Pediatric Visual Impairments
Children can have either cortical visual impairment (CVI; affecting areas of the brain that process visual information) or ocular visual impairment (affecting the eyes). CVI is the most common cause of visual impairment in children (Hall Lueck & Dutton, 2015). Children with either CVI or ocular impairment benefit significantly from coordinated and comprehensive services to enable them to learn to use their remaining vision more efficiently and to learn nonvisual methods to complete activities. Occupational therapy practitioners work as members of comprehensive rehabilitation teams to address development of gross and fine motor abilities, spatial awareness, and ADLs such as feeding, toileting, dressing, and engaging in play. They work with teachers of the visually impaired and other educators to ensure that the child is able to participate fully in the classroom. The occupational therapy practitioner also assists in the child’s transition into adult life, including vocational preparation and community living.