Main content

Alert message

by Gwen Russo

I took my notes from the VA DVH conference from Christine Roman and put them here. on the listserve.  So, I hope it helps!

  1. Use high contrast materials (black background) and bright colors BUT Do not over indulge with too much color (choose toys with only one or two colors).
  2. Yellow is usually very popular - but find out what the child's favorite color is and use it, wear it, etc. (Glitter is also a big stimulator: put glitter in a bottle with water and shine a light on it)
  3. Break things down! Limit the viewing area; show the student one part at a time.
  4. Choose toys with movement but are not too complex. (slinky) If they are complex cover parts of them up - SIMPLIFY!
  5. Time is everything! Latency often occurs with CVI and we should not feel bad about this. Latency means that the child needs time to respond visually - so allow for this lapse - be patient and wait for there response.
    We need to warm up the visual system with familiar objects and once warmed up - there is usually a good chance for latency to lessen!!
  6. Try and find the students visual field preference but keep in mind there is no general rule about which is better central vision or peripheral when assessing CVI kids.
  7. Make things like pat mats - Fill large clear plastic bags with glitter and one colored toys. Seal and put up against a light box and have the student find and pat the bag for the objects.
  8. Again remember CVI kids can only look at one thing at a time - present your materials that way. *Have students Stop, look and listen!
  9. Movement: Be careful not to over work a student. Most CVI kids are working if they are in a stander or doing some kind of physical behavior - it is harder for them to "see" or track things when they are already working hard at something else.
    Key here: Find it then reach for it!!!!
  10. Change one thing at time generalizing along the way - start with an object that is yellow and moves slow and then change to something else that is yellow and moves a little faster and so forth.
  11. Signs for CVI: intraventicular hemorrhage: brain bleeding; asphyxia: lack of oxygen to the brain; Child has one favorite color; Tendency to be nearsighted.

Christan Roman was an excellent speaker and I only wished that I could get more time with her but the point that really hit home to me was that we have to realize it is not to late to help CVI children and we must try our hardest to help them improve there vision no matter if it the end results are big or small!