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with Diane Sheline, Independent Consultant, CTVI, CLVT.

Diane: Students functioning in phase 3 are working on resolution of the CVI characteristics that remain in effect.  Generally, students functioning in this range still tend to have difficulty with complexity.  Particularly when presented with a complex array, complexity at distance, and/or complexity in the sensory environment.  They also may continue to have difficulty with distance viewing and difficulty with visual field.  Attending to visual targets in lower visual field may continue to be difficult, and this often interferes with mobility and activities in the educational setting.

Diane: Children will generally indicate their readiness to look at new novel objects when they independently look at new targets during day-to-day activities.  Parents, caretakers and teachers should continue to encourage looking behavior towards new novel items by bringing along some element of the students preferred target and attach it to the new target.  Let me explain how that might work.  Say the child's preferred target early on is a red Mylar-like gift bag.  As you want him to expand to look at new targets, you might cut a piece of that gift bag and attach it to the next target you'd like him to take a look at, so that some Mylar gift bag-ness is still attached to the new target that they're looking at.  And so in this case, maybe some of that Mylar gift bag-ness is attached to Elmo.  And so now he has a bigger target to look at, but he still has a little bit of that Mylar gift bag-ness. And now, the parent is wanting to start to introduce books and to read some bedtime stories to the child, but rather than skipping to an Elmo book because he's looking at Elmo, and he has the red tie, and they want to skip right to the book, you might do an intermediate step.  And buy two of these books or three of these books, cut apart the pictures and keep them simple.   And again, attach some of that red Mylar gift bag-ness to the pictures that came out of the book.  And so that you can still tell a story, but there's not a lot of visual clutter through here.  And as you go through the story about Elmo, he still has some gift bag-ness attached with the reflectiveness, and there's not a lot of visual clutter all over the page.  It's just about Elmo and you can tell the story as we're progressing towards a book-like presentation.  And then finally, of course, you would hope that they would be able to attend well to the book.

Diane: Movement will continue to be an important characteristic in phase 2, especially when a new activity is introduced.  Slight movement can be used to help a student locate a target, and get her attention.  Rolling a brightly colored ball on dark carpeting will encourage children to move and get the ball.

Diane: Generally, the child in phase 2 is still attracted to light, but attention can be redirected.  He may not have be turned away from a bright window when working on a visual task.  Continue to use light pairing techniques, but shine the light on the target of interest from behind the student, so the light does not distract him.  In this example, we might be encouraging the student to touch Elmo's mouth to get him to make a noise.

[Veideo Clip]

Elmo: Elmo!

[end Video Clip]

Diane: Visual of field preferences continues to play a large part in attending behavior.  While the child is usually better at scanning and looking in phase 2, educators will still need to be careful when presenting targets in the lower visual field.  Now highly motivating targets can be presented in several different fields, which will encourage looking behavior.  But when it's important that the student see the target, presented in the preferred visual field, there's a variety of slant boards out there that can be adjusted to help bring targets into their field.  And in this case, we're going to use a power link, which should not be in their visual field at all.  It should be hidden and not distracting.  And you bring the power switch, you attach the power switch up to a mac button.  If the child can press the button, they can get to see the light.  So you have to adjust both of them so that they are both in their field of view.  If they're going to use a visually guided reach and touch for the button, make sure it's in his field of view, and then the light that they're able to turn on is also in their field of view.