Changing classes at the airport

Richard Elliott’s “Eyes on the World” at Sea-Tac International Airport

What is changing classes like for a student with cortical visual impairment (CVI)?

Following a year of COVID learning, my son now attends an independent school, a small school, with small classes. Small means less than ten kids in his class. So the entire student body is comprised of fortysomething students. Changing classes involves a fraction of those kids. In other words, this is not your typical public school hallway, overflowing with students. Recently it again became necessary to ask my son with CVI about his experience when changing classes. We have been here before. Changing classes between class periods with all the other kids. Waiting in one class because the hallway has “too many kids.” Taking the other, empty stairwell up to his classroom. Continue reading “Changing classes at the airport”

CVI early bird

EF8A311F-C4DB-4762-9326-9B9F79BA7807“Hi, how long is open swim today?”

“Until three… pool’s empty right now.”

“EMPTY??” We’ll be right. There.

It was Memorial Day and it made sense that most people were out of town or out at the beach or out at a barbecue instead of at the local Y.  The prospect of having an entire, not quite Olympic sized pool all to ourselves, me and my son who has cortical visual impairment (CVI), was almost too good to be true. Continue reading “CVI early bird”

“What does my child with CVI see?”

These days are more about what does he experience, instead of what does he see
These days are more about what does he experience, instead of what does he see

When your child is diagnosed with cortical visual impairment (CVI), you cannot help but ask, What does my child see? As a parent it was hard to even wrap my brain around the words “cortical visual impairment” – or “cortical blindness” – the first time the neurologist said them. Along with the outdated term cortical blindness came other misinformation such as  “because it involves the brain and not the eye, there is nothing you can do.” Some people like to say that having CVI is like looking through a slice of Swiss cheese, which does not fly because the eyes work together to create the image in your brain and those gaps get filled in. Others claim that the world appears pixellated to people who have CVI, except that your brain is not a computer. It is far easier to simulate an ocular impairment – such as the grossly distorted world of somebody with myopia. Or the blacked out central vision of a person with progressive macular degeneration. But what does a child with CVI see? Continue reading ““What does my child with CVI see?””

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”