The recovery process following a cortical visual impairment diagnosis will depend on the cause of your child’s cortical visual impairment. Common causes of cortical visual impairment in infants and young children include: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in full-term babies Periventricular leukomalacia in premature babies Viral meningitis Each cause that can contribute to cortical visual impairment will have…
How is Cortical Visual Impairments Treated?
Treatments for infants and children with Cortical Visual Impairments are centered around rehabilitation and education. Children with Cortical Visual Impairments will need the services of trained, experienced teachers.
In conjunction with other therapists and assistive devices, additional support services may be required when your son or daughter reaches school age. If your child has a visual field defect, they might also experience impairments in visually guided mobility and spatial orientation. Once your son or daughter reaches the age where they are independently mobile, they should receive evaluation and instruction by a certified orientation and mobility instructor.
Children with Cortical Visual Impairments may be referred to their local state services for visually impaired children. This referral should happen very shortly after a definitive diagnosis is reached. In addition, specific recommendations will be made based on your child’s measurable visual abilities like their visual acuity and visual fields. These recommendations will be given to you, to your child’s therapists, and to their teachers.
Types of Visual Difficulties Your Son or Daughter Could Experience
It can be difficult to take in the full scope of what Cortical Visual Impairment means for your child. Understanding its full meaning can make it easier to understand how Cortical Visual Impairments are treated. The following descriptions may help guide and enhance your understanding of Cortical Visual Impairment in your son or daughter:
- Visual Motor Disturbances refer to the way your child moves their eyes to direct their visual attention to a specific object. It can also refer to the way they fixate on an object of interest and the way they shift their fixation and gaze to new objects. Visual motor disturbances also help your child complete tasks that rely on their fine motor tasks like copying a picture.
- Visual Spatial Disturbances refer to the way your child understands the localization of objects. It can also affect the way your child forms judgments about direction, the distance of objects, and how they orient their body in relation to the physical world around them.
- Visual Perceptual Disturbances refer to the way your baby discriminates, recognizes, and integrates visual images and objects.
Brain damage in children with Cortical Visual Impairment is diffuse, meaning children with CVI might demonstrate dorsal pathway difficulties and visual motor and visual spatial difficulties. Visual motor disturbances will be more evident during your child’s early development and some aspects of abnormal reaching and visual avoidance may be impacted. Some children with minimal visual acuity loss might display specific difficulties in visual perception or spatial orientation as they mature. Specific visual cognitive dysfunctions are typical of children who experience a traumatic brain injury.
How Birth Injury Led to Brain Damage in Your Child
A hypoxic ischemic injury can cause brain damage at any age. Neonatal hypoxic ischemia occurs only in babies and is defined as asphyxia of the umbilical blood supply to your baby that occurs at or after your unborn child reaches thirty-six weeks of gestation. When this injury occurs earlier in your pregnancy, it is then described as perinatal hypoxia ischemia.
Hypoxia ischemia is the leading cause of death and disability in newborns. Infants with hypoxia ischemia commonly experience persistent disabilities such as persistent motor disabilities and cognitive or sensory disorders. Many infants show signs of hypoxic ischemic brain injuries each year.
The Most Common Symptoms of Cortical Visual Impairment
Like all parents, the birth of your child likely filled you with excitement. When you notice signs and symptoms indicating a problem, you want answers as soon as possible. Initially, you might notice a lack of social gaze and direct eye contact from your son or daughter. They may actively avoid or withdraw from unfamiliar visual stimulation like other people's faces and might seemingly prefer touch over vision.
You might also notice that your child responds more positively to voices and music and may reach for objects without seeming to notice the object or their own hand. They might show inconsistent responses to the same visual stimuli, seem tiredness from visual tasks, or have difficulty seeing an object on a busy background.
If you notice these symptoms in your son or daughter, seek medical help immediately. Your child’s doctor may take notice of more clinical symptoms like an abnormal response to light, blunt or absent social gazing, poor visual acuity, and visual field. A definitive diagnosis can start your child on the road to having their Cortical Visual Impairments treated and can help you plan for their future.
File a Birth Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of Your Child
The process of having Cortical Visual Impairments treated in your child helps you begin to prepare for a future that might seem uncertain. Your child deserves the treatment plan that assures the best outcome for them. An attorney can help you receive the financial compensation you need to provide your child with the care they deserve. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to speak to a lawyer near you today.