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with Eric Grimmett and Sara Kitchen, Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired.

Sara: We observed Brandon one time and then we had multiple opportunities to directly assess him.  Given that Brandon was unable to engage in visual behaviors for a very long time due to the amount of work he was having to do to look, so we had just a few short sessions with him with direct assessment.  But the first session, we got a lot of information from him actually at the observation.  So let's look at the clips we got when we were videotaping Brandon's regular day in his classroom.

Eric: In this clip, you'll see Brandon engaged in a favorite leisure activity, playing the keyboard.  This is in his classroom under normal conditions after he's completed his morning routines.  Watch how he looks directly up at the light spontaneously, engaging in light gazing in very obvious fashion.

[Video Dialog]

We talked about it but,

yeah--

[Humming]

[end Video Dialog]

Eric: All right, so you'll want to come down to Row 6 on your CVI resolution chart and we'll mark about 1-2 for Brandon on this.

Sara: The next clip involves Brandon again, playing a fun interactive game with his TA, that's very familiar to him.  She has gone to get the whoopee cushion right before the clip starts.  And the whoopee cushion is a pretty, brightly colored, single-colored object that is familiar to Brandon because they do this all the time.  But she brings it into his best visual field from what we know so far which would be on his left side because that's where he has vision.  And he doesn't notice it at all.  As you're gonna see his response, he's pretty surprised.  But again, it's not something that's aversive to him.  You'll see later in the video.  It's something that he really enjoys.  And so, let's just watch this clip.

[Video Dialog]

[Blurts]

[Wheezing]

Oh, goodness. I'm sorry.

[Unclear].

[Mumbling]

Ah! Ah!

Charlie where-- Fetch!

[Mumbles]

[Tapping sounds]

[Laughing]

[end Video Dialog]

Sara: And so we're gonna mark that in complexity.  This is a complexity of environment issue since Brandon is playing, doing his thing,  He's in his zone.  He is not using his vision at all.  So let's mark that in Range 1-2.  Another thing that you're gonna want to note is that yellow is probably not one of his favorite colors.  Because when that thing came into his field, it was moving and it's, you know, one of those colors that's supposed to be, you know, one of the colors that kids with CVI respond to, right?  But it's not.  So yellow, I would say, you know, we're not going towards the yellow range from the information we have so far.

Eric: All right, this clip, you're going to see Brandon traveling down the hallway toward a really motivating activity for him.  And notice when the teacher is actually speaking, saying, "Left, right, left, right," you don't get too much visual activity.  He's really focused on that or auditory input, that stimulus, that's coming through his ears at that time.  Now when we have the teacher become quiet and take away that auditory input, we see Brandon actually raises head up and look about every three steps.  So without that auditory, he's able to use his vision much more effectively.

Sara: And he looks at you and you're a couple of feet away from him at that point, right?

Eric: I'm at least three to four feet away from him at that point, so.

Sara: So we're looking at complexity and distance in this one?

Eric: In this case, yes, definitely.

Sara: This one is one you gotta be really careful when, you know, it's just one of those things that this person, this teacher has bonded with this child.  She's doing things that are motivating for him because Brandon loves that silly kind of engagement.  That's a lot of verbal.  And sometimes you have to, you know, kind of decrease the fun a little bit when you're really wanting somebody to focus on using their vision.  So let's watch this video.

[Video Dialog]

Left.

Left.

Left.

Right.

Left.

Oh, off.

Uh-oh.

We're gonna scrape up

against the wall unless we change course.

[end Video Dialog]

Eric: So in this case, we're looking at visual complexity and at distance.  So you're going to want to mark in Row 5, about a Range 1-2.  And then mark in Row 7 for Distance at about a Range 3-4.  He was able to see me at about 3 to 4-foot distance.

Sara: Oh, it was that far?

Eric: It was, yeah, about three feet.

Sara: Okay.

Eric: And that was a really good point that you made about really balancing, what Brandon is motivated by, and how much we want him to use his vision because he is so much into the social aspect and the connection, being able to communicate on his level with his people.  And we want him to be able to do that but at the same time, we wanna build up his vision.

Sara: Yes.  So in this clip, you're gonna see Brandon getting to the end point of that, of all that walking, and it's a very motivating activity for him.  He talks about it a lot.  He gets to push the button and "button" is one of the words he says.  And the button is blue.  It's a single color.  And another thing that we're gonna look at other than color is complexity.  The background behind the button is very plain.  It's just one color.  So it's a pretty good contrast to the blue button.  One last thing about this is there's a novelty issue and that's something is happening that usually does not happen in his routine.  And that's me, videotaping him.  And so it's probably causing some distraction for him that this shape over here that's moving around, that's not usually there.  So let's look at this video.

[Video Dialog]

Button.

Yeah, that's where we are.

We're at the button.

All you got to do is reach out. You'll totally gonna find it.

I got you. I got you.

You are not gonna fall.

You're not gonna fall.

Here you go.

He's gonna reach in.

There.

[end Video Dialog]

Sara: So let's mark on the resolution chart, Row 1, Range 1-2.  Row 5, Complexity, Range 3-4.  And Row 9, Novelty, Range 1-2.

Eric: This next clip we wanted to show you because it was really the only time that we saw Brandon spontaneously use a visually guided reach.  He's using his reach and his vision at the same time to reach out for this familiar motivating activity, the big blue button. Let's take a look.

[Video Dialog]

Blue.

Are you gonna use that hand? Are you gonna use that hand?

Nice job.

Go ahead and push that button.

Push, push, push.

Push, push, push.

Push, push, push.

Give it a push.

Nice!

Oh, feel that cold air?

[end Video Dialog]

Eric: Okay, for this question, you'll want to come down to Row 10, Visually Guided Reach, and give Brandon a range of 5-6 on this.  He was able to use his vision and his touch at the same time, and also when his teacher was talking.  So he did have auditory stimulus coming in at the same time for this one as well.  Then you'll also want to come down to Row 5 for Visual Complexity and mark Range 3-4.  Both Sara and I were there, right in front of him, and he was still able to focus on that motivating blue button.

Sara: And that is the last clip in the observation.  So now we're going to go to our first direct assessment.