Irlen Syndrome is known as Visual Dyslexia and Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (light/glare sensitivity). It is a visual perceptual problem that prevents individuals from being able to learn, read or study efficiently. Standardised tests and standard optometric techniques do not screen for Irlen Syndrome. Many of us assume that everyone sees print and the environment around us in exactly the same way. People with perceptual problems, even with perfect “20:20” vision, can perceive these things very differently. They can encounter a variety of distortions which occur every day. For example, the text on a page might jiggle or swirl around; objects in the room might shake or they might have difficulty judging the distance between steps; cars and a ball being thrown to them.
People with this type of perception problem have not known any different and assume that what they see is normal. Often, children won’t say anything about it because they think it’s just normal but that they are ‘dumb’ because they can’t read and spell like everyone else. Irlen Syndrome can cause children to be restless, hyperactive and non-attentive in the classroom. They can suffer from frequent headaches and fatigue after doing bookwork and sometimes even feel quite ill. They are often sensitive to glare or bright lights, eg. fluorescent lights. Sadly, some children are consequently mislabelled as having ADD/ADHD and medicated when really they have Irlen Syndrome. They often develop low self-esteem. Without the proper treatment for Irlen Syndrome, problems just manifest and the individual, not being able to read and spell, and with poor self-image, unfortunately can end up in very negative life circumstances.
Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome can include: persistent reading and/or spelling difficulties (despite the individual having normal to high intelligence); sensitivity to glare and bright lights; messy handwriting; reading fatigue and /or headaches; poor depth perception; underachievenment; easily distracted; restlessness.
Irlen Syndrome affects 12-14% of the general population including:
- 46% of individuals with learning or reading difficulties
- 33% of individuals with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, behaviour problems
- individuals with autism, traumatic head injuries/acquired brain injuries (ABI)
The Irlen Method of treatment can change lives. It is non-invasive, does not require medication and is relatively cost-effective. Assistance can be immediate. The result is a miracle for some, an important part of the puzzle for others.
Aldon Tutoring Centres Ballarat has an accredited screener for Irlen Syndrome. Irlen Syndrome can be remedied relatively easily and cost effectively. Children who have good communication skills can be screened as young as 7 years. Diagnostic work leading to tinted lenses can also be arranged on request.
Please contact us now to find out more about how we can assist you to find out if Irlen Syndrome might be affecting your child’s progress at school.
More information can be found about Irlen Syndrome at: https://aaic.org.au/