Saturday, September 19, 2009


It has been raining for a week and it is supposed to keep raining! I was feeling a little stir-crazy this morning and was ready to get out of the house. Luckily, the Gillilands were feeling the same way, so we all headed to the Montreat playground for a picnic and some playtime.

While Julie and I sat with Shelby and Aubrey....

Harding and Derek splashed and played and got absolutely soaked!

Good times. :)

And now for a Shelby update. We went to see the new ophthalmologist on Thursday. I'm very happy to report that when the nurse turned off the lights, Shelby was able to track a flashing light toy back and forth. This is the first time I have seen her track anything--she does have some vision!! Unfortunately, after the doctor dilated Shelby's eyes, she noticed a paling of the optic nerve. This means that there is some damage to the optic nerve--we don't yet know to what extent. We're definitely sad about this because it means that even if Shelby can overcome the cortical vision impairment with her brain, she'll never have perfect vision because of the optical impairment. I'm willing myself to focus on the fact that she is seeing something though!
Yesterday, Karen from the Governor Morehead Preschool came over to meet with Molly (our Early Intervention Service Coordinator) and me. We mostly filled out a bunch of initial paperwork and talked, so there wasn't enough time to do a functional visual assessment on Shelby. Karen said that she is not accustomed to working with CVI children so young--usually that diagnosis happens when a child is 1 or 2 years old. The fact that Shelby's impairment was identified so early will definitely work in our favor. She also told me that most children with a cortical vision impairment improve with time. She explained that people with CVI sometimes get visually overwhelmed. For example: a person with normal vision might go into Super Wal-mart and feel a little overstimulated and stressed out, but a person with CVI might get so visually overwhelmed that they would be unable to see much at all, even if they have some sight in familiar environments. Another interesting thing about CVI is that often the peripheral vision is better than looking straight at something. A child with CVI will often look at something, then look away before touching it. Karen gave us a dvd to watch on cortical visual impairment, plus I've ordered a book on Amazon that is supposed to be helpful.
Karen will be working with us to find toys that Shelby will be able to see better. Shelby will at first need solid-colored (especially red) or shiny metallic toys that will stand out. Eventually we might be able to move to two-colored toys. She'll also be able to see them better against a solid background. John and Barbara have already made us a black felt board for this purpose. We also need to be careful about putting Shelby on the ground on dark solid blankets instead of light-colored or patterned ones. I think that the Governor Morehead preschool is going to be a really good resource for us and I'm ready to get started with working on Shelby's vision. Karen is coming out again on Tuesday.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful news! I am so glad to hear that she has some vision :)