Back to school in April

09189E40-F539-48C2-B66E-874786D3C200“Wait – what??” you might be thinking. It’s only April. It’s only just now turning to spring. The return of warmer weather. Trees and  flowers blooming, longer and brighter days ahead. School is still in session. Maybe you haven’t even had your IEP meeting for your child with cortical visual impairment (CVI). Or maybe you are still struggling through this school year, let alone ready to get ready for the next one. Or maybe every morning you wake up to, “Do I have to go to school?” “Can I stay home, just today??” (A thousand times, no.) It might still be April, but it is not too early to start thinking about back to school. Continue reading “Back to school in April”

Seeing CVI at school

Seeing CVI at school
Seeing CVI at school

Yesterday was a Monday, from start to finish. You know everything is going to be  extra challenging when you drop off your child with cortical visual impairment (CVI) at school and learn that his paraprofessional is out that day. We all have our emergencies, and it was her turn. Children with CVI rely on predictability and routine, especially when it comes to their people. A day of multiple transitions is not an easy prospect. It turned out that the unexpected day provided an unexpected opportunity for his teacher to see my son’s CVI. Continue reading “Seeing CVI at school”

How do you greet a child with CVI?

How do you greet a child with CVI?
How do you greet a child with CVI?

We know that one of the ten characteristics of cortical visual impairment (CVI) is difficulty with faces, a component of Complexity (Roman-Lantzy). Knowing this, we should take some time to consider how we greet and interact with a child with CVI, remembering he is not likely to recognize you. This is essential for school teams, especially at the beginning of the school year. With a swirl of new peers, teachers, and classes, how we greet kids with CVI is so important. Continue reading “How do you greet a child with CVI?”

CVI vs. the school bus

CVI vs. the school bus
CVI vs. the school bus

The end of school year field trip is coming up. That means the topic of the school bus comes up too. For children with special needs, the school bus can be complicated. At least in our school district, there are a host of problems. Late or missing school buses. Ill equipped buses. Not to mention the potential for problems when it comes to sending your child who is at risk for seizures, off on the bus. My son who has cortical visual impairment (CVI) no longer rides the bus to school. So when field trips come up, we talk about the bus. Nowadays, the only thing he likes about the school bus is preferred color yellow (CVI ten characteristics, Roman). Continue reading “CVI vs. the school bus”

Birthday party

Birthday party
Birthday party

Going to birthday parties is a childhood rite of passage. When you have a kid with cortical visual impairment (CVI), invitations bring a mix of anticipation and dread. Anticipation because you want your child to be included in the first place – just like all the other kids. And dread because celebrations, events, gatherings, parties are a delicate balance for kids with CVI. Birthday parties can involve some of the most challenging characteristics of cortical visual impairment – a party in a new environment (novelty), lots of kids (complexity, difficulty with faces, complexity of array), and energetic little bodies (latency, movement). Add the sounds of a bunch of excited kids and you have one Complex sensory environment. (Roman-Lantzy) Birthdays are a perfect storm for a CVI meltdown. Continue reading “Birthday party”