Causes of CVI can include:
Traumatic brain injury;
Infection (such as meningitis or toxoplasmosis); and
CVI can coexist with ocular vision impairment.
If you believe you or a family member may have CVI, you may like to talk to your regular health care provider who may suggest referral to an ophthalmologist and other medical and allied health professionals who can provide support.
CVI is indicated when all the following characteristics exist:
An ocular eye exam that is normal or cannot explain the functional vision impairment;
A history of a significant congenital or acquired brain injury or neurological disorder; and
The presence of unique visual characteristics and behaviours associated with CVI.
Each child and person with CVI is unique in the way they perceive the world around them. There are 10 common characteristics and behaviours that may be present in children with CVI. These characteristics may appear to fluctuate depending on the complexity of the surrounding environment.
There are three phases of CVI. The goal of intervention is to assist children to move through the three phases so they can reach their maximum potential.
Any child who has a diagnosis of CVI from an ophthalmologist or other medical specialist should have their functional vision assessed using the CVI Range.
If a child does not have a diagnosis but has sustained brain or neurological damage and is displaying the visual behaviours and characteristics associated with CVI, a functional vision assessment using the CVI Range is still recommended. If you believe you or a family member may have CVI, you may like to talk to your regular health care provider who may suggest referral to an opthamologist and other medical professional to confirm the diagnosis.
How CVI is assessed
The CVI Range assesses for both the presence and the impact of each of the visual characteristics and behaviours described above. This information is collected through:
An interview with parents and educators,
Observation of the child in the home and education settings, and
Direct assessment of the child.
Information from all three elements are used to determine a CVI Range ‘score’. From this score, the child is assessed at being at one of three phases of CVI. This information is used to determine appropriate intervention for the child.
Interventions are individual but providers may also help to connect you with other families and professionals.