A testimonial about a girl thought to have ADD

Subject: Misdiagnosed with ADD when the problem is Irlen Syndrome.


Gail has a 4 year history of academic problems thought to be due to difficulty with attention and concentration.  She has a short attention span, difficulty with concentration and staying on tasks,  She has learning difficulties, reading problems, messy handwriting, moodiness, behavior difficulties with explosive tendencies.  She takes medication for ADD and receives special services.  Her neuropsychological report did note that Gail has frequent headaches which may also be affection her ability to focus on school work and her overall endurance for learning.  But the full impact of physical symptoms on attention and learning was not fully recognized.  


What was not identified by the school and testing is Irlen Syndrome.  Because of her Irlen Syndrome she not only got headaches but felt tired, irritable, anxious and dizzy with fluorescent lighting and reading and other visual activities.  This clearly affected motivation, attention, behavior control, and class room performance.  Typical of someone with Irlen Syndrome, when she was reading and doing other visual activities in the classroom she not only experiences all of the above physical symptoms but her eyes would get watery, hurt, ache.  The background would overpower the print as it would breathe and expand around the letters.  There was a constant flickering and flashing of lights in the white background and glowing auras around the letters.  With her Irlen Filters she no longer experienced visual distortions and physical symptoms.  Obviously, she could now read for long periods, concentrate in class, stay on task.  She no longer takes medication and her teachers no longer feel that she has ADD.  She is rapidly catching up academically. 

Testimonial letter from an Irlen lens wearer to Barb David, her Irlen Diagnostician

Hello Barb,

It has been a little less than 2 months since I received my lenses and it has been AMAZING! Seeing and living the difference has been, quite literally, an eye-opening experience. I noticed a difference in regards to my driving; I have much better depth perception that I didn’t even know was a problem before. Also, between wearing my lenses and using the purple paper has made sitting through classes SO much easier. I have noticed that during class I really do need to wear a hat, so I had to go out and buy a few of those.

I am still getting used to wearing my lenses, or “sunglasses” (as what many people have been calling them) all the time. I know they are super dark, but I also know I am better off the more I wear them.

Thank you SO MUCH for doing what you do!

Elizabeth Hoernig

Invisible reading problem, easy solution

Invisible reading problem, easy solution
Tinted glasses, overlays aid students in focusing on what’s written on page

Paula AbromovitzSpecial for The Republic Apr. 7, 2008 12:00 AM

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Paula Abromovitz. Send your education news to lori.baker@arizonarepublic.com.

Irlen Syndrome is a possible explanation for the average to gifted student who avoids reading or cannot read and for the learning-disabled student who struggles with reading.Helen Irlen, a school psychologist, worked with college students with reading difficulties. The students had average to above-average intelligence.
They reported symptoms that occurred when reading that no one had identified before such as: migraines and headaches, falling asleep, words switching around, print moving or vibrating, the text becoming 3D, the brightness of the page hurting their eyes. Print becoming blurry causing them to constantly re-focus, words blending into each other, patterns in the dense text that resembled rivers of white going down the page. Some felt dizzy or sick to their stomach when they read.Irlen found that placing colored overlays over the reading material improved the student’s comprehension, fluency, comfort, and attention. She developed a technology of tinting lenses and contacts that filter specific lightwaves. The students reported that their symptoms were eliminated when wearing the lenses, which also helped with handwriting, copying and depth perception. Both the overlays and lenses are specific for each individual.This method worked for my client, Millie Hudson Libby, who experienced headaches and eyestrain and could read for only a short time. By using a colored overlay, Libby’s reading time doubled. After tinting her prescription contacts, her eyestrain and fatigue under fluorescent lights were eliminated.Visual stress not related to a visual problem is a primary complaint. Strain and fatigue within the first 10 to 30 minutes is normal for these individuals.My advice to parents is to ask their child to describe what the print looks like when they read for a long time. Sometimes five minutes of reading seems like five hours.When a parent or teacher observes a child having trouble sounding out words or rereading the same sentence, they ask, “What’s wrong, why can’t you do this?” The answer generally is, “I don’t know.” When the appropriate questions are asked they have no trouble describing what they see.Many children receive reprimands for not sitting still. When I ask these children how it helps them to move around when they read, their answer is, “If I move I can keep up with the words moving,” and “If I move I can keep the print in focus.” These individuals have no other frame of reference for what they see on a page; therefore, the distortions appear normal and their body responds in a manner necessary to complete the required task.Once we identify the problem and provide a remedy, frustration and anger are eliminated for both the parents and the child. The student for the first time in their life may realize they are not dumb or lazy, the parent gains the knowledge that their child is trying hard and what they have been looking at is an invisible problem that can be solved with a simple non-invasive solution.Parents call to report that their child no longer complains of stomachaches before school, grades improving to A’s and B’s, children now able to play sports because they can hit and catch a ball accurately.A screening for Irlen Syndrome could be your child’s answer to their low reading level, learning problems, ADD/ ADHD, discipline problems, lack of motivation with schoolwork, headaches, dyslexia and other physical complaints.Paula Abromovitz, an Irlen diagnostician, may be reached at paulaabromo@yahoo.com.

A simple Irlen overlay enabled this 9-year-old to read> >

Letter from a happy mother:Dear Dr. Kessler,We came to your office on April 11th.  WoW! What a difference the Irlen Method has madein my son’s life! He has been using the colored overlaywhile we are waiting for his Irlen glasses. The first day that he used the overlay at home, he just stared at the book. When I asked what was wrong he looked at me in amazement and said “I can read!” and he did. He says the overlay is magic. Each day when he uses his overlayhe has the same reaction. Amazement that he can read. My 9-year-old son hugs me and thanks me for taking him to see you. Today he is reading a comic book that he has been struggling to read over the past couple of months. After flipping the overlay on and off the book he realized that he doesn’t even see all the words without the overlay. He said he cannot believe all the things he has been missing all these years.I cannot thank you enough for helping me to finally find the answer to his reading difficulties. I have told every person I know about Irlen Syndrome-and have sent out mass e-mail on my homeschool groups-trying to spread the word so that others don’t have to struggle like Josh did. Not one person that I have spoken to has ever even heard of it, including several teachers. Then a copule days ago my aunt saw a news clip on ABC about Irlen Syndrome.Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.Christine T.(the mom who still cries every time Josh reads to her!)

Irlen tinted lenses drastically improve daughter’s life

Letter from a grateful momTo: Irleninstitute@irlen.com Tuesday, March 04, 2008My daughter has Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS)/ Irlen Syndrome; it has been a frustrating and painful journey searching for answers. Heather has had headaches on a daily basisnfor most of her life. She has also suffered with migraines, dizziness, loss of appetite, and learning difficulties. When she would come home from school, she would close herself in her bedroom with the lights off and the blinds drawn.Heather was seen by an M.D., a Neurologist, a Head and Neck Specialist, Optomitrist, and a Physical Therapist. An MRI and blood tests showed nothing unusual. The doctors said her headaches were tension and stress-related, and they continued to prescribe medications to  ease her pain.In June of 2006 Heather said “Mom, just let it go. Nobody is going to figure it out. I just have to live with it; I don’t want to see any more doctors.”Shortly after that I read about Irlen Syndrome and found that Heather had most of the symptoms. I immediately took her in for a screening and diagnostic exam, and Mrs. Irlen said her case was so severe, she wondered how Heather had managed to go through life for 15 years without treatment.She now wears the Irlen special filter lenses. She can function at school without having a migraine at the end of the day, and she can read a book without the words “moving” on the page.To make Heather more comfortable in her own home without her glasses, we have removed all fluorescent lights and replaced them with incandescent lights on a dimmer switch, and we are in the process of repainting the walls to get rid of the blinding white paint.It was such a relief when Heather was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome, we finally understand what she has been suffering with and can do something about it instead of aggravating it!Sincerely,Barbara S.Huntington Beach, California  

Invisible Reading Problem, Easy Solution

Arizona newspaper article by Paula Abromovitz, Irlen diagnostician

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.

Special lenses for Ruanne Stumke in Africa

Read how Ryanne is seeing the world in a whole new light thanks to his green-tinted glasses.

Testimonies of Irlen Clients Who Were Not Helped by the Colorimeter & Optomitrists

irlenlenses042608.jpegRead real life accounts of four people who came to an Irlen diagnostician after their opticians’ “precision colored lenses”failed to help.

Note: Choose “Comparisons between Irlen and colorimeter”.

Then select “Clients Views” at the top right

Perspectives From a Woman With Irlen Syndrome. Reflections on Her Life and the Lives of Her Two Sons With Irlen Syndrome

A good description of distortions perceived with Irlen Syndrome and what it was like going to school with Irlen Syndrome.