Parents share how their children with CVI show visual fatigue

It’s imperative to understand the signs of fatigue specific to each individual with CVI.

Boy with CVI with noise canceling ear phones watching his favorite video on the iPad

Individuals with CVI show fatigue in a myriad of ways. The medical and educational teams for each child with CVI must understand the compounding effects of visual fatigue and implement strategies and supports to reduce visual fatigue and increase access. There is a neurological and physiological reason why individuals with CVI develop fatigue. Read the first part in this series: The science behind visual fatigue and CVI.

It’s imperative to understand the signs of fatigue specific to each individual with CVI. Parents have the most observational data of their child with CVI and know what fatigue looks like.

In the CVI Now Parents group, we asked “What are your child’s signs of visual fatigue and fatigue in general?” Here are some of the responses: 

Girl with CVI under a colorful blanket that is covering her face with crackers and her favorite toy

Some other examples of signs of fatigue can include: resting head in hands, pushing all items out of view, asking for a snack or preferred activity, running away, walking to the corner of the room, looking away, closing eyes and appear to be sleeping, head down, talks, sings, or tells jokes to change the interaction to an auditory event, fidgets and plays with objects in near, yells, grabs, or shows other outward behaviors.

Behavior is communication. Fatigue is a key contributor to visual difficulties associated with CVI. Ellen Mazel wrote a blog post, Beyond the CVI Meltdown, that discussed what certain behaviors from students with CVI might be communicating. Mazel wrote, “if teams understood CVI, they would understand these behaviors as communication. They would know why these children were distracting and avoiding.” 

Learn about ideas to help reduce visual fatigue. Hint: It’s all about accessibility. 

Dive into the Perkins eLearning webinar on CVI and Visual Fatigue presented by Rachel Bennett for the CVI for the TVI series.

Check out a parent’s blog post about CVI and fatigue, Drink before you’re thirsty, at

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