Lotfi Merabet, O.D., Ph.D., MPH

Presenter TBD

  • Collaborative/Coordinate Care – The Importance of an Effective Team

Anne Fulton, Ophthalmologist

Rebecca Davis, parent

Ellen Mazel, Ed., CTVI

  • Literacy and O&M from Phase I to Phase III

Christine Roman-Lantzy, D.

Matt Tietjen, M.Ed., CTVI

Find out more at:

http://www.perkinselearning.org/earn-credits/onsite-training/cvi-best-practices-current-research

I believe this will also be available to watch after the symposium.

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: https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/a-primer-on-cortical-visual-impairment-42791

Literacy: Searching for a Salient Feature

My 3 year old student who is non-verbal had no interest in any literacy materials when she arrived in preschool due to ocular and cortical visual impairments.  Her preschool provided rich experience based literacy using adapted books matched to her ocular visual needs and matched to her CVI Range Assessment (Roman-Lantzy 2007). Each book had an accompanying storybox with 3D materials to support each non-complex picture.

I wanted to check visual recognition of one 2D image.  I choose the book Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino. It had a series of images of round pictures.  As a salient feature (Roman-Lantzy) I used a shiny, gold, round sticker. I presented this sticker on a white non-complex background. I knew my student loves the Itsy, Bitsy song. With hand under hand support, each time the sticker was presented we would touch the sticker together and I sang part of her favorite song.

IMG_1366

With her success with pointing to this one sticker, I applied the sticker in different places on each page of the Zoom! book.

IMG_1368

 

IMG_1367

 

After a week, she was looking at the pages and finding the shiny sticker each time. She would lean closer to reduce the complexity, isolate her index finger, point and look at me and smile. True recognition! With the increasing interest, she really studies all the classroom adapted books and even chooses books during her free time on the mat.

Youtube Lecture: Recovered Sight: Michael May

Understanding Blindness and the Brain (Brian Wandell, Stanford University)

I think you might find this one fascinating! Michael May lost vision as a child and regained it in his 40s. As he regains sight, there are so many CVI characteristics he experiences!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVgfC_FV2hI

Checking Eye Health and Refractive Error

When receiving a new student on my caseload, I always want to have the most recent eye doctor report. A low vision evaluation is also something I like to have for each child.

One of the criteria to determine CVI is a typical eye report or an eye report that does not explain how the child is using their vision. We really need to understand our children’s ocular health and check that it includes a measure of any refractive error. Only then can we assess the CVI characteristics using the CVI Range (Roman-Lantzy 2007) effectively and correctly. We must be aware of any ocular issues that might compound the CVI Range results.

If the child has a refractive error, it should be corrected to the optimal degree possible with glasses. Unfortunately, many believe students with multiple disabilities will not wear glasses or will not benefit from glasses due to cognitive involvement.  This is far from the truth.  I am lucky enough to work collaboratively with a local low vision clinic that takes the extra time to obtain a measurement of refractive error for all children. Glasses are prescribed when necessary. Helping children to accommodate to glasses is never as hard as people expect.