Stumbling across CVI (Cerebral visual Impairment)

Cerebral Visual Impairment

The previous article concluded on the promise to enlighten the readers further on this topic of CVI. There are some easy screening questions that a parent, care giver, teacher or consulting eye care doctor or pediatrician can ask to identify CVI.

These are as follows:

  1. Does the child have difficulty walking down the stairs?
  2. Does the child have difficulty visualizing rapidly moving objects such as small animals or even things on the television if they are moving speedily
  3. Does the child have problems with identifying objects at a distance when pointed out even if on tests the visual acuity seems to be normal?
  4. Does the child struggle with identifying things in a pile, or when cluttered for e,g, locating someone in a crowd
  5. Does the child have a hard time with copying of letters etc.

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the child has a high chance of having CVI due to a whole host of causes.

This child needs a detailed evaluation of the eyes, a good neurological examination, sometimes an MRI of the brain and a few specialized tests to identify which aspect of visual function has been affected.

Children with CVI can benefit from many simple interventions.

There are centres offering visual stimulation therapy (may be distinct from vision therapy). It is best to take the child for therapy only after the guidance from a pediatric ophthalmologist who along with optometrists specializing in ‘special children’ have identified precisely what problems there are and can formulate a tailormade program for the child.

Vision stimulation Therapy planning happens taking into consideration that the child may need other rehabilitation like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. Parents may also need counseling on schooling and integrating the various therapies.

Timely identification and intervention is the key to enabling children with special needs to have a good quality of life.