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with Diane Sheline, Independent Consultant, CTVI, CLVT. www.strategytosee.com

Diane: Students in phase 1 are just beginning to use their vision.  They are building visual behaviors.  Initially, they rarely use their vision at all except in the most controlled environments.  They are often very attentive towards light, both window light and light as from a lamp.  They generally require movement of a toy or a target for them to briefly attend.  They have a very difficult time with multi-colored toys and patterns, especially when presented upon a background of multiple colors and patterns.  Many opportunities will need to be given to students functioning at this stage, so that they can practice looking.   

Attention will need to be given to positioning, and this is incredibly important. Working closely with a PT will help in this area.  If the child is in a position where he or she feels insecure or unstable, they will have little interest in using their vision when they are working so hard on their motor skills.  Positioning a child on the floor, use of special head supports, tumble forms and angling wheelchairs into position that allow the student the best use of preferred visual field often works well.