Written by: Kara Baskin
We’re so glad you’re here. We know that parenting a baby or toddler is hard. Navigating a CVI diagnosis makes it even more challenging. Fortunately, you can receive free support right away with Early Intervention (EI) services in your state. Our series shows you how.
EI is designed for babies and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, including CVI. It offers young children and their families free services, ranging from physical and cognitive skill development to social, emotional, and self-help strategies.
Here’s our helpful overview.
At Perkins, we often talk about neuroplasticity. This is our brain’s miraculous ability to change structural and functional organization in response to development, experience, or the environment. Our brains are most sensitive before age seven. When the brain is young, it’s even more malleable, which is why EI is so important.
With EI, babies and toddlers can improve:
Our series speaks to your whole experience as a new CVI parent. It offers practical knowledge, science-backed information, and emotional insight. You’ll learn:
CVI is often one piece of a child’s complex diagnosis. It’s frequently found among kids with other types of brain involvement or metabolic issues, such as cerebral palsy, autism, and Rett Syndrome. This means that CVI is sometimes overlooked during the EI process. We’ll teach you how to work with EI providers on CVI-specific strategies as an effective collaborator and champion.
Your child can access information in so many ways! Building compensatory skills won’t take away from vision use, and visual skills aren’t a prerequisite for access and learning. We’ll show you how to leverage EI to improve other pathways for learning, so your child can access their world in the way that suits them.
We’ll share empathy-filled, candid advice and strategies from other CVI parents. You’ll learn how to explain a CVI diagnosis to your family, how to exist in survival mode, tips for routine-building, and where to find supportive networks and resources. You’re not alone.
Last but definitely not least, we’ll show you how to transition from the EI years into a school setting.
Your child has a right to EI services
EI services are available through the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Part C of IDEA applies to EI services. If you believe that your child isn’t receiving appropriate services through IDEA, you’re entitled to file a formal complaint. The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education offers comprehensive information about dispute resolution options.
We’re always updating our library with new resources, so check back often–and subscribe to our CVI Now newsletter for updates.