Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome: How wearing Irlen Lenses Can Change Your World

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome: How wearing Irlen Lenses Can Change Your World: View the clip here I have posted a great clip of an artist talking about how her life has changed for the better once she got her Irlen l...

How wearing Irlen Lenses Can Change Your World

View the clip here

I have posted a great clip of an artist talking about how her life has changed for the better once she got her Irlen lenses. It is worth noting, that she takes the glasses off toward the end of the clip and holds them up to the camera. For us, everything has a shade of purple, but for the person with the tinted lenses, in this case, Debra the artist, sees the world as normal- not purple as we do. Cheers

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dyslexia, Hyperlexia and Perceptual Dyslexia

So what is the difference between Dyslexia, Hyperlexia and Perceptual Dyslexia? Dr Whiting explains in the YouTube clip.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thousands wearing coloured filters for SSS

Did you know that more than 25,000 people are wearing coloured filters around the world as a specific treatment for Irlen Syndrome, otherwise known as SSS? And many thousands more people are using coloured overlays to reduce the impact of SSS.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wider-Spaced Text May Boost Reading Skills in Children with Dyslexia

Thanks once again to the Irlen Institute for the latest research on Dyslexia. Let's do everything we can to help our students/adults read!

"Widening the space between letters in words increased the reading speed and average accuracy of 74 Italian and French children with dyslexia, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers said the strategy is not a cure for dyslexia, which causes the brain to process information differently, but the spaced-out text may assist some children with dyslexia to read more easily." (Irlen Institute Newsletter 2012)

I know that when I'm doing the review sessions with our Year 3/4 students for the ERIK program, many of them choose to read the texts with the larger, more spaced out font. Interesting. I think I will be more mindful of this from now on with all students.

Let's try it and see what happens.

Have a great day everyone,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaching our students to become web literate

On his blog 'The November Learning Blog, Alan November wrote about
Web Literacy.
He says, that just teaching students how to search for information is not enough.
He proposes that schools should start teaching students about web literacy.
What is web literacy? It's basically becoming more Internet savvy.
For example, understanding the importance of punctuation in the domain name.
To view this article go to


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Autism and visual processing difficulties

Here's an article from the Irlen Institute Newsalert newsletter.
"Sensory processing deficits can be part of a composite of difficulties for those on the autism spectrum. Visual processing deficits, in particular, are experienced by many with ASD. There are many different side effects to living in a visually distorted world, including using inappropriate behaviors as coping strategies, poor social skills and language, and large and small motor difficulties. As these deficits become part of the definition of autism spectrum disorders and more parents become aware of these silent difficulties, treatments that address sensory and visual processing issues need to factor into parents’ and professionals’ goals. Minimizing sensory bombardment should be an essential intervention and part of the treatment program for many on the autism spectrum …" ( Helen L. Irlen, MA, BCPC, LMFT. Autism Science Digest: The Journal of AutismOne. Issue 04)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Raising money for Breast Cancer Research

I am taking part in the Mother's Day Classic and raising funds for breast cancer research. Every extra dollar I raise through fundraising goes towards vital research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. I will be participating or volunteering along with 120,000 Australians nationwide who are making a difference on Mother's Day and taking steps to save lives by helping fund the best breast cancer research. You can help us too by donating online here...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Irlen Syndrome - a visual stress syndrome

According to Wikipedia,
"Scotopic sensitivity syndrome, also known as Irlen Syndrome and Visual Stress Syndrome, approximating in some ways to Meares Irlen syndrome, and 'Visual Stress', refers to visual perceptual disorder(s) affecting primarily reading and writing based activities.

Scotopic sensitivity syndrome is based on the theory that some individuals have hypersensitive photoreceptors, visual pathways, and/or brain systems that react inappropriately to some wavelengths of light.

 In simple terms, the theory is that some signals from the eye are not getting to the brain intact and / or on time. Although the eye might be functioning correctly, the brain receives what is like a double exposed picture where the location of items is confused. The brain tries to filter out the bad information and so the conscious mind receives a reconstructed image. That image may be of the items moving (the brain constantly changing its best guess of what is there), blurred outcomes (inability to form a view of what is there), gaps in wrong spots, and a variety of other minor errors. There may also be exhaustion (from the mental effort to unscramble) and sore eyes (from the eyes constantly seeking extra data to aid the process) The problem is worst where different colours do not all give a similar outcome. In nature you get a lot of consistent data but on a man made item (e.g. paper) there might only be limited colour sets. i.e. The condition does not generate practical problems where there is lots of redundant data for the brain to use. The pragmatic response by Irlen was not to try to fix the problem but to avoid it. By filtering out the light most likely to generate problem signals to the brain, she was able to improve the likelihood that the brain will correctly distinguish between good and bad information. It also seems likely that in some individuals, over time the brain learns which colours are the problem items and improves its ability to reconstruct an accurate image."

Smartboards in the Classroom

Thank you to the Irlen Institute for posting this message on Facebook about Smartboards. I know we have installed a Smartboard in most of our classrooms.
"Since the introduction of bright white Smart boards to classrooms, there has been an increase in the numbers of children who report headaches and visual distortions when looking at these boards. We are now advising teachers to set the default background to a buff colour - then to consult their pupils about what background colour suits them best."

Have a safe and relaxing Easter break everyone.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome: What age can you screen for Irlen Syndrome?

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome: What age can you screen for Irlen Syndrome?: Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome I am currently working with a student who is 6 years + 5 months. Last year, (he would have been 6 years old th...

What age can you screen for Irlen Syndrome?

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome

I am currently working with a student who is 6 years + 5 months. Last year, (he would have been 6 years old then), he came to the 'reading lesson' and when he went to get his book out of his pencil case (that's what we use to take the books home), a pair of toy cardboard glasses with blue cellophane fell out. How interesting I thought. When I asked him why he was using those glasses, he replied because it "stops the words moving around on the page". Well, immediately I was on alert. When I was training to be an Irlen Screener, it was recommended to wait until children were around 8 years old. I'm not so sure about this now. I think it probably depends on each individual student. This particular student, was able to articulate quite clearly the difficulties he was having.

This year,  I have had to turn the lights off because the glare is too much for him. He is constantly rubbing his eyes whilst reading and it looks so uncomfortable for him. He is not reading with fluency and he is having difficulty concentrating. He says that the words "look diagonal". When I asked him to write down what the words looked like, they were not written in a straight line. I took a photo, and this is what he wrote.

So, with Mums' permission, we are going to screen him for Irlen.
Stay posted for updates.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dyslexia and making progress in learning to read

Yesterday I attended the Learning Difficulties Australia conference here in Melbourne. The focus for the conference was the discussion around the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery Program. Three highly respected academics presented: Tom Nicholson (Professor at the University of Tasmania, John Hattie and Dr Kerry Hempenstell.
John Hattie presented some research that showed what the most effective programs are. The program that has the most effect on student learning outcomes is the teaching of vocabulay programs and repeated reading programs. It was also suggested that students with dyslexia, will require more intensive instruction for longer periods of time.

"...we are not suggesting that children diagnosed as having dyslexia cannot make progress in learning to read. Rather, our claim is that these children require more intensive instruction of longer duration of the kind provided in the third tier of RTI models" (Tunmer & Greaney, 2010).
I will talk about the 3 Tiers next time, but basically, this means 1:1 individual programs with the teacher and one student. This may be programs such as Reading Recovery, Bridges etc.

Until next time,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Irlen Screener update course

Hello Everyone,
I'm excited to report that next week I will be attending the Irlen Screener's qualification update course. As with anything, it is important to keep up to date with the latest research, findings, methods and processes. So, I'm looking forward to reporting back to you the information I receive on the day.
Stay tuned and please email me any questions or wonderings you might have about Irlen Syndrome, Dyslexia or reading difficulties in general.
Take care