What is Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual problem that can affect academic and work performance.
It is assumed we all perceive the printed page and/or the environment the same.
Individuals with Irlen Syndrome may not be aware they see the printed page differently and may assume everyone experiences the same distortions and physical symptoms. People with Irlen Syndrome may see standard text in a number of different ways, for example:
- Blurring of print.
- ‘Squashed up’ print.
- Movement of print – jumping, swapping, wiggling or vibration of letters.
- Letters muddling or words ‘falling off the page’.
- Letters changing or doubling.
- Letters fading or becoming darker.
- Patterns appearing in the print.
- Illusions of colour – blobs of colour moving on the page.
- Nausea, discomfort or even pain caused by glare from the page.
- Rivers of light snaking through the text (often described as waterfalls).
- Headaches, tired or sore eyes.
Iren Syndrome, also known as Scotopic Sensitivity System (SSS) is not an optical condition, it is a type of problem with visual perception. It is in how the nervous system encodes and decodes visual information, where the problem lays. With the use of coloured overlays and filters, the brain’s ability to process this information is improved. This coloured-based technology filters out offensive light waves for the brain to accurately process information to improve reading fluency, comprehension, light sensitivity, concentration, writing problems, including spelling and other issues that may be affecting learning.
Individuals with Irlen Syndrome may exhibit some or all of the following signs when reading:
- Moving closer to or away from the page or frequently changing position.
- Rubbing eyes.
- Excessive blinking or looking away from the page.
- Tiring quickly. Concentration may be poor and attention span may be short.
- Poor assimilation of reading text.
- Losing place easily.
- Poor spelling.
- Misreading words.
- Speed or rate of reading is slower than expected for intelligence level.
Other signs of Irlen Syndrome include:
- Words appear blurry, or appear to shift on the page
- Being bothered by bright, glossy paper when reading
- Develop a headache or nausea during or after reading
- Have trouble copying from the board or produce unequal spacing when writing
- Have problems with depth perception, e.g. catching balls.
For further information about Irlen Syndrome visit:www.aaic.org.au
Download a guide to understand Irlen Syndrome
Does your child exhibit 3 or more of the following traits?
- Do they skip words or lines while reading?
- Do they lose their place or reread lines?
- Does reading make your child tired?
- Does your child need to take frequent breaks while reading?
- Do you find your child blinking or squinting when they read?
- Does your child's eyes hurt, or get watery or dry when reading?
- Does your child prefer to read in dim light?
- Do you find your child's head moves closer to the page as they read?
- Does your child use their finger or a marker to help them read?
- Does reading get harder the longer your child does it?
- Does your child get restless or fidgety when reading?
- Is your child easily distracted when they read?
- Does your child find it hard to remember what they have just read?
- Does your child try to avoid reading?