What happens when I come for testing?
The assessment process is separated into two testing sessions. The first session is called Screening. You will do a series of perceptual tasks with a certified Irlen Screener/Diagnostician to determine if you have Visual Processing Disorder. The testing creates an awareness of exactly what types of distortions you are experiencing when reading, educates as to what a page should be like, and finally, determines if your symptoms are slight, moderate or severe. At this first session, we also check your sensitivity to light, depth perception and whether you experience environmental distortions. We determine which coloured overlay (plastic sheet) which will provide the greatest benefit for reading.
The second session is to select and determine the correct combination of coloured filters to correct your distortions experienced by the individual. The colour you will wear as lenses is usually quite different from the most helpful overlay colour. The overlay makes the page look coloured. With the Irlen lenses, the page will still look white but it will be a comfortable white. This means the Irlen lenses will not change the colour of what you are looking at.
How common is V.P.D (Irlen Syndrome)?
Around 50% of children and adults with reading problems have Visual Processing Disorder. For some, V.P.D will be just part of the puzzle as they will have other reading/learning problems that need to be addressed, too. Irlen Filters will make the print clear and easy to see the page comfortably. This is not a method of reading instruction or remediation but wearing Irlen Lenses may make it easier to benefit from reading instruction and utilise these reading skills with ease and comfort and to be able to read for long periods at a time.
About 12 – 14% of the general population, good readers and even gifted students can have V.P.D (Irlen Syndrome). For these individuals, using Irlen coloured overlays may allow them to read longer without having to take breaks, read without experiencing strain, fatigue, or even getting headaches. For others, they may find that they have to do less rereading for comprehension or that they are no longer losing their place on the page.
About 33% of those individuals with attention problems may find that the cause of their problems is struggling to sit still, attend and work under fluorescent lighting. Irlen Filters may be a drug-free alternative.
Yes, over 54 papers have been published in peer review journals; long-term studies show positive feedback from people who have been wearing Irlen Filters for over 6 years. Just as many girls as boys have Irlen Syndrome. One study of 751 children with V.P.D found that 84% had at least one parent with Visual Processing Disorder.
No. Only if they have V.P.D (Irlen Syndrome).
Problems related to language differences, poor phonic skills and a sight vocabulary can only be helped with appropriate reading instruction. Occasionally we find people who have symptoms but none of the Filters help. In this case, the person is usually able to get some help by reading in dimmer light and using a plastic overlay. A few people will need to wear Irlen Filters AND use a plastic overlay.
Visual problems should be corrected before screening for V.P.D (Irlen Syndrome) since colour cannot correct visual problems nor does it replace the need for glasses.
Medical research shows that these perception problems appear to be caused by a defect in one of the visual pathways that carry messages from the eye to the brain. This defect causes a timing fault in processing visual information. Filtering out specific wavelengths of light helps the pathway to function normally.
No. What makes Irlen Filters work is the careful identification of the person’s symptoms and the selection of a tint that gets rid of these symptoms. Only a certified Irlen specialist can carry out this process.