From vision to cognition: potential contributions of cerebral visual impairment to neurodevelopmental disorders.
Source: J Neural Transm (Vienna)
Vision has a crucial role to play in human development and functioning. It is, therefore, not surprising that vision plays a fundamental role in the development of the child. As a consequence, an alteration in visual function is, therefore, likely to hinder the child's development. Although ocular disorders are well known, diagnosed and taken into account, cerebral visual impairments (CVI) resulting from post-chiasmatic damage are largely underdiagnosed. However, among the disorders resulting from an episode of perinatal asphyxia and/or associated with prematurity, or neonatal hypoglycaemia, CVIs are prominent. In this article, we focus on the role of the possible effects of CVI on a child's learning abilities, leading to major difficulty in disentangling the consequences of CVI from other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Although we focus here on the possible overlap between children with CVI and children with other NDD, De Witt et al. (Wit et al. Ear Hear 39:1-19, 2018) have raised exactly the same question regarding children with auditory processing disorders (the equivalent of CVI in the auditory modality). We underline how motor, social and cognitive development as well as academic success can be impaired by CVI and raise the question of the need for systematic evaluation for disorders of vision, visual perception and cognition in all children presenting with a NDD and/or previously born under adverse neurological conditions.