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Corona Blog 4 - What do we need to do next?

  • some basic ideas... to help us work out what to do next, to help the children we’re all concerned about
  • we need to try to imagine how the child is seeing, thinking and learning each day
  • we all need to try to imagine and work out what they may be missing out on, and to do something about it
  • how can social interactions be increased and improved?

The impact of the Corona virus pandemic on children with CVI and doing something about it

I've been wondering what best to write about during these unusual times.

I thought it might be useful to come up with some basic ideas (that are obvious when you think about them), and use them to help us work out what to do next, to help the children we're all concerned about.

It stands to reason.

No-one can learn from what they cannot see.

This is true throughout life.

So what do we learn through vision?

We learn...

  • from everything we can see. (While language learning adds to this, by labelling our experiences and giving these meaning.)
  • to use vision to move, to reach accurately and to find our way
  • and to understand how people are feeling, by mastering the meanings of facial expression, gesture and body language.

Knowing this, we need to try to imagine how the child is seeing, thinking and learning each day.

In other words, we need to understand more about their 'theory of mind', so as to help them learn...

  • about what is around them
  • how to explore
  • and about how others are feeling

Next, we all need to try to imagine and work out what they may be missing out on, and to do something about it by...

  • adapting, to ensure that what they look at is made meaningful by being both visible to them and understandable, so they can best use their available vision
  • circumventing, by helping with other ways of learning, such as exploring by touch and through hearing, and using language to progressively make their experiences more and more meaningful
  • and providing training, in happy, interesting and motivational ways

We've recently learned of children who have been somewhat set back in their development, as a result of the Corona virus pandemic limiting their learning opportunities because...

  • this sudden change in their lives has been difficult for them to cope with, and has been a cause of stress
  • parents have so much to do and think about, the children can get less attention
  • of profound limitations in schooling, variety of experience, and opportunities for meeting others

So what to do?

How about thinking about these basic ideas in relation to your child?

What is your child missing out on, and what can be done about it?

What new experiences can be given, and how best can these be given meaning?

  • Is there suitable school work available (If not, maybe ask "Why not?")
  • Are there new opportunities that will motivate, as life starts to open up?
  • And what new things would your child like to do?

What kinds of physical exercise are available and how can these opportunities be used best?

  • Where?
  • When
  • And how?

And how can social interactions be increased and improved (perhaps by starting with using words to label how they are feeling)?

  • With family?
  • With friends?
  • And with other families in the same boat?

Why not share this blog with friends and relatives, relating these ideas to your child's needs, and see what you all come up with together.

You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

"A problem shared is a problem halved"

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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.