Early Intervention for children with CVI

Early Intervention helps ensure appropriate educational programming for children and places them on the path to accessible learning.

A young girl smiling while swinging on a swing set

Phew! You’ve made it through the stress, confusion, doctor’s appointments, what-ifs, and suspicions—and you finally know that your child has a Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) diagnosis.

Now it’s time to learn about CVI interventions, also known as educational programming. For kids with CVI, educational programming is critical. The brain is constantly evolving and adapting based on circumstance and environment—a concept known as neuroplasticity. With the right CVI intervention strategies, your child might be able to use his vision in a meaningful way.

Is your child already getting services? If so, be sure to let everyone working with him know about the CVI diagnosis and ask for re-assessments/evaluations to be completed by a TVI.  Early intervention and assessment will help your child access information and foster their development, furthering the path to learning. Continue advocating for your child.

Find more resources and helpful information on the CVI Now Early Intervention Series home page.

Eliza, a little girl with CVI, wearing glasses in a swing

What is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention (EI) describes the services and supports for babies and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities. It supports young children and their families with free services, ranging from physical and cognitive skills to social, emotional, and self-help strategies.

CVI intervention strategies can support your child in improving:

EI is important because it targets kids when they’re still developing—brains are especially plastic when they’re young, especially under 5. The sooner you begin intervention, the sooner you can help your child learn.

Two teachers entertain a student with CVI using lights and soft noises

How are services different for kids with CVI?

Kids with CVI require customized educational programming that blends educational and medical support, based on their current vision.

Here are a few things to remember as you begin the CVI intervention process:

A teacher watches a student place cards on a dark felt board

Who provides services?

Great question! Because CVI intervention strategies in educational programming are team-oriented and no two kids are the same, several specialists will likely work with your child. This team is developed based on your child’s individual needs, and it’s likely that there will be several team members to support your child in your home.

Specialists might include an Early Intervention Specialist, Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI), Occupational and/or Physical Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologist, Orientation & Mobility Consultant, and Assistive Technology Specialist. We’re here to help you build that Superstar CVI Team your child deserves.

How to get services

Obtaining a CVI diagnosis is the crucial first step to beginning services, however, there’s not a standard approach to how states provide CVI interventions. Learn more about your state’s rules and reach out to your area’s early intervention agency to start the process.

Find more resources and helpful information on the CVI Now Early Intervention Series home page.

Learn more about Perkins’ Infant-Toddler Program, which offers vital educational services and family support for every visually impaired child.

Jack kneels to pose with his guide dog, a yellow lab named Laredo.

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Boy wearing glasses looks toward their teacher while engaging with learning materials

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