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Cortical Visual Impairment: A Brain Based Visual Impairment

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  • Article summary:

    CVI workshops offered by international CVI experts Dr Christine Roman-Lantzy and Lindsay Hillier.

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Cortical Visual Impairment: A Brain Based Visual Impairment

Does your child stare at lights?
Not look at your face or make eye contact?
Turn away when reaching for objects?

CVI can present in so many ways but there is a common thread: the brain is not able to interpret what the eyes see.

What is Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)?
When people think of visual problems they generally think about problems of the eye. However, visual problems can also result from damage to the brain. With 40%-80% of the brain required to process visual images (Morse, 1990), it is common for children with CP and other diagnosis related to damage to the brain to have CVI.

There are 10 characteristics associated with CVI
1.  Colour Preference
2.  Movement
3.  Light
4.  Visual Latency
5.  Visual Field Preference
6.  Complexity: Which includes an object’s appearance, complexity of array, sensory environment and of the human face.
7.  Distance viewing
8.  Visual novelty
9.  Absence of guided reach
10. Atypical visual reflex responses

What can I do to help my child with CVI?
GOOD NEWS! CVI can and does improve with the correct intervention. It’s important that the child’s entire team (Parents/ Caregivers/ Teachers/ Therapists/ Doctors) understand and try to imagine the child’s visual world in order to help provide meaning, support and cohesion to the child’s visual experiences (Hyvärinen, 2004; Lueck, 2005).

We see all day and every day, not just part of the day, so adaptations need to be made at home, school and therapy and these need to be appropriate to that child’s particular visual needs.
Therefore it is vital to get your child scored and placed on the CVI range which will inform the child’s team of their visual needs.

One Day Workshops

NeuroGenesis is honoured to be welcoming Dr Christine Roman-Lantzy (originator of the CVI Range) from the USA and Lindsay Hillier from Canada to present a series of workshops for Parents, Caregivers, Educators and Therapists.

These workshops are each one day long and will help to empower you and your child’s team to understand how your child interacts with their visual environment and what adaptations you can put in place to help improve their vision>

24 June 2024: What is CVI & why does it matter
This Workshop is a prerequisite for any of the other workshops. We will cover what CVI is, how it is diagnosed, the 10 Characteristics and how the correct interventions can help children with CVI progress in their visual functioning.

25 June 2024: My child has CVI - WHAT NOW?
For parents and caregivers only. It will cover practical strategies to help your child in everyday activities and plan interventions at home. It will also guide you on how help your child as they improve and move through the phases. 

26 June 2024: Bringing the CVI Range report to life for therapists, teachers and parents.
Once a CVI Range assessment has been completed by a CVI consultant, it is important to know how to use it in the child’s therapy sessions, at school and at home.

27 June 2024: Pathway to Literacy and Numeracy
Yes , your child with CVI can learn to read. Here we learn more detailed intervention and teaching strategies for teachers/ therapists and parents to help children with literacy and numeracy.

28 June 2024: Phase 3 Interventions
Phase III is arguably the most difficult phase to identify and often these kids are misdiagnosed as having learning difficulties, social problems and even some Autism traits or ADHD/ODD. To the untrained eye, a child who has reached Phase III may not appear to have CVI because their visual responses will look more and more like someone with typical vision. However, CVI is a lifelong condition. While an individual in Phase III has greatly improved vision and is able to sustain visual attention throughout the day, they remain visually impaired. They will continue to need adaptations to materials and specialized instruction to access and engage with the visual world. Visual and visual-perceptual difficulties can result in broad social, emotional, and learning implications. CVI can negatively affect a child’s sense of safety, initiation, and engagement in the environment, feelings of competence, satisfaction, and overall development.

More information is available on our website at the following link:
Or you can email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or call Antoinette: 083 212 2216


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