Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CVI Information Blitz, Part 3

Now that you have been reading about the characteristics of CVI, keep reading part 3 of the CVI Information Blitz!

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.


  • 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.

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