Article by Janet Edwards, Irlen screener, at Park Farm Primary School in Folkestone, Kent, England

Be sure to read the comments of children Janet helped (at the bottum).Read Janet’s piece on THIS LINK.

Donna Williams, International Best-selling autistic author writes about her success with Irlen filter lenses

See Wikipedia article

Read her article “Like Colour to the Blind” 

Video: Tinted Lenses in the World of Autism

Also refer to her website

and her blog about peripheral vision in some people on the autism spectrum

and the article “Biomedical Approach to Autism Hits Mainstream

Local Lion’s Club helps Noah Sturm conquer Irlen Syndrome by providing him with Irlen tinted lenses in Ely, Nevada

Before this Noah could not read print, numbers and musical notes. Go to THIS LINK. Do you have similar experience with a local Lions Club helping defray expenses for your Irlen client? Please leave a comment.

Local residents in Fallon, Nevada, USA, cope with effects of perceptual disorder

Read about real life stories of two women who have been helped by Irlen filter lenses at this link.

Words for this child jumped off the page before he got his tinted lenses.

Article from The Blacktown Sun, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Note that I do not agree that a diagnosis of dyslexia is necessarily a diagnosis of Irlen Syndrome!

Read this article found on Google as follows: Click on this link.

Letter from mom of 10 year old Zachary after he received Irlen tinted lenses

Attached is a letter expressing my gratitude for the work you have done and it’s wonderful impact on my son, Zachary. What is missing from this letter is comments from the parent/teacher conference I just had. The school social worker noted that Zachary is “much more laid back” since his tinting. A very general and broad statement for what has really happened.

Thank you so very much!

March 15, 1999

Ms. Helen Irlen

Irlen Institute

5380 Village Road

Long Beach, CA 90808

Dear Ms. Irlen,

This letter is to express my gratitude to you for the work you have done in the area of SSS. I have only just learned of Scotopic Sensitivity, the related symptoms and the benefit of treatment through my son. The improvement in Zachary, who is 10, is such a blessing. Zak has ADHD and has been on Ritalin since he was 3 years old. The diagnosing psychologist at that time told me he was the most hyperactive child she had seen in her 30 years plus of working with children.

While Zak has always loved books, he has a difficult time staying with a book (unless it has many pictures!). He enjoys travelling but if the day were sunny, he would hide under a blanket to get away from the light. I attributed the reading difficulty to his ADHD and his sunlight “frenzy” had me baffled.

Barb David met Zachary and immediately recognized his symptoms. He was not even wearing his glasses at the time. He now wears bifocals and has had the tinting applied. There was approximately twelve weeks between the time he first got the glasses, his scotopic screening, and getting the tinting applied. Simply having the glasses improved his handwriting and decreases the number of his headaches somewhat.

Once the tinting was applied, I began to notice a change in his disposition- he is so much calmer and really has a happier outlook- remarkably so! And the reading! He can now almost finish a book (of fifth grade level or above) in a day. He has even found a new passion: exploring the microfiche of the New York Times at the library. He picks an event in history and can spend hours researching it. The headaches have decreased even more.

Through reading your book and the literature provided by Barb, I have increased my awareness of ways to help Zachary. We never leave home without having a cap in the car-such an easy thing has made a big difference.

Zachary will never know how very much your efforts have improved his life. I will never forget them. Thank you so much for the work you have done and for the capable training of the Barb David’s of the world.

Best regards,

Carolyn Simpson

A real life experience of Annelise Horstman

The following is from the book “The Light Barrier” by Rhonda Stone.

Her father wrote “When our otherwise intelligent daughter fell a year behind her class in reading by the end of first grade, we enrolled her in Chapter 1 intensive reading class. For the entire next year, we worked with her teachers and counselors, had her eyes checked, did Hooked on Phonics, read to her, had her read to us-all to no avail. By the end of the second grade, she was two or three years ahead of grade in all subjects except reading and spelling, in which she was 1.5 and 0.5 years behind, respectively.

We were at a loss until the school counselor mentioned (without recommendation) something called scotopic sensitivity syndrome (SSS) that she heard about at a conference.”

Annelise hit an invisible wall in reading. Annelise had suffered from frequent motion sickness since infancy, headaches since age three, and clumsiness. She was also awkward at navigating stairs, bringing both feet to a single step before moving on to the next, and she was terrified of escalators. The Horstmans learned about scotopic sensitivity syndrome when Annelise was in the third grade. Willing to consider any possible explanation, her parents sought help from a practitioner trained in the Irlen Method. The Irlen practitioner identified a moderate problem with sensitivity to aspects of light, and soon after, Annelise was wearing special tints.

Immediately, Annelise was better able to navigate stairs. Within a year she caught up to her grade level in reading. By sixth grade, Annelise was an A student in all subjects. Tinted lenses also removed a barrier to her ability to read music-a skill highly valued in her musically inclined home.

Recommendations of Irlen tinted lenses/overlays by the experts:

irlenlensespair2.jpg“To date, I have not witnessed any other educational technique that has had such an immediate impact on an individual’s reading ability.” Brucie Ball, EdS, staffing specialist, Dade County public school system, Florida

“We have sent hundreds of people to Dr. Irlen’s website and clinics to get treatment. Many people have gotten significant relief. Our clients have scanned several people before and after treatment. Remarkably, when people obtain benefit from the treatment, it helps to balance brain function. One of the factors that drew me to SSS and the Irlen treatment is its simplicity and effectiveness.” Daniel Amen, M.D. (Brain in the News newsletter), author of Healing ADD

“The teachers report that (the treatment) changes non-readers into readers, enables others to read longer, and enhances speed and comprehension for others.” Ellen Crill, Chawanakee Joint School District, California

“It is the single most important advance in the treatment of reading difficulties I’ve ever seen.” John Bald, literacy expert, consultant, National Curriculum Council; writer, The Mail

“This work has added a much needed therapeutic dimension to the treatment of dyslexics or learning disabled while highlighting the underlying perceptual vs. linguistic origins. [Irlen] colored lenses may significantly compensate for visual overloading and the destabilizing effects that result. They facilitate fixation and tracking by adding color to sharpen foreground/background relationships.” Harold N. Levinson, M.D., author of Smart but Feeling Dumb

“We are finding a disproportionally high incidence of Scotopic Sensitivity among underprepared and underachieving college students. Students with SSS reported reading problems made significant gains in both rate and comprehension on the same reading test with the use of [Irlen] colored overlays.” Gen. M. Ramirez, Ph.D.., director of the Learning Assistance Center, California State University at Long Beach, California

“We have added Scotopic Sensitivity Screening as an intervention procedure. This has resulted in many non-readers using colored overlays and/or filters and has prevented the need of special education services. Because of the use of colored overlays and/or filters, our special education referrals have been greatly reduced.” Carolyn Rounsaville, director of Special Education, Banning Unified School District, California

“I have had a wonderful time with SSS screening, dazzled by the brilliance of your discovery. I can’t get over my own obtuseness in never having picked up the distortions in thousands of children and adolescents I have seen-even though they were staring me in the face.” Margie Golick, Ph.D., chief psychologist, McGill-Montreal Children’s Hospital Learning Center, Canada

“Our local Rotary clubs raised the money to train school staff how to test for SSS. Our results were exciting because over 200 learning disabled students were tested and over 75% have SSS and were helped in their reading, writing, comprehension, and math. This is a simple, common sense approach. The cost is minimal and the results are maximum.” Arthur McCullough, Escondido West Rotary Club, California

Taken from Reading by the Colors, Updated Edition, with permission by the author

In 1990, Erica, one of the reporters on the 60 Minutes story, wrote to Helen Irlen

As a child I wore a watch, but I couldn’t tell time. I couldn’t distinguish my left from my right, so I did a lot of pointing….It got to be joke in the family whenever we took our car for a family outing. “Go that way,” I would tell my parents. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do. And it hurt, because I didn’t know why.

In june of 1979, I finally got tested by the Orton Dyslexic Society. It seemed the obvious thing to do because Mom and Dad had heard that children who were considered exceptionally bright but were failing in school were classified as being dyslexic.

After fourteen hours of testing, the results confirmed that I was developmentally dyslexic-whatever that means. I was told then that I shouldn’t expect too much of myself…I only had ‘normal intelligence,’ and chances of getting into a good school didn’t look very promising.

In 1988, I found myself researching a story on the Irlen Institute. Its working title: Reading by the Colors. We’ve been told that story brought more phone calls than any other story aired on 60 minutes…followed by a flood of letters…including a letter from the Orton Dyslexia Society telling us we were irresponsible in our reporting. To suggest that Helen Irlen could help dyslexics was cruel, because dyslexics couldn’t be helped. I was outraged. To suggest that all learning-disabled children diagnosed dyslexic couldn’t be helped was equally cruel. What was dyslexia anyway? And how come dyslexics couldn’t be helped?

Eleven years ago, I was tested for dyslexia. I was told there were no remedies…no cures…just a word to explain why I had failed.

In March of 1990, I was tested again [at the Irlen Institute]. This time there were no excuses, no explanations, no words-just a pair of colored lenses to help me see why I didn’t have to fail.

I still have dyslexia, but I no longer have to survive by only reading the first, middle, and last chapter of everything. I can read it all!

The preceeding was reprinted with the permission of Helen Irlen, author of Reading by the Colors revised edition. Taken from pages 107-109.

Cecil O’Brie age 37 was tested at 3rd grade reading level

Read about his journey leading to correction of Irlen Syndrome by clicking here.