The Surprise of Numicon

Numicon shapes Three years ago, I attended a virtual meeting with a parent who was in my on-line CVI course.  I wanted to meet with her because of the story she shared about her son’s CVI journey.  The story was one that is familiar, a story of a less than effective school program.  This mom chose to take responsibility to teach her child at home.  Her at-home program included the use of Numicon, a math support used to address the CVI challenge of understanding numeracy.  I became intrigued and ordered a set immediately after or virtual meeting.  Numicon (Oxford Primary) is a program that includes “shapes” associated…

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The Interesting Situation of CVI Range Progress in a Young Adult

I never cease to be surprised by the ways in which functional vision operates in individuals who have CVI. Early on, everything I read and experienced told me that the best chance of seeing improvements in functional vision would be limited to the youngest of children. The golden rule in the 1990s was that the first 3 years of life were the time of greatest visual plasticity and the best, maybe only option for the brain to develop, organize, or rewire vision. But as my approach became more organized and as The CVI Range became my reliable method for assessment and support, I began to wonder about…

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Moving Day

This week I saw my final Pediatric VIEW families as a member of the Allegheny Health Network. Tomorrow my materials will be delivered to The Children's Home and Lemieux Family Center (5324 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224, 412-441-4884). I am honored to have this opportunity to not only continue Pediatric VIEW but to grow it in new directions. The Children's Home Administrators are welcoming me with open arms and a degree of enthusiasm generally only seen in a teenagers on a first date. I am excited and beyond all else, grateful. The last act of packing at my West Penn office was to disassemble the collage of…

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Changes in Pediatric VIEW Program

In the words of singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, "change comes of its own free will". And change has come to Pediatric VIEW. On May 20 I was informed that my hospital system was "sunsetting" my program. It took me a moment to associate such a lovely image with such a disappointing turn of events. Pediatric VIEW began in 1999 as an outgrowth of the hospital NICU developmental follow up programs. Pediatric VIEW was established to meet an unmet gap in addressing the needs of children who have complex needs including conditions that can be associated with visual impairment. This tiny little program eventually blossomed by word of…

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Cortical or Cerebral?

There is much discussion about these two terms. Some believe that the term cortical refers to a historic affiliation with a condition described by Dr. James Jan & his associates. That is true. Some believe that the term cortical visual impairment has been replaced by a term called cerebral visual impairment and that the diagnoses are essentially interchangeable. That is not true. According to Dutton and others, cerebral and cortical visual impairment are terms used to describe different constructs but share an important element. Both cerebral and cortical visual impairment are used to describe brain-based visual processing disorders. But, simply put, cerebral visual impairment is a term…

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While you are home…part 2

We are now well into a month of pandemic safe distancing. We are mostly home except for those heroes who are working at hospitals, grocery stores, restaurant take-outs, and drug stores. When we do venture out, we cover our faces and wear gloves like bank robbers. We have learned to watch the behavior of others as though each potential exposure could transform us into zombies (just watch World War Z...seriously). And, all the while, we are charged with working from home and simultaneously, teaching our children. For some of you, this is a dream come true. One parent recently told me that this period of time is…

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Appointments during the COVID-19 Pandemic

I hope everyone is staying safe and well. To those who have been personally touched by the COVID-19 pandemic, I send my deepest concerns and sincere wishes for recovery. Appointments at Pediatric VIEW are slowly resuming and there is a cautious sense of optimism about returning to some sense of normalcy. Thank you for your patience and for the opportunity to meet with many of you via Zoom.

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While you are home…

I am writing this blog post during a time in which we are all self quarantined. It's a strange and unsettling time. If you are spending more time indoors than you expected, and you are a family member of a child with CVI, you may be toward the bottom of your "fun things to do" list. My own children had a phrase they used on long rainy days indoors. "Mom, what can we do or eat?". To that end, I am offering a few ideas of things you may be able to do with your children. Phase I Put a few drops of food coloring in a…

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I Can be Found on YouTube

Well, I did it.  I have a YouTube channel.  At the urging of others, I have agreed that I would give it a try. And, while at it, started a Facebook page too. There was a time when I could not find one other person to talk to about CVI.  But, thankfully, those days have passed and now there is a great deal of information from a variety of sources and points of view.  There are plenty of others who teach my work and who support children with CVI using The CVI Range approach.  That's all good.  But, I continue to have the desire to talk directly…

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When The CVI Range Score Doesn’t Change

A couple of years ago I had a major wake-up call.  I listened to a parent conduct a session at a CVI conference.  During her talk, she mentioned the importance of The CVI Range scores and the expectation that they will continue to improve over time.   And then this mom, who I have always viewed as a pillar of fortitude, stated that at one of her daughter's Pediatric VIEW appointments, I reported that her daughter's CVI Range score had remained the same as when I previously evaluated her.  I then heard this CVI mom tell the attentive group of parents and providers that because of the unchanged score…

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