- Irlen Alberta
- Irlen Syndrome
In light of the latest scientific evidence, it is clear that the negative effect of Irlen Syndrome on the student goes beyond reading. In fact, this dysfunction will affect planning, attention, focus and concentration, all consequences of the hyperactivation of the visual cortex.
In many cases, a significant improvement of the behavior can be observed with the use of Irlen Spectral Filters. In severe cases, physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue accompany this syndrome, especially as the school day progresses.
A common manifestation of Irlen Syndrome is the appearance of visual distortions as soon as visual fatigue sets in. This can occur after half an hour, but in severe cases it can happen within a few words. These distortions will limit access to the written text, reduce the reading rate, and the recollection of the information.
Another manifestation is the reduction of the visual span. By visual span, we mean the width of the vision where words can be read without having to move the eye from spot to spot on a page. In the case of many adults, this span may include two or three words which is essential for the production of fluent reading, whereas in the case of an Irlen sufferer, the person will only see a few letters if he or she does not move their eyes. This information makes it easy to imagine how this difficulty, combined with visual distortions, will make copying from the board very difficult and laborious.
It is also easy to understand how these same factors will negatively affect handwriting, especially when the blue lines of a notebook become hard to perceive. The most difficult items for a person with Irlen Syndrome to look at is high contrast items i.e. the black print on the white page that make up most reading materials.
Finally, with the added fatigue of the school day, the homework period is often marked by procrastination, delaying tactics and crises. This is typically made worse by the bright lighting that is usually found over most kitchen tables, especially if the light source is the fluorescent or fluorocompact light bulbs that are usually found in most classrooms.