Blogs & News

Gordon Dutton’s Blog (2) Is CVI a medical condition or a different normal?

  • CVI is a medical condition but does not have a medical treatment
  • It’s important to change from thinking of CVI as ‘a medical condition’ to ‘a special unique normal’ as we all are
  • Everyone can enjoy life, not least those with CVI and their families

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

The role of medical thinking in cerebral visual impairment: its strengths and limitations.

Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) arising at birth, during early in life, or during teenage years, has many origins. Medically CVI can be looked at in a number of ways:

  • Is the cause of the visual difficulties CVI?
  • What caused the condition? Was it genetic, or was it acquired? Can this be prevented for a future child?
  • Which structures in the brain were affected, in what way and in what pattern?
  • How were the ways in which the brain works affected?
  • What was the outcome in terms of functions?

While very important, most of these issues can be covered during a small number of visits to the paediatrician and the ophthalmologist.

In most cases, apart from where epilepsy is causing cerebral visual impairment, the condition does not have a medical treatment.

It is either during or before the stage of realisation that the specialties of medicine have no therapy to offer, that it can be good to change one's way of thinking about the condition.

Is it a medical condition, or is it normal?

This is when one needs to have another way of thinking about CVI, a way separate from the medical way of thinking:

  • for the person with early onset CVI, life with CVI is normal
  • for those whose onset is in childhood or during early teenage years (or older), it will become a new normal.

If that's the case what can be done about it?

The clear answer is for everyone to have a positive, forward looking attitude and approach, matched to the unique needs of the affected individual. One that seeks out ways to enhance all aspects of life, whether this is through social engagement, having fun, enjoying music, entertainment, learning, movement, or the many other rich elements of life.

Everyone can enjoy life, not least those with CVI.

This website aims to empower carers and parents to create the conditions that will bring out the best for their children (and their siblings) through family centred knowledge, and by using that knowledge and understanding to ensure that the young person with CVI, is truly part of the family, has a great time, learns a lot, and gets the best out of life.

By understanding their child's vision and related behaviours, parents and carers can not only enrich their children's lives, but they become positive informed advocates for their child.

We believe that this process starts straight away, and that the medical aspects, while fully taken on board, are secondary to having a happy and rich family life.

Children develop best in an integrated family, where they are loved, fully understood, and the understanding is extended to making sure that all their needs are accommodated in a way that is positive, dynamic and fulfilling. This can only come through everyone knowing everyone else's strengths and abilities, and taking them into account, in spite of any 'weaknesses'.

This is one reason why this website is not at first aiming to give medical advice, but rather it seeks to empower those affected by CVI, parents, carers, families and friends, by adding to their knowledge and understanding of how to make the best of family life, as this provides the best environment in which those with CVI can thrive.


Your generous donations will be put to immediate use in supporting our charity...

Donate Here

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.