Neonatal Assessment Visual European Grid (NAVEG)
As the first and only pediatric blindness organization in the Rocky Mountain region committed to serving children during their most critical developmental years, we recognize the importance of developing a reliable, evidence-based Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) screening protocol for newborns and infants with a suspected CVI diagnosis.
In July 2018, we launched a new research initiative seeking to improve early screening, assessment, and intervention services for young children with the brain-based visual impairment known as Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). CVI is a condition in which the eyes are healthy, but the brain is unable to interpret visual information. Considered the leading cause of pediatric visual impairment in the developed world and originating from a wide spectrum of cognitive impairments and neurological damage, CVI is seen as one of the most concerning public health issues of our time.
Anchor Center’s team of vision experts are working to address this critical issue. Led by Anchor’s Director of Research, Dr. Cathy Smyth, and in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, we conducted a groundbreaking study to determine whether the NAVEG Screening Instrument can indicate the presence of CVI in premature newborns who a especially at risk for this brain based impairment. Our research team is the first in the U.S. to be approved to provide NAVEG screenings in hospitals for babies under 9 months – a process we consider crucial to ensuring children with CVI receive treatment as early as possible. We are excited to expand this research study in partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2023. Once screened, qualifying children are referred to Anchor Center for formal assessment (using the Neonatal Assessment Visual European Grid or NAVEG instrument) and early intervention. These efforts are key to our new and groundbreaking research initiative – spearheaded by Dr. Smyth and Dr. King – to evaluate the impact of early CVI screening, assessment, intervention, and education for young children.
Anchor Center has received immense recognition and interest regarding the NAVEG screening from across the nation. To date we have trained over 100 pediatric interventionists and healthcare professionals on the application and use of NAVEG, including 3 hospitals, 4 state early intervention systems, and 4 private early intervention providers.
With an ever-expanding expertise in the CVI field, Anchor Center is now well-positioned to become a leading resource for similar organizations – both nationwide and across the globe.
From Hospital to Home: Using Early Visual Functioning to Support Families
WEBINAR: Early visual skills in pre-term and full-term infants are an early sensory system to develop to support the infant’s learning potential. In this presentation, Dr. Catherine Smyth, Director of Research at Anchor Center for Blind Children, will describe the project, and report on their current findings.