I have included general teaching strategies for teaching children with CVI in this post. This is part one of strategies. It's a lot of reading! Part two of strategies will come next week. Again, make sure you consult with your TVI for specific strategies for your student. This is general information from a general handout our agency provides. It's a start to understanding CVI but make sure you continue to learn. I have posted resources in other CVI posts and you can always see your TVI.
CVI - STRATEGIES FOR INCREASING VISUAL RESPONSES
During activities, introduce object in left to right order. This helps the child to organize his vision and teaches left to right sequencing.
- Use color and movement to get visual attention.
- Use primary colors rather than pastels. (Yellow and red)
- During visual tasks all available energy needs to be used on the task, therefore, all other handicaps must be accommodated for (head control, balance.)
- You can also use verbal cueing. Verbalize what they are seeing if they understand language used.
- Organize the child’s visual world by using good, even illumination.
- Eliminate visual distractions and clutter. Place objects on plain background.
- Use good even illumination.
- Simplify visual information to enhance processing of information.
- Don’t force child to look at your face. Faces may appear aggressive or may overstimulate the child. Overly animated face may cause child to look away.
- Eye contact increases with familiarity, positive situation, and security.
- Eye contact lessens with more complex activities. Too many demands, therefore you need to limit the requirements of the activity.
- Child’s brain needs to organize and understand visual world through consistent, meaningful, and functional activities.
- Presentation of items too close requires focusing which the student may not be able to do.
- Place objects and materials on upright surfaces rather than flat.
- Use a good contrast and highlight when presenting visual information.
- Use common objects. They have more sensory stimulation than plastic objects with few differences other than visual.
- Move hand along table to obtain object and slide it away on the table when done.
- Introduce a new object by pairing it with a familiar activity or introduce a new activity with a familiar object.
- Hold object no closer than 10-14 inches to the child to block out other visual information.
- Place objects against plain background.
- To help child fixate on an object, hold it, tap it or squeeze it. When the child looks at it, shake it.
- To increase shifting gaze behavior, have the child look at one thing then the other. Use two objects at the same time; blink one flashlight, then the other, squeeze one toy, then the other. (Do not flash the light in the child’s eyes.)
- Include the child in the process of getting materials and putting them away. Don’t make things appear and disappear. This will results in a passive or helpless sense.
- Use visual markers to reduce visual stimuli.
- Visual images should be simple in form and presented in isolation to avoid visual overload. Avoid crowding of objects, background clutter.
- Be consistent with colors for containers or backgrounds.
- Children with CVI may not be able to control visual input by attending to important events and suppressing the others. Try tactile cueing to help the child organize their perceptions.