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
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  • •
  • Testimonials
  •   Reference Material
    for Irlen

    go to Reference Material page

          Irlen Scientific

    go to Science Research page

         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

         Free Irlen Self-Test

             click here

    View Sample Distortions

             click here

        YouTube Video Reference                Material

    View YouTube Videos. Learn how Irlen coloured overlays and filtered lenses can help with migraines and headaches, reading, math comprehension, head injuries and learn about other Irlen success stories.

    View YouTube Videos. Learn how Irlen coloured overlays and filtered lenses can help with migraines and headaches, reading, math comprehension, head injuries and other Irlen success stories.

        Books and Reference                Material

    Reading by the Colors written by Helen Irlen available to purchase.

    Learn more about the Irlen Syndrome by reading, "The Irlen Revolution" and "Reading by the Colors" written by Helen Irlen.
    Both of these resource books are a must read for all those who work with children: teachers, parents, physicians, eye care professionals, and so on. I can just about guarantee that you will know someone who is affected by Irlen Syndrome and who will be eternally grateful to you for directing them to this resource.

    Nola Stigings - Irlen Specialist serving Central and Southern Alberta (including Red Deer, Innisfail, Calgary and Medicine Hat) and in Cranbrook, BC.

    Nola Stigings, Certified Irlen Diagnostician/Clinic Director, President of the Canadian Association of Irlen Professionals (CAIP). Approved by the Irlen Institute for testing in Central and Southern Alberta (including Red Deer, Innisfail, Calgary and Medicine Hat) and in Cranbrook, BC.


    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.

    The Irlen Institute Celebrates 30 Years And Continues Expanding Its Reach

    Helen Irlen

    Long Beach Business Journal Newspaper Article
     read more

    Irlen Information for Professionals

    learn more about Irlen for Professionals
     Physicians |  Optometrists/Opticians/ | Psychologists

    Winning Strategies for Teachers

    The Brain, Learning, and Irlen Syndrome

    In light of the latest scientific evidence, it is clear that the negative effect of Irlen Syndrome on the learner 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.

    Common manifestations of Irlen Syndrome

    A more frequent 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, will reduce the reading rate, and the recall of the text.

    How text looks to people who have Irlen Syndrome.

    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. This makes it easy to understand why someone easily loses his or her place on a page.

    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.

    What About Autism?

    Irlen Spectral Filters will not "cure" autism. However, 84% of all autistic students are also sensitive to light just as they are sensitive to loud noises, strong odors, and being touched. Their light sensitivity is of the same nature as the light sensitivity of an Irlen person, with the expected effects on reading, concentration and focus. The use of Irlen Spectral Filters by the autistic students will help improve their ability to regulate their behavior, as was demonstrated in a recent British study.

    So what exactly is Irlen Syndrome?

    Irlen syndrome is not a problem of the eye, but of the brain. Optometric interventions will not resolve Irlen Syndrome just as an intervention aimed at Irlen syndrome will not resolve optometric issues. Consequently, Irlen practitioners require that a client have a visual examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist ideally no more than six months prior to an Irlen assessment.

    There has been a substantial body of research since the 1980s. The efficacy of Irlen Spectral Filters is supported by more than 100 studies led by independent researchers. These scientists published their results in peer-reviewed, respected professional journals in the fields of education, medicine, and psychology. Among these are the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Australian Journal of Special Education, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology, Journal of Research in Reading, Behavioral Optometry, and Ophthalmological and Behavioral Optics. A recent review established that of 62 selected studies, 56 had shown positive results, 45 noted significant improvement in specific reading skills, 11 gave positive results for optical accommodation, improved eye movements and reduced headaches and migraines. Studies are ongoing in Australia, Italy, Brazil, England, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

    What can be done to help the student with Irlen Syndrome?

  • Students with Irlen Syndrome are particularly sensitive to overhead fluorescent light and to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Seating the student next to a window allows them to benefit from the natural light.
  • Place the student in a darker area of the room to read, or turn down the lights if possible.
  • Allow the student to wear sunglasses or a ball cap in class to reduce the amount of direct light entering the eyes.
  • Overhead projectors emit a very intense light. Ensure that the student is seated away from the light at a 45 degree angle and whenever possible, present the text on coloured slides instead of those with a pure white background.
  • Computer screens can also be problematic; ask the computer technician at your school to install “Screen Tinter Lite”, which is a free software program that allows the student to colour the background of Microsoft Office software such as Word. This program may not work on internet pages.
  • Suggest to parents that they bring the student to an optometrist to rule out any underlying physical problems.
  • Avoid having busy, high contrast or cluttered presentation areas
  • Give the student extra time to read, as this may be necessary for them to gain a full understanding of the text.
  • Students with Irlen Syndrome find that they can perform better when using coloured paper. Ask the student which colour is preferred and use this when giving tests and photocopied reading material.
  • Allow the student to use a ruler or finger as a guide as they read.
  • Allow time for the student to rest their eyes, which may reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and fatigue.
  • Encourage the student to use a voice-recorder to record their notes, which will reduce the need to read while studying.
  • Avoid requiring the student to copy notes from the chalkboard. This is an extremely difficult task for students with Irlen Syndrome.
  • Be aware that the student may have difficulty with depth perception (i.e.: difficulty catching a ball; may frequently bump into things).
  • Graph paper, such as that used in mathematics, can cause visual distortions in students with Irlen Syndrome. Use only with care.
  • Avoid “serif-type” fonts such as Times New Roman; Arial or Verdana are easier for the student to read.
  • Avoid characters that are too small or text that is too dense.
  • Encourage the use of the student’s Irlen® filters if they have been prescribed.
  • Discourage the negative attitudes and comments of other students. Encourage open discussion about Irlen Syndrome and the ways in which classmates can assist the affected student.