CVI Hub For Parents
It can be daunting to learn that your child has cortical visual impairment. Here’s the good news: At Perkins, we believe that every child with CVI has the potential to improve his or her use of vision. That can only happen if your child has an expert on the CVI Range© on his or her IEP (Individualized Education Program) team.
*Please note: while Perkins believes that all children with CVI should have an educational team member who has received the Perkins-Roman CVI Endorsement, this should not replace the teacher of the visually impaired. A student with visual impairments should have a TVI on his/her team.
Search our directory to find someone who has received the Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement:
As a parent, you’re the best person to make sure your child’s needs are being met, every step of the way. Here are some important tips
Learn about how to advocate
An accessible iBook about animals and where they live.
Using meaningful pictures and sounds in iPad applications to make cognitive connections and open communication possibilities for a student with CVI.
When a student with CVI is in transition from Phase I to Phase II it can sometimes be hard to find activities that will motivate them and be functional.
What is CVI?
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a brain-based visual impairment. That means the eye itself is healthy, but the eye’s neurological connection to the brain doesn’t work properly. Read more about CVI 101.
How do I know my child has CVI?
You will need a diagnosis from a doctor. If you realize that your child's eye exams are normal but your child still isn't seeing or tracking as you would expect, you should seek out a pediatric ophthalmologist.
The doctor will assess your child based on common characteristics of CVI. These include attention to specific colors (usually yellow and red), attention to moving items, light gazing or non-purposeful gaze, preference for one visual field, atypical visual reflexive responses, lack of attention to distance, attention to familiar items rather than novel items, poorer visual skills in complex visual or auditory environments, and increased time to find items visually.
Can CVI be cured?
There is no cure for CVI, but a child's ability to use vision may improve with the right assessment and intervention.
Do glasses help children with CVI?
Only if the child also has an ocular visual impairment. In that case, the child may benefit from wearing eyeglasses prescribed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. CVI and ocular visual impairments must be assessed and addressed separately.
How can I help my child at home?
Create an environment that eliminates distractions so your child can focus visually. This can include: Darkening the room by drawing the shades or turning off lights, Keeping the room quiet by turning off television or radio, Making sure your child is positioned comfortably so he or she doesn’t have to exert extra energy and can focus on visual tasks, Choosing a particular light source like an iPad, a flashlight or rope lights to attract your child’s attention, Using toys or other objects that are shiny or reflective, as well as in bright, primary colors like red or yellow
What does my child's teacher or therapist need to know?
Every professional working with a child with CVI needs to know the basics: What is CVI? What is the CVI Range©? At what phase has this child been assessed? What are effective strategies for that phase?
If the members of your child's team aren't knowledgeable about CVI and the CVI Range©, Perkins eLearning offers a wide range of CVI courses for individuals, as well as tailored training programs for school districts.
FAQ information adapted from Ellen Mazel's CVI presentations: