Table of Contents

  • Irlen Screeners in your area
  •  
  • About Irlen Syndrome
  • • Distortions
  • • Facts about Irlen Syndrome
  • • Self Test
  • • Books and Reference Material

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries & Concussions

     
  • News & Updates
  • • Irlen Newsletters
  • • Irlen in the News
  • • Updates and Research
  • Resources & Information
  • • Irlen Information for Professionals
  • • Irlen Student Information
  • • How to help your Irlen Student
  • Scientific Studies
  • • References
  • • Scientific Research for Irlen
  • • Scientific Reasoning
  • Useful Links
  • • irlen.com
  • • readingandwriting.ab.ca
  • • irlenatlantique.ca
  • • irlen.ca
  • • irlencanada.ca
  • Testimonials
  •      Free Irlen Self-Test

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    View Sample Distortions

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         Irlen Distortions Video

    Irlen Syndrome Youtube Video example of Irlen Distortion.

    If you've ever wondered what it's like to read for someone with Irlen Syndrome, watch this video to find out.
             click here

    Irlen-lenses.

    The Irlen Method uses precision-tinted coloured overlays and filtered lenses. The Irlen Method employs advanced spectrometer technology meeting strict standards of colour balancing for colour correction to correct light frequencies which are not processed correctly by those who suffer from Irlen Syndrome.

    NEWS ALERT August 29, 2017

    Irlen Supporters Fight to Change Public Policy in Brazil
    The following is a newspaper article reporting on the bill being sponsored by Mr. Saturnino regarding Irlen Syndrome in schools in Brazil:

    Written by Mr Masson Satunino (PSDB) the Bill 2017 on the "awareness Programme and guidance on Irlen syndrome" in public and private schools of Mato Grosso. Despite the little knowledge of the disease in Brazil, a study reveals that approximately 46% of people with school difficulties have Irlen Syndrome, which is often confused with dyslexia, attention deficit, or Autism. According to the parliamentary, observation in the classroom is critical to the support of early diagnosis. "The school must know that children with Irlen Syndrome see well and (they) do not realize that have these changes or distortions in vision – which means that, if they are forwarded to the ophthalmologist, the assessment may be normal," said Saturnino. The ideal time to identify the syndrome is about 6 or 7 years of age, as the initial phase of acquisition of reading and writing. The syndrome is detected through a visual processing examination performed by a healthcare professional or duly qualified education. The professionals who receive this training are called (Irlen) Screeners.

    The program established by this law, the public entities in partnership with civil society, promote debates and events in order to stimulate the awareness of educators and students of all the public and private information by focusing on the concept of Irlen syndrome, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Irlen Syndrome (S.I.) is a change of vision and visual perception caused by an imbalance of adaptability to light that produces changes in the visual cortex and deficits in reading, is still little known in Brazil, although there are diagnostic and treatment Centers in 42 countries. The syndrome has hereditary character and manifests itself under greater demand for visual attention. Described in 1983 by psychologist Helen Irlen syndrome have as manifestations, apart from photophobia, problems in solving spatial problems in vision-maintaining focus, visual stress, change in depth perception and headaches, whose consequence is a learning deficit, cause difficulties in the organization of the text into meaningful segments or syntactic portions, this being a feature present in disabled readers. The use of (Irlen Spectral) colored filters to ease difficulties of reading is recommended by experts of the Irlen Institute internationally. These (Irlen Spectral) filters have received exposure in the mass media, and their use is increasingly accepted in schools, despite doubts over their benefits.

    In addition to the use of colored filters, some care should be taken to better use in the classroom, they are:

    • - Centralized positioning in the front row if possible, away from doors and windows to better monitoring of work and attention, facilitating the acquisition of spatial central and peripheral references to the environment;
    • - Strengthen the use of glasses with special filters full-time;
    • - Make sure that there is no excessive clarity or natural light reflex on the blackboard damaging the student preview;
    • - Print activities and evaluations with double spacing, letter size 12 or larger, more readable type possible especially on adaptation phase (referring to the months of treatment of glasses or under use of overlays);
    • - Extend the time for completion of tasks and tests, notwithstanding your socialization at recess or time off at work.

    The program of awareness and guidance on Irlen syndrome in public and private schools of Mato Grosso is expected to be held annually in the second week of February.

    ISAW 2017 is Right Around the Corner
    We know summer just ended, but it's not too early to start planning for Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week! The dates for ISAW 2017 are October 20-26th, and it will be here before you know it! Check out the ISAW webpage for information, resources, and opportunities to participate.

    We Get Emails: Share your own story at irleninstitute@irlen.com

    “I am someone born with the Irlen condition and am encouraged to see more and more medical professionals taking an interest and promoting awareness.”
    –Irlen Client

    “I have rarely experienced the headaches that can be associated with IS, but I used to faint during prolonged exposure to fluorescent lighting or sunlight. Since I began wearing Irlen Spectral Filters from the Irlen Institute six years ago, my fainting spells have all but ceased as long as I remain mindful of my surroundings.”
    –Another Irlen Client

    “I have four children, three of whom are currently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (the youngest is only three, and has not been officially assessed as yet, but is showing the same signs as her siblings), as well as displaying ADHD characteristics. I have heard of Irlen Syndrome and have seen how beneficial and truly life-changing the lenses can be for affected individuals. I need to get my children tested. I believe this could be life-changing for my children and, therefore, our whole family. Thank you.”
    –Future Irlen Client

    “Got my results for my exams for my first year in higher education. I never would have been able to achieve or get to higher education without my Irlen (Spectral) Filters. They are life changing, even my tutors have noticed a big difference. For (Irlen) awareness week, I am going to plan an event at my college to make more awareness with students and tutors.
    Sending colourful wishes from Hannah”

    Frustration Becomes Acceptance...or Aggression!
    A friend of mine, Susan Stiffelman, who teaches courses for parents, wrote an interesting article. I included a short segment of the article. You can reach Susan for information about her parenting classes at susan@susanstiffelman.

    This issue--helping children adapt rather than move toward aggression when they are frustrated--is one that parents of children from babies through teens often struggle with. In fact, Susan uses the approach she teaches on herself when she is frustrated--talking herself through Denial, Anger and Bargaining into the vulnerable experience of simply being sad.

    Mothers need to understand that children need to feel their disappointment--the weight of it, the sorrow that comes from not getting what they want--if they are to develop the muscle of resilience. Susan says, the next time your child is frustrated, notice what feelings come up for you that might move you to try to fix their problem or talk them out of their feelings. It can be painful to watch our kids struggle; but ultimately, if we can manage our feelings around their unhappiness, we become better able to support them to cope with their frustration so that they can grow into more resilient adults.

    Q & A: We Answer Your Questions

    Question: Hello - I am wondering how to help one of my patients who suffers from SPD - sensory processing disorder and asked about different tints that could help her. I don't know where to start. What can I tell her?

    Answer: To determine whether her SPD (sensory processing disorder) is related to lighting, especially florescent lights, sunlight, bright lights, glare, reading and doing other visual activities, have your patient take the long Self-Test on www.irlen.com/self-test/. She can be helped with Irlen Spectral Filters if she answers “Yes” in any of the different areas. She does not need to have difficulties in all of the areas.

    Other Noteworthy News

    Reading with Illustrations
    UK researchers found that 3-year-olds who were read storybooks with only one illustration per page learned two times more words than those who were read books with at least two pictures per page. The findings in the journal Infant and Child Development also showed that a hand-swipe gesture to guide attention to the right picture before reading enabled children to learn words in pages with two illustrations. United Press International (6/30)

    Effects of CCT Delivered Electronically
    A recent randomized study investigated the effects of CCT delivered electronically via tablet on the reading comprehension of struggling adolescent readers. Three Texas schools involving 3 teachers and 228 struggling sixth- to eighth-graders participated in this study. Using a within-teacher design, middle school teachers' reading intervention classes were randomly assigned to electronic CCT (n=9 classes, 112 students) or business as usual (n=7 classes, 116 students). All students had failed to score at the "proficient" level on the prior year's state reading assessment. Results showed statistically significant effects in favor of the experimental group (electronic tablets) on post-test measures of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and silent reading efficiency. Students who entered with lower-level reading comprehension showed the greatest gains.

    Screen Time or Story Time?
    A new article published in Frontiers of Psychology analyzes differences in parent-child talk and reading behavior when reading print versus electronic versions of the same books. Parents and children spent almost twice as much time reading the electronic books than the print format books. Children who were read the electronic books paid more attention, made themselves more available for reading, participated in more page turns, and produced more content-related comments during reading than those who were read the print format books. The researchers point out that while increased engagement does not always translate into increased learning, the positive engagement and content-related language observed in the children who were read the electronic books suggests they have a role in supporting learning for younger children. However, more work should be done to identify the potential benefits and hazards.

    Probiotics Promising for Mild to Moderate Depression
    13th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry
    COPENHAGEN, Denmark ―

    Probiotics may be effective in reducing core depressive symptoms in treatment-naive patients with a mild to moderate form of the disorder, results of a new pilot study suggest. Investigators led by Caroline Wallace, PhD candidate, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, found that symptoms of mood, anhedonia, and sleep disturbance were significantly reduced with probiotic therapy after just 4 weeks, with results maintained at 8 weeks. The findings are of particular interest because probiotics are not associated with any of the adverse effects of current antidepressant therapies and can be safely taken over long periods. These results, the investigators note, "suggest that probiotics may be effective in alleviating depressive symptoms such as mood, anhedonia, and sleep quality." Nevertheless, they acknowledge that the open-label nature of the study means that "these findings are susceptible to bias; thus, further blinded studies are warranted." To address these limitations plans for a larger randomized controlled trial are underway. Results from preclinical and clinical studies suggest that probiotics improve symptoms of depression. The hypothesis is that the effects are mediated via the gut-brain axis by reducing inflammation and increasing serotonin levels.

    Fun Ways to Stimulate Your Brain by Amen Clinics
    Studies show that preschoolers who play with good old building blocks are more likely to achieve high math scores in middle school and high school and to improve their language development. Even some traditional board games have been shown to enhance a variety of math skills in preschoolers. Whenever people think of brain healthy games for mental exercise, they immediately gravitate to crosswords puzzles or word games like Scrabble or Boggle. While these are great forms of mental exercise that work the language centers of the brain, there are many other areas of the brain that need exercise too. The areas that control memory, concentration, attention visual-spatial acuity, understanding, planning, anticipation, reaction, and coordination can also be strengthened with games. It is recommended to play a variety of games that work all the different parts of the brain.

    Creating Games That Activate the Right Side of the Brain: For most of us, the left side of the brain, which is dedicated to things like logic and detail, is dominant. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stimulate the more creative and artistic right side of the brain with activities like arts and crafts, playing with dolls or puppet and even playing charades.

    Word Games That Stimulate the Language Centers: Games like Scrabble and Boggle are great fun and can help teens and young adults learn new words and definitions, enhance language skills, ramp up concentration and improve memory. A bonus is that the scoring in these games also sharpens basic math skills. Crossword puzzles enhance language skills and protect the brain from memory loss. Solving a crossword puzzle as a group also fosters teamwork and patience. You can also try word scrambles or a game as simple as hangman, which challenges the brain in different ways. Even if you feel you are word challenged, you will find that you can get better and sharper with practice.

    Coordination Games and Activities: If you want to have some fun while fueling brain cell growth, try juggling. According to a paper published in Nature (2004), spending three months learning to juggle sparks growth in certain parts of the brain. German researchers studied twenty-four students over a three-month period: twelve of the students learned a classic three-ball juggling routine, while the other twelve did not learn to juggle. The brains of the jugglers and non-jugglers were scanned before and after the three-month learning period. At the conclusion of the study, the jugglers had more gray matter in the areas of the brain that control memory, language, and reading.

    Games That Involve Music: Music and rhythm are housed in your temporal lobes, which also control memory, reading, and language. Teens and young adults can improve these skills by stimulating the temporal lobes with games like karaoke or Name That Tune, which enhance your ability to listen and exercise your memory.

    Strategy Games That Give Multiple Areas of the Brain a Workout: Playing chess activates several parts of your brain at once. In a study that appeared in Cognitive Brain Research (2003), researchers performed MRI scans on chess players, and the scans showed activation of both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes. The conclusion is that a single game of chess can stimulate planning, follow-through, attention, impulse control, direction sense and visual-spatial ability.

    Memory Games: Simple games, such as the card game Concentration, aren’t just for young children. Teens and young adults can also strengthen their memory by playing them. Trivia games also challenge your memory skills and keep you mentally sharp.

    Games That Rely on Visual Power: Jigsaw puzzles offer a healthy dose of mental aerobics for teens and young adults. They activate the left side of your brain, the side responsible for noting the details of each puzzle piece, as well as the right side of the brain, which sees the big picture. Jigsaw puzzles improve problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and observational abilities, while also strengthening the connections in your memory centers.

    For more health articles, breaking medical news, healthy lifestyle tips and more, sign up for Dan Amen Newsletters by emailing Amen Clinics

    ADHD and Mood Swings: What You Need to Know By Understood.org
    Kids with ADHD (also known as ADD) often struggle with managing their emotions. For some, that can mean mood swings that leave their parents, teachers and friends wondering what caused such a swift change in attitude and behavior. Kids with ADHD tend to feel anger, anxiety, frustration or disappointment more intensely than their peers. (The same can be true of positive emotions.) At the same time, they typically have trouble managing their emotions and reactions. That makes it hard for them to keep a reasonable perspective. Instead, they feel like a minor frustration is a major problem. Mood swings can be difficult for the whole family to deal with. But there are things you can do to help your child recognize and regulate his emotions.

    Don’t overreact to flare-ups. If his mood swing starts with an outburst, try not to react too quickly or intensely in the moment. If you’re highly emotional, it may make it even harder for him to gain control. Plus, you’re not likely to be heard at that point. It may be helpful for him to vent his frustrations for a bit, so long as his venting isn’t extreme.

    Reflect what you see. When your child’s negative mood doesn’t quickly pass, it may help to mention that he seems unsettled or frustrated or annoyed. He may not even realize he’s had an abrupt change in mood, or even be able to identify what he’s feeling. Noticing it in a calm, uncritical way may help him to open some constructive conversation. You can say something like, “It looks like you’ve become angry or annoyed about something. You were in such a good mood earlier.” Being matter of fact about it helps keep the conversation from becoming overly emotional.

    Ask what’s going on, and empathize. It’s important to show empathy to your child and tell him it’s okay to feel the way he’s feeling. At the same time, you can show him that talking about what’s bothering him allows him to get it out and move on before his negative feelings grow.
    You can say something like, “Did something happen to make you become so down on yourself? If he tells you, show him empathy by saying, “That would make me feel embarrassed, too.” You can even swap stories about when similar things happened to you. Just know that your child may not be ready to talk about it, and it’s important to respect that. Give him room to back away from it for a while if he needs to.

    Share your feelings about his behavior. You may worry about making him feel guilty or ashamed. But it’s important for your child to know how his moods affect other people—including you. You can say something like, “I’m feeling irritated by how you’re behaving. Did something happen that’s making you feel mad?” You might find that he opens up about what’s bothering him. And you can use that first to empathize, and then to explain that while you’re happy to help him work through it, you’re not willing to be treated with disrespect.

    Look into medication side effects. If your child is on ADHD medication, it’s possible that the medication may be playing a role in his mood swings. That’s especially true if those swings keep happening at about the same time day after day. Stimulant medications wear off in the late afternoon or early evening. Sometimes that can cause a few hours of moodiness. Parents might see their child feeling overly sad or irritable, for instance. If you see a pattern of moodiness in your child over many days, you may want to mention this to the prescriber. Some minor fine-tuning of the dose, timing or type of medication might correct the problem.

    Be Aware of Mental Health Issues Kids with ADHD are at higher risk for anxiety and depression. Either one of those issues can cause mood changes. If a negative mood persists for longer than a week or two, it’s important to talk with your child’s doctor or with a mental health professional. Explore signs of anxiety and depression in kids. The more information you have, the better able you’ll be to help your child manage his mood swings. Learn how behavior therapy can help some kids with ADHD. Discover why many kids with ADHD struggle with aggression. Try a unique simulation to see what your child may experience. And find out what to do if you’re concerned your child has ADHD.

    Have You Joined The Conversation?

    Our Twitter network is growing and we have lots of interesting things to share! Join Irlen on Twitter and stay on the pulse of all things Irlen. Find us @SeeIrlen and don't forget to hashtag #Irlen when you tweet!

    Books By Helen Irlen

    Get the Irlen Revolution Book.

     

    Get The Irlen Revolution

    Review by Shoshana Shamberg on Amazon.com. “Another amazing book by Helen Irlen, the genius behind the creation of Irlen Method, one of the most effective interventions for visual sensory processing disorders affecting reading, writing, attention, anxiety, visual processing, and daily functioning. A must-read for all occupational therapists, pediatricians, psychologists, and teachers.”

    Sports Concussion and Getting Back in the Game... of Life
    A New Book By Helen Irlen Download it today on Amazon This is a unique book in that it not only talks about the growing concern today regarding concussions in sports, but it also offers a proven solution to mitigate or even eliminate the symptoms, when concussions don’t “just go away.” It’s called the Irlen Method.