Cortical Visual Impairments affect the development of an infant because Cortical visual impairment is a primary cause of blindness in children. In child development, vision precedes action with most infants experiencing a visual relationship with their environment before learning to act in it. Infants up to eighteen months of age typically display a compulsive response to reach, grasp, and manipulate small objects in front of them—both a motor and visual behavior.
The development and growth of your child’s perceptual and motor skills include spatial orientation, hand-to-eye, foot-to-eye, and hand-to-foot-to-eye coordination. It also includes balance and body awareness and is dependent on an effective visual system and good control of your child’s eye muscles.
Cerebral Visual Impairment is damage or malfunction of the visual pathways or visual centers in your child’s brain. Rather than a single diagnosis, Cerebral Visual Impairment is a catchall term for a variety of visual impairments due to brain damage or dysfunction and is a developmental coordination disorder.
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Developmental Coordination Disorder
Developmental coordination disorder is a catchall term for several types of motor deficits. It is a childhood disorder that leads to poor coordination and clumsiness. If your child has developmental coordination disorder, he might have difficulty holding things and have an unsteady gait. Your child may also bump into other children or trip over his own feet.
Developmental coordination disorder can be a standalone condition or can occur along with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning disorders like communication disorders or disorders of written expression. Symptoms of developmental coordination disorder include:
- Problems with motor coordination
- Delays in sitting up, crawling, and walking
- Problems sucking and swallowing
- Difficulty with gross motor skill coordination
- Problems with visual or fine motor coordination
Treatment for developmental coordination disorder can include physical education and perceptual motor training. While developmental coordination disorder will not worsen over time, most cases will continue into adulthood.
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Fine and Gross Motor Skills
As your child ages, cognitive development skills include personal development and social development as your child learns to adjust to society and its demands. These skills help your child establish and maintain independence. Typical development of gross motor skills includes:
- The use of the large muscles in their arms and legs
- The ability to stand alone by age one
- The ability to walk by twelve to fifteen months
- The ability to climb steps with assistance by eighteen months
- The ability to jump in place by age two
Fine motor skills require the use of the small muscles in your child’s fingers and hands. Typical development of fine motor skills includes:
- The ability to scribble by eighteen months
- The ability to use a spoon by age two
- The ability to copy a circle by age two
- The ability to makes towers consisting of four cubes by age two
If you believe Cortical Visual Impairments affect the development of your infant, your child’s doctor will be able to measure and assess their gross and fine motor skills and create a treatment plan for any perceived developmental delays.
How a Child with Cortical Visual Impairments Is Evaluated and Monitored
A child who has been diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment will have a thorough eye exam and objective assessment of their visual abilities. Your child’s visual acuity can be extremely poor in infancy and remain poor as they age. Some children may have a gradual improvement in visual acuity. In most children with Cortical Visual Impairment, acuity will not reach normal levels.
Rehabilitation and education are critical for children with Cortical Visual Impairments. Specialized services from trained, experienced teachers are important for your child’s development and education. Your son or daughter with this diagnosis should receive a prompt referral to your state’s services for visually impaired children. They will also be given specific recommendations based on a clinical assessment of their visual abilities including visual acuity and visual fields.
Your child’s teacher should assess their broader visual behaviors. Along with other therapists, they should design interventions that meet your child’s specific needs as well as provide support services for when your son or daughter reaches school age.
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When your son or daughter is diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment, you are set on a course of fully understanding their condition and the effect it might have on their growth and development. Understanding how Cortical Visual Impairments affect the development of an infant is the first step on your journey to providing the best medical care for your child.
Your child deserves the best medical care. You deserve to be able to provide it for them. When you are ready to discuss your options for financial compensation, contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group by calling (800) 222-9529.