Why tinted lenses from optometrists cannot equal Irlen Spectral Filters

Clients sometimes go to optometrists to get a tint which they think is
helpful; but, as this email expresses so well, Irlen Spectral Filters are so
better. I really like this letter and will use it when explaining why it is
worthwhile to get Irlen Filters over other methods and self-tinting.

My Trip to Dr. Carol Kessler to get my Irlen Filters

A few weeks after my presentation, I went to see Dr. Carol Kessler in
Kingston, New York, to get my first real pair of Irlen Filters. I’ve been
wearing a pair of violet glasses my mom had made for me at an optical store
three years ago. We were living in the United Arab Emirates at the time.
She had found about Irlen Syndrome and had me choose the best color
from MS Word. They made everything a lot better, but I knew now that with
the perfect color combination I should be able to see a whole lot better and
so many of my other Irlen Syndrome-related problems should get better. Dr.
Kessler was really nice and carefully went through all the color
combinations and densities that worked best for me. I got purple, blue and
rose filters. I was amazed at how much better I could see! My original
pair of colored glasses were only purple (violet). She had me look at the
window, and I was startled. Everything was practically jumping out at me in
a 3-D I had never even imagined existed. My whole world stopped swirling
and jumping and fogging. I no longer saw spots or flashes. Reading is now
enjoyable, math is so much easier, I don’t get lost so easily, I’m able to
learn to drive, I can
suddenly see musical notes so I’m going to start to learn to read music, I
can see balls moving now instead of the usual fuzz – so I can play baseball,
soccer and basketball better, I can follow group conversations, my
headaches are gone. It’s a wonderful world! Thank you Helen Irlen and Dr..

Link to preliminary PDF of “Reading Through Colour”

Go to http://www.essex.ac.uk/psychology/overlays/book2.pdf to read the pre-publication PDF of Arnold Wilkins book “Reading Through Colour: How Coloured Filters Can Reduce Reading Difficulty, Eye Strain, and Headaches.” Dr. Wilkins gives interesting scientific information regarding Irlen Syndrome. Note: there are 132 pages. You may wish to read this on your computer.

This is the link to the publisher of the book.

Use the following link to go to the University of Essex website to view Dr. Wilkins’ Irlen information:http://www.essex.ac.uk/psychology/overlays/

Note that there are references to a different testing system used by some centers in England. To find diagnosticians worldwide consult http://irlen.com/index.php?s=findclinic

Video of interest to high-functioning autistic individuals

Please view this video posted on Youtube by autistic author, Donna Williams, author of “Like Colour to the Blind” which tells how specially tinted lenses changed her visual perception. Click on this link.

Follow this link to Dr. Daniel Amen’s website for fascinating facts about the brain

http://www.amenclinics.com/brain-science/cool-brain-science/cool-brain-facts/As a neuropsychiatrist for 20years Dr. Daniel Amen’s clinics have amassed the world’s largest database of brain scans related to behavior, more than 21,000. He states that “One of the factors that drew me to SSS (Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome aka Irlen Syndrome) is its simplicity and effectiveness.

Brain Scan Showing Effect of Scotopic Sensitivity Before and After Wearing Irlen Lenses

See this excellent brain scan within the article “What is Irlen Syndrome?” Notice the large white areas illustrating how hard the brain is working to perceive without Irlen filters.

Read about brain scans by referring to Neuroimagery on Wikipedia

Man Bombarded By The Universe Enjoys A World Of Difference

This is a real life story of a man with Asperger’s Syndrome who was helped enormously by an Irlen tint that is not even noticeable. This tells me that one can resolve Irlen Syndrome without assuming it will necessitate a dark tint. I had considered the title “The world that was attacking Chris Cooke now finds Chris attacking his world; he is reading, driving and running with his new Irlen filter lenses.”

Chris Cooke is a 34-year-old accountant working in London and living in Folkestone, England with his wife (me) and one year old daughter. Chris has been wearing his filters for over a year now. They are part of everyday life and you would never catch him without his filters on, even going to the toilet in the middle of the night!

So how did it all happen? Well, it all came to a head the day before Christmas Eve, 2006, driving to my parents’ house to drop off Christmas presents, me singing away to the radio, and I turned to see Chris in the passenger seat looking sad and upset. I stopped singing and asked what was wrong. He said he couldn’t cope anymore. “What do you mean,”I asked, and then he explained. Chris felt the world was coming at him. Everything kept moving and he was feeling sick and hated going to unfamiliar places, especially if they had bright lights.

A week after this, having talked over and over what was happening, we started looking on the Internet and researching Chris’ symptoms. As Chris has Asperger’s Syndrome we started there but could only find support and help for children. Chris then came across Irlen Syndrome. He went through the checklist and had almost every single one of the symptoms suggesting signs of Irlen Syndrome so we rang the doctors.

Two days later Chris got an appointment and we discussed what we had found. The doctor did not recognise Irlen and although he looked it up on the Internet while we were there, he could not help. As I am a teacher I knew a child at school had Irlen and wore filters so I traced the child’s parents and asked if they had a contact number and that is how Chris got his initial screening, the screening that would change our lives and the life of our unborn daughter forever.

Before finding out and getting filters for his Irlen Syndrome Chris was a typical man on the outside, but inside every day was hard work and heavy going. From a young age Chris was a competitive runner, but as he got older it became harder and harder to concentrate on his running when “the world was coming at him.” The pavement moved like an ocean and trees and buildings would come at him as he ran. The world became too scary to run so he gave up a promising running passion and, as with many of the things Chris liked, hid from it. Now, since having his filters Chris has started up running again and found it a relaxing and enjoyable experience, so much so that he has started to run competitively and hopes to run the London Marathon next year. Chris now describes it as ” the world now stays still and the only thing moving is me.”

Living in Folkestone and working in London the journey isn’t pleasant for anyone, but Chris used to describe his journey to and from work as hell and when you listen to the details of the lights flicking and chairs flying at you, patterns of the seats swimming around in front of your eyes and the people coming from nowhere, I think it truly was. Chris would get home from work most days with a headache and throw up, his eyes would always be very red and sore. Now Chris still doesn’t enjoy his travel to work, but with his filters everything is how it should be and this is useful time he uses to study for promotion at work and read.

Studying and reading sound like simple things everyone can do, but when you have to fold a newspaper into tiny parts to read it you can understand the joy this brings. Now Chris likes to hold the broadsheet as wide as possible to take it all in (a little extreme and annoying but what a change). Chris says that his Irlen filters extend the point at which overload occurs. His concentration period at work before taking a break has gone from approximately ten minutes to about forty-five.

In 2006 we got married and as we planned to have a family we decided Chris should learn to drive. Sundays from then on were awful. Chris hated driving and had no perception of where the car was on the road and cars seemed to come at him. We now know what a danger Chris would have been to himself and others and thank goodness he recognised something wasn’t right and said so. Since Chris has had his filters he has been driving and is amazed that everything seems a lot simpler and is going to be starting his lessons up again soon.When we had our daughter in 2007 we were very grateful for Chris’ filters and he feels that without them he would not have been able to cope. He says that without his filters he would not be able to look after her, change her nappy or push the pram. But with them he is a fantastic Dad.

Chris’ filters have helped in so many different areas of our lives it is hard to share them all but being able to wash up without five breaks, mow the grass without the blades of grass and trees coming at him and no longer being “scared of heights” as everything moves when you look at it, has changed our lives.The initial assessment was a little scary as we had no idea what would happen. It was also an emotional time to openly admit to these problems for the first time. The full assessment was amazing. Chris describes it as “The day he opened his eyes and saw the world the way everyone else see it.” The process is very exciting and to watch your husband’s face go from sheer fear looking at a picture to smiling was a moment I will never forget.

I just wanted to share with you one of the best things that has happened to our little family and hope that sharing our story may help someone else to “see the world the way everyone else does.”

A footnote: For those of you not familiar with English terms a nappy is a diaper and a broadsheet is a newspaper. Roger Wheaton

If you or someone in your family with Asperger’s Syndrome has an Irlen success story you can share, please leave a comment or better yet e-mail me at wheat42@hotmail.com with your story so I can share it here.

Dyspraxia (UK Definition) /Apraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder Sometimes Helped by Resolving Irlen Syndrome

Go to Dyspraxia USA to read “What is Dyspraxia?”

Read “Early Symptoms of Dyspraxia”

Read “Adult Symptoms of Dyspraxia”

Read “Testing for Dyspraxia”

According to Wikipedia dyspraxia entails the partial loss of the ability to coordinate and perform certain purposeful movements and gestures in the absence of motor or sensory impairments.

Dyspraxia may be acquired (e.g. as a result of brain damage suffered from a stroke or other trauma), or associated with failure/delay of normal neurological development- i.e. Developmental Dyspraxia, or Developmental Coordination Disorder. The term Apraxia is more often used to describe this symptom in clinical practice, although strictly Apraxia denotes a complete (as opposed to partial) loss of relevant function.

This is an impairment in the development of motor coordination which may affect the acquisition of motor skills such as walking, crawling, buttoning, etc., hence the term Developmental Coordination Disorder. People with this condition are usually clumsy and may have difficulty building models, playing ball, and printing and writing. People with dyspraxia are usually clumsy, drop things frequently, may bump into objects or people, spill often, and are accident prone. Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is not diagnosed when the criteria are met for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but many people with autistic spectrum disorders have the same kinds of difficulties and may be diagnosed with dyspraxia. Those with Asperger Syndrome, particularly, often have difficulty with coordination and appear clumsy. (The preceeding was taken from www.mugsy.org/asa_faq/definitions/sensory.shtml)

To See Signs and Symptoms of Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia in the UK):

please refer to http//www.rainbowreaders.co.uk/19624.html

Read Tom’s Success Story After Help by Using Irlen Filter Lenses:

Read that Irlen Filter lenses offer help for dyspraxia in this article from IRLEN EAST in England.

In my opinion the following symptoms would be improved by wearing Irlen Filter lenses:

  • Loses place frequently when copying or reading.
  • Bumps into things and other people.
  • Difficulty catching a ball or driving (poor hand-eye coordination).
  • Difficulty writing on a line.
  • Eye movement problems: (tracking) Difficulty following a moving object smoothly with eyes without moving the head excessively. Tendency to lose place when reading.


  • Little sense of speed and distance leading to difficulty driving.
  • Lack of awareness of body position in space and spatial relationships. Can result in bumping into and tripping over things and people and dropping and spilling things.
  • Learning: Difficulty with concentration; may be easily distracted.
  • If you have remedied part of dyspraxia in a family member please comment. Please add any traits that I have missed.

Brain Imaging Studies of Irlen Syndrome

Go to several sources at THIS LINK.

Books For Children Introduce Them to Irlen Syndrome Symptoms and Irlen Filters

A 24 page book is “Bratty-Cat, Blinky-Roo, and Snooze-Bear” by Susan R. Smith. It is not available from Amazon; it is available fromĀ www.irlen.com.The second book is “Jamie Lee and the Magic Glasses” by Jay Luthy. I recommend this book highly. It is excellent for sharing in front of a classroom or a child can be allowed to read it to learn about Irlen Syndrome. It is printed in a large format with big print and is very colorful.

Coloured Overlays and Coloured Lenses: Frequently Asked Questions

colorimetry013.jpgoverlays.jpgRead an extensive list of answers via an English source (note the English spelling) at THIS LINK

See information on Irlen patents for Irlen filter lenses as well.

For background read about camera filters on Wikipedia.