The yellow towel

CA339CDC-C0F6-4126-8114-5A4518D2C023Back to school this year resembles last year. Last year’s cross country move meant months-long preparation and purging. This year’s move came quick, with little notice in the midst of an already busy summer. Last year was a new town, state, side of the country, new school, peers, teachers, all new people. This year it’s the same school with a few new peers, new teacher, new classroom. The only constant in life is change. As usual with change comes reflection. Instead of back to school or change or growing up or growing older, this reflection is about a yellow towel. Continue reading “The yellow towel”

At the store with my child who has CVI

At the store with my child who has CVI
At the store with my child who has CVI

“You guys sure go to the store a lot!” Last week was all about parent teacher conferences, and both the classroom teacher and resource room teacher made the same comment. It is true that my son enjoys going to stores, especially food shopping. It is also true that we do many other things, like hikes, walks, the beach, riding bikes – in addition to a never ending schedule of medical and therapy appointments. But our outside excursions are not the activities that make their way back to the classroom. My suspicion is that his focus on stores and places has more to do with getting to know a novel community, and the lay of the land, along with the social experience of it all. That both teachers commented  made me think of all the things you can do at the store, when your child has cortical visual impairment (CVI).
Continue reading “At the store with my child who has CVI”

“Does the mailman know Santa?”

"Does the mailman know Santa?"
“Does the mailman know Santa?”

When your child comes into the classroom, it is often the first time that educators are hearing the words “cortical visual impairment” (CVI). Training new educational teams or therapists or providers on cortical visual impairment means learning about the CVI Range, guiding principles, CVI ten characteristics, the goals of each Phase of CVI (Roman), and what CVI looks like for your child. In all of this, the strategies of salient features and comparative language (Roman) can get lost in the mix. Continue reading ““Does the mailman know Santa?””

“Does the mailman know Santa?”

Does the mailman know Santa?
“Does the mailman know Santa?”

As parents, and especially as parents of children who have cortical visual impairment (CVI), we worry about many things. One of the things we worry about most is knowing that our child’s unique educational needs are not being met and supported. In those first years, that critical period of neurodevelopment, parents work hard to get a CVI diagnosis, a CVI Range assessment (Roman-Lantzy), and improve their child’s use of functional vision. We become fluent in the language of CVI. We color highlight, strictly adhere to complexity of array, and speak in salient features. Only to hand our child off when it comes time for transition to public school, and our well honed educational approaches fall by the wayside. Worksheets are highlighted in anything but preferred color yellow. Reading materials are simply enlarged instead of modified. The silhouettes of abstract black and white line drawings are quickly highlighted in whatever color marker was handy. We spend our time arguing with school district administrators about the need to include salient features and comparative language in the IEP (Roman). And the critical question to my son’s learning, What do you see? goes unasked, day after day, for the entire school calendar. Continue reading ““Does the mailman know Santa?””