The assessment of children with cortical visual impairment (CVI)-or with any other condition-needs to begin with the child’s family.

Roman-Lantzy, 2010

Integral to The CVI Range Assessment is the parent survey that asks a student’s parent or caregiver to identify a student’s visual characteristics from infancy to present. In addition to providing information for the assessment, parents or caregivers may also request and require further information about CVI and their child’s interventions as they develop.

When completing the parent survey for The CVI Range Assessment, the following guidelines serve to focus and lead an educational team. They are:

  • Families are valued as full members of the educational team.
  • A family-centered approach is essential.
  • Parents know their children best and provide valuable information.
  • Parents are reliable and accurate reporters of their children’s vision-related behaviors (Roman-Lantzy, 1996).
  • Professionals have knowledge about and are respectful of families’ cultural and ethnic characteristics.
  • Realistic hope and shared optimism are important.

Edelman et. al., 2006

The parent interview is a critical first step in gathering assessment data on the child’s use of vision.  It is important to never underestimate the value of a parent’s information regarding their child.  Christine Roman-Lantzy (p. 31-39) discusses the importance and the process of conducting a parent interview to inform the assessment and intervention stages addressing the implications of CVI.  In the following excerpts from an interview she conducted with a Bridge Bridge School student’s mom, it is clear how informed and knowledgeable the mom is about her child and, in particular, about his vision.

Establish the purpose of the interview prior to beginning the questioning

Explain the importance of the interview and how it fits into the whole assessment and intervention process

Get information about the child from the parent’s perspective

During this interview, The Bridge School staff learned things about Adam that they did not know and would not have easily discovered.

The interview proceeded with Christine Roman-Lantzy gathering the information she would need to continue the assessment process. The parent reported that, through trial and error, they discovered what colors Adam preferred, where an object needed to be placed in order to gain his visual attention and what input they needed to provide to give him the language associated with what he was viewing. The responses on the parent interview were confirmed during the direct assessment and during observations of his behavior in the classroom.