HOW DO THE WORDS LOOK FOR YOU?
Just imagine what it would be like if those people with Irlen Syndrome knew about it and had lenses to manage the symptoms.
A 7 year old’s reading age and schoolwork, leapt ahead with using her specialised Irlen tinted lenses, after being diagnosed with a visual-processing disorder called Irlen Syndrome. Without the lenses her eyes watered and became sore and words jumped around the page. She couldn’t see any spaces between the words! She knew she couldn’t read properly and thought she was just ‘dumb’! No wonder her reaction with her new lenses was “I can see, I can read.”
HOW DO THE WORDS LOOK FOR YOU?
If our teachers and parents asked this simple question of children who appeared to be having trouble learning to read, they may be surprised by the answer that they get. Just as the little girl above had difficulty seeing clearly to read, a little 5 year old boy who was really struggling to even recognise the letters of the alphabet, let alone learn their names and sounds was also bothered by the brightness of the page. He came along for an assessment and when looking at a white page under bright lights, he could not even look at it without his eyes hurting.
He was provided with an Irlen coloured overlay that he said " ..stopped the words from jumping places and words were not 'rubbed out' now". So, this little boy was having problems "seeing" the letters despite HAVING PERFECT EYESIGHT.
It is important that teachers recognise that poor reading skills can be related to poor visual processing issues rather than poor eyesight or a lack of intelligence. Irlen lenses used for visual processing have the same function as prescription lenses have for eyesight problems.
This little boy's Irlen lenses help him to see the words clearly… they do not teach him to read, they just allow him to learn to read. With his perceptual vision corrected he too will be able to have fun reading books like “The Story Weavers of Bacalen” series of adventures. These adventure books have the heroes all wearing different coloured Irlen tinted lenses for various reasons and the books help us to know how different symptoms can be helped with Irlen lenses.
I’ve had a lovely experience with my granddaughter reading the ‘Story Snatchers’ and both of us enjoyed the adventure. We looked forward to the next book, which took us to Paris and through beautiful art museums. Great fun! This second book - the ‘Picture Pinchers’ was exciting too. It was fun to be able to read this book and to find that my granddaughter loved it and was so excited that she had beaten me to the finish line. She loved the purple bookmark idea at the end and how the code told her about the next story of the Music Meddlers being in Edinburgh. I wonder what adventures this book will take us on? And when will it be ready for us to read?
It has been such fun starting conversations with these books with the heroes wearing Irlen lenses and knowing that children can identify with these characters. It is a privilege to help people ‘see’ clearly to read.
Do the short self-test to see if your symptoms could be related to Irlen Syndrome.
Go to https://www.readeasy.co.nz/self-test.html