Seminar on visual processing problems tonight

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Wearing Irlen lenses during Tulsa Boy Singers spring 2009 concertIrlen Syndrome, also known as scotopic sensitivity syndrome. There's an informational meeting tonight, Monday, October 5, 2009, at 7 p.m., at the La Quinta Tulsa Airport, east of Sheridan on the south side of I-244, presented by Catherine Barnes, an Irlen diagnostician. To make a reservation or for more information, contact Mrs. Barnes at 859-489-7773.

Our oldest son has been helped immensely by Irlen filters. His fourth grade year at Regent was the school's first in the old Higher Dimensions facility. The walls were painted bright white, the fluorescent lights were very bright, and there was sunlight, too. The combination gave him severe headaches, and there were many days when he had to come home early. He loved to read, but he preferred to do so in dim light. (Of course, we wouldn't let him read in the dark because it was bad for his eyes.) Grid paper and sheet music were particularly problematic for him.

He had a number of medical and ophthalmological tests, including an MRI, trying to figure out the source of the headaches. Everything appeared to be normal. Contrary to occasional parental suspicions, there was something between his ears. :)

Wearing Irlen lenses and a FedoraMy wife remembered that her sister had had trouble filling in the bubbles on standardized tests, and that the use of a translucent pink overlay sheet had helped immensely. My wife found out about the Irlen Institute started working with a diagnostician to find a color that would help him. A dark shade of purple seemed to work best, and so he began using purple overlays to read text and to photocopy assignments and music onto purple paper. Wearing hats helped, too, by shading his eyes. (Hats have become his trademark.)

After finding a tint that seemed to work, he was fitted for glasses with Irlen filter lenses -- no optical correction, just tint. Direct light leaking around the sides continued to be a problem, so we found some wraparound frames that keep the stray light out. He doesn't need them all the time, but they're a must for working with music or doing schoolwork.

What's happening here is a visual processing problem that's aggravated by certain parts of the visible spectrum. The problem is not in the eyes -- it's not optical in nature -- but in the visual processing portion of the brain. Filtering out the offending wavelengths makes the letters look to him they way they do to the rest of us. He no longer has to strain to read and write, and the headaches have gone away.

Irlen lenses have been helpful to people with dyslexia, other reading problems, writing difficulties, and headaches related to bright light. If you've had these sorts of problems or know someone who has, visit the Irlen Institute website to learn more, and, if you can, come to tonight's informational session at the Tulsa Airport La Quinta, 123 N. 67th East Ave.

MORE: Here's an ABC News video about Irlen.

And this Salt Lake City news report shows some examples of ways black on white text appears to Irlen syndrome sufferers:

STILL MORE: This critical blog entry attacking Irlen lenses drew many testimonials from people who have benefited from using colored lenses and overlays and from parents of those who have benefited. As several responses point out, Irlen lenses don't cure dyslexia, but they remove a significant barrier to learning to read -- words seeming to shift, whirl, dance, blur, or fade from the page. In my son's case, he has never had difficulty reading fluently and voraciously, as long as he could read in subdued light.

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2 Comments

W. said:

Interesting. I admit I've never heard of this problem until reading this post. I can sort of see why it might initially be regarded with skepticism (although a quick perusal of the Internet would mostly solve this).

You have to admit, your son can have a light-hearted ice-breaker in starting conversation about the shades. "I'm _________, international man of mystery." Or, "I'm one of the good vampires in 'Twilight.'" ;-)

hayesatlbch Author Profile Page said:

The problem with Irlen lenses is more a matter of business philosophy than science. Irlen lenses have a fairly high failure rate low standards of success but yet offer no financial guarantee. Claims of helping all dyslexics, autistics, as well as people with ADHD seems more a method of generating profits than identifying a target.

As a competitor with a better product, I thought it best to develop identifying criteria. It wasn't as hard as you might think. Visual dyslexics that can describe a visual problem that makes reading difficult are candidates for a visual intervention.

By taking a different approach to the problem and developing a universal visual dyslexia filter the success rate increased and I was able to eliminate the need for personal evaluation. Because of the increased success rate, I'm able to offer a money back guarantee. Eliminating the need for personal evaluation makes sales over the Internet possible.

For more information about See Right Dyslexia Glasses and visual dyslexia visit http://dyslexiaglasses.com/visualdyslexiasolution.html .

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 4, 2009 10:33 PM.

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