In a recent contest we held on Facebook, we asked our fans to answer the following question: What do children with cortical visual impairment see best?
Here are the results:
20% of our participants answered that black and white images are best. In fact, we very often come across the notion that using black and white books, toys and pictures is best for kids with cortical visual impairment (CVI). This is NOT true! It is a very common and troubling misconception as many parents are told by well-meaning doctors and therapists to use a lot of black and white with their children with CVI.
While some children with CVI may respond to black and white over time, it will always be MUCH easier for them to see color. Color, especially highly saturated color, is incredibly important for children with CVI because color vision is usually preserved. The parts of the brain that are used to look at color are located deep in the brain on both sides, making those areas harder to damage. Red and yellow are very often the first colors that a child with CVI will see, though we know many children who prefer bright orange, green, blue or other highly saturated colors. Remember that the goal in CVI interventions is to provide the child with many opportunities to use the vision that she has. Unlike physical therapy, for example, the idea is not to challenge the child beyond her current abilities, but to give her frequent chances to use her vision, which will then allow it to grow and expand on its own. For many children with CVI, black and white is simply too difficult.
Even though 21% of participants got the answer wrong, we are THRILLED that 79% got it right! Help us keep educating and spreading the word!