Chrissy Cowan Listen to Chrissy Cowan’s thoughts on the benefits of a parent/professional collaboration on visual efficiency skills.


My name’s Crissy Cowan. I am an Education Specialist with the Education Service Center Region 13 in Austin, Texas.

What do you believe are the benefits of a parent/professional collaboration related to the expanded core curriculum?

I believe that the parents and professionals make a stronger team together, but I also want to include the child in there. Particularly when it comes to visual efficiency.

The visual demands outside of school are more varied. And since the parent is there to witness that, they’re there for that “teachable moment.” In education, the “teachable moment” is when something comes up, you happen to be walking down the sidewalk, and a butterfly appears, and the child has never seen a butterfly. That’s a teachable moment, and you want to take advantage of it wherever you can because that’s when learning is the strongest for the child.

So the parent is going to be the one that is there for many more teachable moments than the professional. If the parent has the basic framework for understanding the parameters of their child’s visual performance and needs as well as ways to modify the environment, they can expand the arena in which the child performs. And the child, too, knows their vision better than anybody, and they have to be a part of advocating for what they’re going to need to be able to access the environment.