After posting about Irlen Syndrome the other day, I wanted to do some further research and give you my thoughts. Keep in mind I am not a medical professional, so I am speaking from my own experiences.
I did some further research on Irlen Syndrome and found that there are differing opinions on whether or not it is a valid condition. In fact, Wikipedia calls it “controversial”, although the article also mentions that the condition was described by two different people working separately, a fact which gives it more credence in my mind.
When I worked in Learning Assistance at Schoolcraft College in Michigan we would sometimes suggest that students who had trouble reading use either a transparent colored piece of plastic or a sheet of colored paper as an aid. This seems to support the idea behind the Irlen Syndrome, and I know for a fact that it worked because I saw it happen.
I found another site called Help for Teachers that mentioned Irlen Syndrome. The author, Rebecca Madl, has the condition as do two of her sons.
Many of Ms. Madl’s experiences are things that I can relate to, either in myself or my children. Preferring low light to read in was one that caught my attention, and having eye strain that glasses do not help was another.
I also found Roger Wheaton’s site, which includes information about Irlen Syndrome as well as ADHD, migraines and dyslexia. I found it interesting that migraines can be associated with Irlen Syndrome because my mother suffered from them, as do my children and myself.
Mr. Wheaton, a pharmacist, also mentions that he could never see perspective in 3D sidewalk art until he started using Irlen lenses. Do you remember those books that were popular several years ago that were all 3D images? If you stared at it, you could see things “pop out”. I never could, nor could my girls. I wonder if Irlen Syndrome has something to do with it?
Altogether, I think that Amy Lombardo has brought an important issue to our attention. Whether or not “most people” believe in Irlen Syndrome, I say if the lenses make an improvement for you, that’s all you need to know.
I’ve tried to give you a number of resources to check for more information if you are interested, and you can always do your own search. If some of this is ringing true for you, it might be worth a further look.