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What is Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)?

Sep 01st, 2023 | by Lauern Kallmeyer

Lauern Kallmeyer

September 01st, 2023

What is Cortical Visual Impairment? 

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is a neurological condition that affects an individual’s brain’s ability to process and interpret visual information. It is one of the leading causes of visual impairments in the paediatric population.

What Causes Cortical Visual Impairment?

CVI results from damage or dysfunction in an individual’s visual processing pathways in their brain, most commonly the visual cortex. Damage to one’s visual pathways can be caused by various factors or conditions, such as trauma, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and hypoxic-ischemic injury.

What Are Some Common Symptoms of Cortical Visual Impairment?

  • Reduced visual curiosity
  • Nervous interacting in new environments or with new items
  • Increased visual attraction to lights, windows, or ceiling fans
  • Find it challenging to find an object in a busy environment or difficulty reaching for an object
  • Difficulty making eye contact or recognizing familiar faces
  • Preference for certain colours

What Are Some Treatment Options for Cortical Visual Impairment?

Early intervention should commence as soon as a CVI diagnosis is made, as it can help with significant improvements in fine motor skills, gross motor development, and communication. A physiotherapist can assist in recommending and finding appropriate mobility aids such as walkers.

  • Physiotherapists also focus on improving mobility, strength, and endurance whilst adapting environments to ensure they accommodate the kid’s needs, such as a dark room and bright lights.
  • Occupational therapists focus on assisting one’s sensory processing and visual functioning to assist the kid’s participation and independence in activities of daily living and engagement with peers.
  • Speech therapists assist with developing expressive and receptive language and exploring different communication devices appropriate for the child and their needs.


About the Author

While in high school, Lauren discovered her love and passion for working and surrounding herself with children, which led her to study occupational therapy. Throughout university, Lauren volunteered at overnight and day camps for children with disabilities and worked as a support worker, where she further developed her passion. Lauren is committed to working alongside other therapists and families to help children reach their goals in a fun environment. When she is not at work, Lauren loves being outdoors, especially at the beach and hanging out with her friends.

About NAPA Centre 

Learn about acquired brain injury (ABI) therapy options at NAPA Centre Australia.NAPA specialises in working with children with physical and neurological delays. In addition to working with children with more common diagnoses such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, NAPA has a special interest and expertise with children with rare, multiple and complex conditions. NAPA Centre’s Intensive Model of Therapy (IMOT) is world-renowned, and one of the leading clinics in Australia for paediatric therapy programs with a large multi-discliplinary team of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists all working together. Families routinely travel from all parts of Sydney, the NSW region, from across Australia and even from the Australasian region to access NAPA’s unique and effective programs for their children.

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