Blogs & News

Gordon Dutton’s Blog (1) We can only learn from what we perceive

  • Children can only learn from what they can see, hear, feel and understand
  • Each child with CVI has unique vision, that needs to be profiled, understood, known and used to best advantage by parents and carers, as well as all who work with them.
  • Children with low vision need everything they are going to learn from, to be easily accessible - by being well within their limits of perception and understanding.

To listen to Gordon Dutton reading this blog, please click the red circle with a white arrow, below.

All parents and carers want to give their children the best start in life.

Only parents and carers can fully understand their children because it is they who are aware of what each child can take on board, and know what they know. This enables them to make the best of their child's abilities, and to layer in knowledge and understanding.

How do they do this with no prior training, generation after generation?

They achieve it by remembering how they were parented, and from what they have learned from others.

But what happens if their child is different, with limited access to the rich experiences that childhood brings?

How can they adapt their approaches to ensure that their child is not disadvantaged as a result?

They need knowledge and understanding - knowledge about what is limiting their child's ability to perceive and learn, and in depth understanding about how their child is seeing their world.

Children can only learn from what they can see, hear, feel and understand.

To compensate for a child's more limited vision one needs to apply key tools, to adopt key approaches and to provide key environmental features.

The tools include...

  • a profile of how their child is experiencing the world, in terms of what it is their child can see, hear and understand and...
  • a matched set of parenting strategies to help their child to learn to understand and communicate with others, to become mobile and to learn about the world around them

While the approaches involve...

  • patience and understanding, with...
  • dogged commitment to getting the best for their child

and the environment needs...

  • loving support with a sense of happiness and fun and
  • consistent, uncluttered, and comfortable surroundings

My experience of a career in paediatric ophthalmology has shown over and again that children who are brought up in this way, thrive and develop.

But how does one get started? Where can one get information from? Where can one learn the tricks of the trade?

CVI Scotland is a new organisation that aims to empower parents of children with cerebral / cortical visual impairment by helping them to find out for themselves what their children can see, and how to best use this information. It is not a substitute for the work of vision professionals whose role is to diagnose and to follow up children's vision, but it aims to supplement these services by supporting a philosophy of finding out and knowing what affected children can see and using this knowledge to best advantage.

The information on this website is intended to empower parents and carers of children whose visual impairment relates to how their alternative brains function, by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to enhance their children's lives as they make their exciting and fulfilling journey through life together.

Over and again I've seen that when everyone charged with the care of children with cerebral / cortical visual impairment is well informed about how to work constantly inside the frameworks of perception and understanding within which affected children are able to see and make sense of, remarkably positive outcomes come about.

At this stage this website is starting out. The information currently presented has been written by parents and by those affected, for parents and for those affected, with reference made to only reliable sources of information.

I commend this small start to you.

Gordon Dutton, February 2017


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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.