Empowering access in daily life: CVI, sensory processing, and independent living

Nikoletta Livingston, OT, discusses our sensory systems and their interplay with CVI.

CVI Now hosted a live virtual event on CVI and sensory processing, held on June 15, 2021. Nikoletta Livingston, an OT at Perkins with a passion for CVI, presented and answered parent questions about 

The biggest takeaway: Access to learning and the environment must begin with supporting sensory regulation by addressing the foundational sensory needs (interoceptive, proprioceptive, and vestibular). Only then can the next level of sensory processing engage (auditory, tactile, visual, etc.). From there, more skills and systems can grow and build toward independent living skills and educational progress.

Access runs deep for our kids with CVI—it’s about supporting sensory regulation, developing educational programming matched to assessment, modifying the environment, and adapting the learning tasks for full multisensory access. 

Pyramid of learning and development with 8 sensory systems identified

The Pyramid of Learning and Development (adapted by Livingston) provides a framework to think about the flow of learning and development in relation to sensory systems and skill-building.

Our sensory systems are highly interconnected with significant overlap. Each system is related and builds a foundation for learning. 

Nikoletta Livingston is an occupational therapist in the Perkins Secondary Program, with a particular interest in CVI. Nikoletta loves to collaborate with educational teams and families to explore creative methods of supporting students as they work to attain greater independence in daily living skills.

Tune in to more Expert Q&As: CVI and Adapted Physical Education and Accessible and meaningful learning for students with CVI

CVI parents: got questions? Join the CVI Now Parent Group to ask your questions, access live virtual events, and connect with other families.