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Diane: Generally, by phase 3, students don't require lighted objects to help them maintain visual attention.  However, use of light is still helpful on near targets such as worksheets and beginner reader books because it continues to draw the student's visual attention toward the target of interest.  There's a variety of lights that can be used.  You might want to try different colors of lights that are now out there.  I found the more natural daylight colors of light to work well with many of the students.  If the student is not distracted by the desk light, a desk light like this can be used and adjusted so that it's shining on the materials.  Usually on a reading stand, when they're flat, remember our students might still have difficulty with their lower visual field.  So often times, it's best to bring the materials up on a reading stand.  If the child is distracted by the desk light, you might have to go to a floor stand model and have it so that the light is shining over the shoulder and on to the materials, so that they're not looking at the light.  They don't see the light.  It's coming from over their shoulder.

Diane: Visual field preferences continue to be an issue even for a student functioning in phase 3.  Lower field loss or neglect may cause problems with mobility, and require orientation in mobility instruction.  When materials are spread out on the classroom table, the student in phase 3 may not notice materials on one side or the other.  When beginning to read, a child in phase 3 who has difficulty with, for example a left visual field, may have a hard time finding the beginning of a line of print.  You can take Avery stick 'em dots, either in red or in yellow, and you can use this to help mark the beginning of a line of print.  You can also use on stairs, different reflective safety tape which you can stick down on the stair to mark that to attract their visual attention to look down low, so that they're not tripping as much over stairs and curbs.

Diane: Students in phase 3 often continue to have difficulty with distance viewing, particularly 10 feet or more away.  In a classroom setting, this can cause difficulties for the student when the teacher is presenting at the board and there is a lot of visual clutter on the board.  They're not clear as to where they're supposed to be looking and what they're supposed to be attending to.  If a distant target, 10 feet or more away, can stand out in some way by either color or movement or by being outlined in black or being lit up, it will be helpful to the student.  Use of a smart board along with powerpoint presentations that include movement are a great way to attract attention and hold visual attention at distance.

Wearing a bright red bathing cap, when you teach a child to swim, helps him to locate you before he pushes off the wall to float towards a parent.  This is an example to use if a child is seated 10 feet away or more and they can't figure out what it is the teacher is trying to get them to attend to, cut a very wide black mat, and use that to block out other things that are on the board and get them to direct their visual attention to the target of interest on the board. 

When they're used to following this black mat many, many times, and they're used to doing that to know where to look, you can reduce it to a smaller size black mat, that's smaller, that just brings their visual attention to the target of interest. And then sometimes the other thing that works with students is using a piece of yellow acetate, and just holding it over to the target of interest.  And this is much easier for the teacher to do, and it draws their visual attention as well.

Diane: Visual complexity is also an area that continues to be an issue into phase 3 for students, and may continue long after most other CVI characteristics have resolved.  While children have less difficulty with complexity on individual targets, they may still need reduced complexity in an array or on a page of materials.  In addition, they may be easily distracted by environmental sounds such as rain on the roof, a squeaky door or a dog barking.  Accidental bumping or touching will also reduce visual attending behavior.

When mobile, as in walking in a line with other classmates from one location to another, students may have difficulty attending to where they are going when there is movement all around, noise from other talking classmates and changes in pavement or terrain.  In a classroom setting, keep in mind that a child with cortical visual impairment, when they're looking at materials, it's something like looking at a Highlights hidden picture.  You know, it's very complex and it helps to have some hints.  So often times, if we just take a black piece of construction paper, and cut out a window, and it will outline what it is that they're supposed to be looking at.  The other thing that can be done, as I mentioned earlier, is use a highlighter to highlight or color in the certain area of interest, or use a red permanent Sharpie marker to outline an area of interest as well.  So rather than having a very complex picture, the student is focusing in on exactly what here she needs to focus in on.  A wide variety of mats can be cut.  Sizes can be cut out of black construction paper, heavy construction paper that helps the child just focus in on what he needs to be attending to.  These are paint chip cards from home depot or Lowe's, and you can cut out... this is another paint chip card in black.  They have nice flat colors.

You can cut out the size window that you need to paint upon the materials that the student is looking at.  This paint chip card happens to have a hole already punched out of it, and sometimes they're the right size.  You can also cut pieces of yellow acetate film.  The yellow ones work well, and sometimes that's all a student needs to help draw their visual attention.  A bright line marker is also helpful to use.

Diane: While a child in phase 3 looks at more colors and patterns, favored colors may still be used to attract visual attention.  This can be compared to how most people are visually drawn to, say, a yellow highlighted sentence. It catches your eye.  Bright favored colors can be used in many ways, particularly in the educational setting.  When teachers are wanting students to write their name on a specific line, they might use a yellow highlighter to mark where the child is to write their name.  It's an eye-catching color. They might also use highlighter tape when they want to stick it down and bring it back up.  Highlighter tape in either red or yellow works really well.