A qualitative exploration of the early signs of cerebral visual impairment in preschool children
Schraauwers R., van Genderen M., Bals I., Dekker-Pap M., Pilon-Kamsteeg F., Vancleef K.
Aim: To explore which signs in visual functioning and visual behaviour in preschool children at risk for cerebral visual impairment (CVI) can potentially be early signs for a diagnosis at a later age.Methods: Thematic analysis of interviews with seven experts in the field of CVI and of a focus group with nine parents of five children with confirmed or suspected CVI.Results: Our experts and parents identified five likely early signs of CVI in preschool children with developmental impairments and brain injury who are at risk for CVI. They suggest that preschool children with CVI display atypical ways of coping with complex situations and of navigating their surroundings. Children also show impaired multisensory integration according to our interviewees. Furthermore, their visual responses often vary even when the stimulus remains the same or they might display impairments in visual recognition and identification.Interpretation: We have proposed five signs in visual functioning and visual behaviour in preschool children at risk for CVI that may be early signs for a diagnosis of CVI at a later age. This exploration can guide future retrospective and longitudinal research on diagnosing CVI at a young age. Early diagnosis and subsequent early intervention have a positive impact on learning and development of infants with disabilities.