Irlen Syndrome affects an estimated 12-14% of the general population including gifted students and good readers. Individuals with Irlen Syndrome find that lighting, contrast, glare, print size, the amount of print on the page, and the demand for continuous performance and comprehension can negatively affect their ability to read and do other visually-intensive activities.
Individuals with Irlen Syndrome put more energy and effort into reading and other visual activities because they perceive visual information differently. Unconscious adaptation are used in an effort to control these misconceptions. This can cause strain, fatigue, and discomfort. Additionally, misperceptions can affect reading rate and accuracy and limit the length of time that an individual can read with comprehension.
Irlen Syndrome can affect academic performance in areas such as copying, writing, math computations, spelling, and computer use. Attention, concentration, performance, and motivation may also be affected.
Many individuals with Irlen Syndrome experience strain, fatigue, headaches, or physical symptoms when reading or even just sitting under fluorescent lights.
Some individuals with Irlen Syndrome are unaware that they misperceive their environment and, instead, consider themselves to be clumsy or uncoordinated.
When an individual has Irlen syndrome, it may be the only challenge or may coexist with other type of reading, learning, and attention challenges. Irlen Syndrome is not considered a learning disability when the symptoms can be successfully eliminated with colour.
The symptoms associated with Irlen Syndrome cannot be detected by other perceptual tests, reading tests, psycho-educational tests, medical testing or a visual examination. Nor do the symptoms improve with maturation, remediation glasses, vision therapy, or other methods presently available.
Approximately 46% of individuals diagnosed with reading, learning or attention problems, dyslexia, or various behavioural problems may be misdiagnosed and actually suffer from Irlen Syndrome.
When Irlen Syndrome goes undetected, some individuals may be viewed as underachievers with behavioural, attitudinal, emotional, or motivational challenges. Others may appear bright; but because they are not achieving up to their potential, they are often seen as “lazy” or as “not trying hear enough.” They may see themselves as “dumb” or “stupid”.
Solutions begin with Irlen experts
Make an online Irlen Screening appointment with Adrian Reedy our qualified screener.
What are the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen Syndrome consists of five subgroups of symptoms. An individual may have symptoms which fall into one or more of these areas:
Light Sensitivity: Individuals are bothered by glare, bright lights, fluorescent lights, and even headlights. Lighting seems to cause sensory overload, resulting in environmental distortions, poor attention and concentration, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, or other physical symptoms.
Background Accommodation: White pages appear to glare, compete with, or dominate over the print. This may result in a variety of distortions, making it difficult to see the print and causing discomfort.
Print Distortions: Letters, words, number, or musical notes lack clarity or stability. Problems include, but are not limited to, vibration, pulsation, movement, or blurriness. These distortions can affect reading efficiency, rate, accuracy, and/or comprehension.
Restricted Span of Recognition: An inability to perceive letters, words, musical notes, or numbers in groups. Span can vary seeing groups of words to be able to perceive only one letter at a time. A restricted span can affect the ability to correctly identify letters, track, skim, or speed read.
Environmental Misconceptions: Objects lack clarity, stability or dimension. Difficulties can affect depth perception, judgment of spatial relationships and distance, or the ability to track moving objects. Difficulties may include problems with stairs, escalators, sports performance, or diving.
How do you get tested for Irlen Syndrome?
The Irlen Method does not teach reading and does not replace instruction and remediation. Irlen Filters will not remediate deficits in phonics, language, or vocabulary. However, the Irlen Method will remove a barrier to learning which will allow an individual to progress with appropriate instruction and interventions.
The Irlen Method starts with a screening process by a certified screener. In this test the screener eliminates the individual’s unique physical symptoms and mis-perceptions by using ten different colours, singularly or in combination, to change the colour contrast between the symbol and the background. The overlays are an essential part of the screening, improving reading but no other problems associated with Irlen Syndrome.
When Irlen syndrome is only one piece of the puzzle, the student will require additional testing to identify other challenges which will need to be addressed. Irlen Syndrome should be ruled out prior to assessment for learning disabilities or dyslexia for results to be reliable. This is completed in an Irlen Diagnostic test. Carried out by a qualified diagnostician. The purpose of this test is to eliminate these other problems using a different method. From an almost limitless number of coloured filters, a combination is found which eliminates only those wavelengths of light which are bothersome.
With this, we also recommend that you have an eye examination to check your eye health and function.
Irlen Syndrome Solutions at Visique Eye Spy
If you are experiencing some of the before mentioned symptoms, book an Irlen Screening Appointment at Visique Eye Spy Optometrists with Adrian Reedy, our qualified screener.
Irlen Syndrome Solutions offered by Visique Eye Spy
If Adrian finds in the screening that you meet the criteria for a diagnostic assessment then he will ask if you would like to be referred to our diagnostician for an Irlen Diagnostic test.
If you agree then Adrian will book you in with Maile the diagnostician, who is also our Optometrist (note Maile may also suggest an eye examination).
When the appointment is complete with Maile and the correct tint has been diagnosed and you want to go forward with your own individual spectral filters, you can choose a frame and we will make up Irlen Spectacles and / or Irlen contact lenses.