Active learning all the time!
Children who have typical vision have their brains stimulated by the visual scenes of trees, buildings, people and events they watch outside the window while riding in the car. They compare these scenes with what they already know, building valuable brain connections.
What does your child see, touch and compare while in the car?
Capitalize on this time by providing materials to look at, touch, activate and explore.
- You could use the sensory vest we discussed earlier this month.
- You could create a lap exploration blanket by sewing on drapery circles. Toys and materials can be tied on the lap blanket with elastic cord. Elastic allows the child to bring materials into their best field, drop them and find them easily.
- Create a visual play mat on the back of the seat in front of the child. Attaching elastic on a hair scrunch to the wrist then to the toy. These allows the child to experiment with speed of movement of their own movements connected to speed of sound with a visual consequence.
- Create an exploration belt with elastic cord attached to toys.
This is precious learning time!
In my assessment of your CVI visual behaviors, I know that you benefit from color highlighting to outline the target to be found. Because you are still struggling to find the cow, I use strong, bright color highlighting to outline the cow’s features that will help you find that image in your visual library. (You have the benefit of a robust visual library that children with CVI do not.) See how much this helps you find the cow!
For those of you still searching your visual brain for recognition of this picture, I will give your brain some clues.
First I will orient it the correct way it appears in the world. I will tell you to look for the “cow”. Now you can limit your vision search to what you know about “cowness”. Can you now see the cow looking at you? There are two dark ears near the top left and a dark nose near the bottom middle of the picture. Because you know that the eyes are near the ears, you can easily see these. You have the benefit of visual memory.. You have seen thousands of pictures of cows and real cows too. Children with CVI can build these skills by exploring real items and then linking what they now know to what is seen. The hallmark idea: CVI can improves! With careful assessment of the visual behaviors, you create educational programming and environmental supports to build visual attention and visual recognition skills. We don’t just hope for, we expect improvement because we don’t know an individual child’s capacities for visual change! We don’t know who will make changes and what kind of changes those will be.
(Click to enlarge)
It can be so hard to explain what children with CVI see. In fact, we really don’t know what each individual child with CVI experiences their visual world. That will be different for each child based on the location and extent of the visual brain involvement, the other areas of the brain impacted, the child’s unique visual experiences before and after the injury and the way that unique brain rewires. This picture is a good way to explain the difficulty with visual recognition that children with CVI have. It is not what the the world looks like to a child with CVI. In this simulation, you see all the colors of black and white. You see each line and shading but your brain is searching its visual memory for what this image represents. You can feel several CVI visual behaviors:
You are experiencing delay in recognition: its taking you a long time to understand this.
This is visually complex scene.
If you were in a loud environment, it would take you longer to find meaning (Sensory Integration difficulties).
If I asked you to look at this while balancing on a thin balance beam, you would take longer to understand the picture (Positional Complexity).
You want to hold this closer to your face to understand what it represents (Distance).
You have never seen this before so it is new to you. Once you have understood it the first time. It will take you less time to find it the next time. (Novelty/Visual Recognition)
This simulation is a great tool to use with teams to help them understand that looking does not mean understanding what is seen. This is one of the greatest concepts to convey to parents and school based team members.