We know that many children with CVI have had their learning and development needs assessed by an Educational Psychologist.
The Scottish charity Enquire have a section on their website about the role of the Educational Psychologist, click here to view it.
We have read many reports shared by parents, and one common observation we see repeated is along the lines of:
Their visual impairment is secondary to their overall severe developmental delay.
With CVI, what we show throughout this website is why visual impairment can be the cause of learning challenges. So to set it aside as something separate and unimportant shows that the Educational Psychologist is not aware of the nature of CVI in relation to that child and its significant impact in all cases.
The Educational Psychologist has a difficult job. They may be responsible for a wide area of very different educational needs, from the profoundly disabled to mental health problems in teenagers. Whilst their assessment should take into account other reports and the opinions of key people including the parents and teachers, and observing the child, there will only be a limited amount of time they can dedicate to your child, and their understanding of CVI and its impact may well be limited.
You need to help the Educational Psychologist by sharing your expertise of your child; and they must listen to you. If they don't agree with you, they need to explain why. Educational Psychologists are skilled professionals who are dedicated to the children they support. In the ideal environment both parent and psychologist should learn from one another.
It may be easier to advise at the assessment stage, rather than criticise a report you do not agree with. If the report is going to have an effect on the support your child receives, and is, from your informed point of view incorrect, then for your child's benefit you might need to consider asking for it to include the impact of CVI and the measures that need to be taken, to take this condition into account.
Here are some suggestions we put together to help your child by constructively engaging with the Educational Psychologist:
There are no short cuts. To effectively communicate with the Educational Psychologist, and all other people involved in your child's care, you need to understand your child's challenges and needs, and you need to invest the time to learn. This is why we have written this website.
As a knowledgeable parent, you should feel confident to engage with any professional, and be an advocate for your child. If done constructively, this can result in a much more productive relationship that can only benefit your child.
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At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.