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The Irlen Method has helped children and adults worldwide become successful rather than continue to experience enormous difficulties. This method has received international acclaim and Helen Irlen’s work has been included in professional journals, textbooks, National Geographic, TV shows such as 60 Minutes and the Alan Jones radio program in 2005. Good Morning America, ABC World News With Peter Jennings and NBC News has been the subject of many news broadcasts by the BBC and news shows in Ireland , Hong Kong , Netherlands , New Zealand and Australia including their 60 Minutes.

The Irlen Method provides a unique service for children and adults with reading, attention, and learning difficulties. But even good readers and gifted students can be helped. At least two million Americans are identified as learning disabled. Many more are labelled as "not trying hard enough" at school for a variety of reasons, including lack of motivation, attention deficit disorder, reading problems, or discipline problems.

The Irlen Method expands upon current standardized testing by exploring a wide range of reasons for poor school and work performance. The standard tests frequently fail to identify all the reasons for problems because they look at only part of the puzzle.

Irlen Syndrome, also known as, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS) is a type of visual perceptual problem. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with how the nervous system encodes and decodes visual information. Academic and work performance, behaviour, attention, ability to sit still and concentration can be affected. Individuals with this problem see the printed page differently, although they may not realize that they do. Having Irlen Syndrome keeps many people from reading effectively, efficiently, or even at all. Until now, it has baffled educators and medical scientists because it is undetected by standard visual, educational and medical tests.

Individuals with Irlen Syndrome see the printed page differently from those with normal vision and must constantly adapt to distortions appearing on the printed page. They may be slow or inefficient readers, exhibit poor comprehension, suffer from strain, fatigue or headaches. It can affect their attention-span, energy-level, motivation, handwriting, depth-perception and, ultimately, self-esteem. Irlen syndrome sufferers may be labelled as underachievers with behavioural, attitudinal, or motivational problems. It is a complex and variable condition sometimes found to co-exist with other learning disabilities.

Scotopic Sensitivity









Scotopic Sensitivity with Irlen Lenses



Poor handwriting due to Irlen Syndrome






Light Sensitivity : discomfort or difficulty concentrating in fluorescent light, sunlight, bright lights, glare, lights at night; difficulties with white boards, overhead projectors, bright shiny surfaces and white paper when reading.

Poor Depth Perception : difficulty judging accurately distances or spatial relationships, causing difficulty with stairs, escalators, ball games, driving, perspective and writing.

Eyestrain: physical symptoms are varied and can include fatigue, drowsiness, headaches, fidgeting, distractibility, hyperactivity and stress.

Attention Deficit Disorders : problems concentrating during tasks such as reading, computer work, listening and observing, tests and examinations; stress, hyperactivity, and changes in mood especially in fluorescent lighting.

Contrast and Colour Sensitivity : problems with high contrast, such as black print on white paper, bright colours, busy patterns such as stripes and polka dots.

Restricted Span : inability to read words in groups or see objects in the environment as a whole; this can affect the ability to recognise and understand facial expressions and body language.

Inefficient Reading : skipping words/lines; rereading for information; slow reading rate; problems with tracking; misreading words; putting words in the wrong order and copying from the board.

Distortions : problems include seeing patterns in the background; print moving, fading, disappearing, swirling, blurring, sparkling or shimmering; seeing similar distortions in the environment such as blurriness and movement.

Please select from the list of distortion effects to see what it looks like



Headaches vary in type, intensity and cause. Some indicate a serious underlying medical problem and it is always wise to consult your Doctor if you have any worries.

Some people with Irlen Syndrome can find headaches a regular and unwelcome feature of their lives. Glare from the page, or the computer monitor sometimes combines with moving words and floating images to cause sensations very like those of motion sickness.

Poor depth perception can also be a common characteristic of Irlen Syndrome. Judging distances is very difficult, so getting on and off escalators, driving or walking in a crowded space is unnecessarily stressful. Even climbing stairs can be challenging for some. Depth perception can be improved for many through the use of tinted lenses and the resulting reduction in stress and tension in everyday situations can be remarkable.

In our home, school and work environments we are often surrounded by flickering fluorescent lights. Television screens and CRT computer monitors seem to show a steady picture but, in fact, flash between 50 and 100 times per second. Flickering light has been shown to trigger migraine attacks in some sufferers and coloured lenses have proved effective in reducing the frequency of these attacks. People whose headaches stem from traumatic injury to the head or neck (e.g. whiplash, concussion) may also benefit from colour filtration.





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