What is CVI?



Sad (or low or depressed or withdrawn)

  • CVI can affect your child's confidence and relationships and friendships (see Shy, previous section).
  • CVI can affect your child's learning.
  • CVI can make it difficult for your child to do things for themselves; things they can see their friends find easy.
  • CVI can make your child feel physically unsafe and vulnerable, even when you know they are safe.

The above list is important. Your child may be facing a lot of difficulties each day, and to make them even greater, they are not visible to other people. So much can be more difficult for your child, without them being able to know how or why.

Over time, understandably, this can get them down.

Withdrawn can sometimes be a sign of feeling sad, but also a sign of your child's mind being pre-occupied or distracted or anxious.

Home Talk

Understanding why your child may be sad, is going to be a journey for you both.

An incident, like getting their work at school wrong or knocking over their drink, might be a reason, but you need to look deeper. Use your understanding of your child's CVIs and think why things are difficult and could make your child sad. Then think what you can do about them.

This conversation will continue for a long time, your role as the person your child can trust is one they will need throughout their whole childhood and maybe into adulthood too. The issues causing difficulties and distress may take time to surface and to become understood. The solutions to these difficulties can take time to work out. Your growing understanding of how CVI affects your child is invaluable. You know them better than anyone, you are the best person to help them.

We are sorry we have no quick solutions, but the ongoing talking, whether it is dedicated quiet time together, or just chatting in the car or kitchen, especially when things get tough, will be invaluable.

As a parent, when you come to understand what your child is struggling with, is something they can't quite understand themselves, together you can work through it.

We know you will want to help. How do we know? Because you wouldn't be here reading this if you didn't.

A final note, many of the mental challenges caused by CVI can leave your child feeling very tired, yet sometimes unable to sleep well, making them lethargic. Being lethargic can look like your child is down, when they just need more sleep.

Further Reading
Nicola McDowell's Blog 23 - explaining loneliness and sadness that led to social isolation and depression when she was at school
Emotions - Learning Emotions with CVI


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About Us

At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.