A comparison of the effectiveness of prompting procedures for increasing a visual-motor response within a functional life skill in students who have cortical visual impairment
Farrenkopf, Carol Elizabeth
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Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is the result of damage to the posterior visual pathways. As a resuh, the visual cortex has difficulty interpreting what the eyes perceive. Years ago, it was believed that children with CVI were blind and that little could be done to improve their vision. The present study demonstrated that adolescents with CVI were able to improve their ability to perform a visual-motor response within a functional skill. A single subject alternating treatments design across two settings (school and home) was used to examine the effectiveness of verbal and physical prompting procedures on the visual-motor responses of four adolescents with CVI. This study consisted of three phases: baseline, intervention (divided into two sub-phases) and maintenance. Each of the subjects received a specific intervention that was relevant to his/her life, included the use of a functional object, took place during an appropriate time of day, and was based on the principles of CVI. All four subjects demonstrated an improvement in their ability to perform a visual-motor response. When compared, the effectiveness of the physical and verbal prompting techniques varied for each subject. Two subjects displayed better visualmotor responses to a functional object when the verbal prompting technique was used, while the physical prompt was more effective for the other two subjects. Subjects 1, 3, and 4 showed a dramatic improvement in visual-motor responses in both the school and in the home, while Subject 2 showed dramatic improvement at home and only marginal improvement at school. The results of this study showed that adolescents with CVI can learn how to see a functional object and then respond to it motorically when the environment and task are designed to meet the unique visual needs of individuals with CVI. Further replication of this study is necessary to increase the generalizability of the results. Replication of this study with a larger sample, older individuals with CVI, younger children with CVI, different prompting procedures, different target behaviors, or within different settings will likely yield interesting results.