Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the infant brain. This damage can involve not only the motor parts of the brain, but also the parts that deal with vision. This is not related to damage to the eye but is related to damage of the parts of the brain that process visual information.
When an infant has a visual impairment, our goal is to optimize the environment, to maximize whatever visual abilities they have.
In early development, some ways we can optimize the environment of the babies is:
- Keeping the environment very consistent for them
- Using contrasted toys and objects for the baby
- Keeping the object within reach so that the child can explore on his own
By optimizing the environment of these babies, we allow them to use whatever vision they have to promote neural development in all its aspects, from cognition to sensory motor function, to communication and language.
Visual problems are common in children with cerebral palsy. In most of them there's at least some visual abilities and we can support them to explore and experience the world.
"When an infant has a visual impairment, our goal is to optimize the environment."