What is CVI?

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A child may spend thirty five hours a week at school, for maybe thirty-eight weeks of the year.

  • That's a total of 1330 hours across an average year.
  • There are 8760 hours in a year, thus:
  • Approximately 15% of the child's time is spent at school

If the child's year was thought of as a 100 piece jigsaw, only 15 pieces would represent school.

That leaves the vast majority of the remainder of the jigsaw, 85 pieces, or 85% of the child's time outside of school. We have discussed school in our Understanding Support Needs in School sections.

This section is all about that 85% outside of school. For adults this might be the time outside of work, or an adult learning environment. This 85% includes

  • Time at home & in the garden
  • Night time / sleeping / not sleeping
  • Holidays
  • Trips (e.g. shopping, play parks, sports, parties, outings)
  • Car Journeys
  • Socialising and visits to friends and relatives & holidays

The Foundation

If you have read our sections on What Is CVI? / Understand you will know that what you are looking at, right now, the words on this screen, is an image created in your brain. You think you are looking at a screen, but what you see is an image inside your head. This may sound fantastic, but it is a fact.

You think you are looking at something outside of you because your brain is playing an extremely clever trick on you. Using information from the senses, particularly your vision, and second your hearing, your brain recreates the entire world for you, in your head. Your brain does this to enable you to see, move through, feel, touch, hear, smell and taste, that gives your experience of your world. These are supplemented by the less conscious senses like balance and our knowledge of where are limbs are. Your brain does all this, and for most people it does it very accurately. The world outside and inside match beautifully on every sensory level (as we can only experience through our senses).

This is what we call the foundation, and just like a building, maybe our home, only stands to keep us secure due to its hidden foundations, so every aspect of everything we know and learn is built upon the foundation that the information our brain creates is an accurate representation or emulation of the world as it is.

Your home is only stable and secure due to its hidden and critical foundations.  In the same way, there is a hidden and critical foundation supporting everything we experience, whereby our brains accurately recreate the information they receive from our senses, and accurately locate this within our environment.Your home is only stable and secure due to its hidden and critical foundations. In the same way, there is a hidden and critical foundation supporting everything we experience, whereby our brains accurately recreate the information they receive from our senses, and accurately locate this within our environment.

With CVI, that match is not always so accurate.

  • For some with CVI it may be slightly out, making them clumsy and miss things.
  • For others with CVI the foundation might be a poorer match, but they may have developed strategies to help manage, making it less obvious.
  • For others, the world created by the brain is so far removed from the world as it really is, that learning is extremely challenging, and simply existing can be stressful and frightening.

But there is so much you can do!!!!!

The following subsections will be developed over time to include as many aspects we can think of, of the 85% of life outside of school, and look at what practical measures can be taken to help, where the foundation presents challenges. Many readers will have already made changes, learning through experience and trial and error, like turning off bright over-head lights, removing trip hazards and avoiding busy places.

We will be recommending simple, inexpensive or free common sense strategies to optimise all aspects of the 85% of the person's life to enable them to

  • learn from their surroundings
  • feel calmer
  • feel happier
  • feel more secure

In each subsection, we will consider the foundations in relation to the different periods identified above, that is

  • 1. Time at home & in the garden
  • 2. Night time / sleeping / not sleeping
  • 3. Trips (e.g. shopping, play parks, sports, parties, outings)
  • 4. Car Journeys
  • 5. Socialising and visits to friends and relatives & holidays

Not all will be relevant to everyone, but by taking this approach, hopefully we will cover most of the 85% of time for most people with CVI.

Subsections:

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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.