Hi can anyone help with information about a difficulty my daughter seems to be having with reading. She reads very slowly and has trouble decoding words generally (why we got her assessed in the first place) but I've noticed that she also seems to have trouble staying on the lines she is reading. When she moves t a new line she often jumps to two lines below rather than one and is very disorientated if she gets interrupted, finds it hard to find her place again etc. I'm sure I've read posts from others about similar problems and seem to remember something about 'behavioural optometry' or something similar. I'd love to hear from anyone who could enlighten me further about what the problem may be and who I could see about this.
Hi Rosanne. Your daughter may need to have an assessment with a vision therapist. I know of several in various parts of Auckland so indicate where you live. I also know of a few in other areas but mainly Auckland.
This may not be related at all, but it may be, so I'll share, but definitely see a specialist such as Barbara recommends above.
My Nephew also had trouble learning to read, and eventually they noticed he had trouble staying on the lines, and sent him to a vision specialist, who tested him and found he had something called Irlen's Syndrome (a.k.a. Erlin's Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome)
He used to say "The words don't stay still, they fall off the edge of the page"
Irlen's Syndrome is a disability of the eye (and or brain). The way the eye "reads" color, lines, shapes, and text is affected. It seems to have different effects on the cases i have heard of, in one study the brain read from the eye faster than most human brains do. This causes some people to see light very differently, colors and shapes can be distorted to the viewer with Irlen's. Some of the people who suffer from Irlen's Syndrome have trouble seeing text. One study showed that the patient could see only one word at a time on paper and even then the one word was blurred. People living with irlen's may be diagnosed or in conjunction with irlen's show signs of dyslexia. Prescriptions are now becoming more available for the tinted glasses that can reduce the symptoms caused by irlen's.
He now has a prescription pair of glasses that have a soft blue tint, and he says it helps him to see "normally."
This was all sorted out when my nephew was 8, now at 14 he is an avid and fast reader, who enjoys a wide range of books, and has had no other vision problems since getting the pale tinted glasses.
More info can be found at: http://www.irlen.com/index_sss.html
This second link shows you a simulation of how someone with Irlens might see a printed page.
Not to "contradict" any of the above at all - just adding my own perspective (which may or may not be applicable).
I also have difficulty "tacking along a straight line" visually - not just reading but any task that requires "visual tracking" - especially horizontal and the most difficult is the left to right direction.
In my case at least, I do not consider this to be related with my physical ability to co-ordinate and control my eye movement but rather that doing so is a task that does not provide me with the same "access" to information that I am able to gain through other means.
I "think" in pictures - my "visual thinking processes" (both from physical observation and from an imaginational perspective) - to "understand" something, I NEED to be able to "see" it in a visual context - that context could be a "literal" one or a pictorial "analogy".
To "draw understanding" or "information" from words and "learn" from those words, I have to go through what for me takes such an enormous amount of mental energy and concentration that even relatively short durations of "reading to acquire information" seems to require me to drawn upon the physical energy I have that is being put into other physical tasks and "redirect it" into the "reading task".
If we were to think of our energy in terms of electrical impulses running through household wiring - with a "controller" that determines distribution of all available energy on the basis of how much energy each "outcome" requires - for me, "reading" is like plugging in an electrical tool that requires far more energy than is immediately available for tasks of that nature so the "controller" has to temporarily change the circuit switch settings to direct as many electrical impulses as possible from the total available. This leaves a greatly reduced amount of energy available for other "services" plugged into the circuit.
Words themselves hold no meaning for me - its just the way my mind is - it "knows" that words are a type of language but they are a language so foreign and so different to its own natural language that it is unable to understand the words without "translating " it into picture form.
In order to be able to translate that which I am reading, I must store as many words as it takes to be able to create an accurate picture version of the information being presented - then and only then will I understand the meaning of the words.
The degree of difficulty depends on how many descriptive terms are available within the text - descriptive terms are much easier to convert into picture form for obvious reasons.
To view a picture from different perspectives its is just as easy to manipulate the picture as it is to change the viewing position and even if you choose to use both methods - in terms of "mental processes" that would be likely to have an influence with regard to how one would physically use their eyes, I find that even when focusing on a specific detail within the visual image, I do so within the context of it being part of the picture that I am looking into more directly without actually "blocking out" or "blurring out" the rest of the image.
So in terms of mental processes related to "seeing" I rarely if ever actually practise "mental visual actions" that would "match" the physical tracking process required for reading.
A person whose thought processes are predominantly linear and whose "natural language" is words will be constantly mentally practising tasks that would logically provide them with a huge advantage over me when it comes to the actual physical task of using their eyes to read and draw meaning from written word.
While I am not of the view that difficulties that appear to be much like my own in terms of outcome cannot be the result of some form of visual "disability" in a very real sense - I do not believe that the "outcome" itself should be the determining factor when it comes to deciding if one regards the outcome to be the result of a "disability" and if one should attempt to try and "correct" it.
It is true that as a child I was at a distinct disadvantage - most obviously in an educational environment but that disadvantage was the result of my not having "equal opportunity". The majority of students were being provided with repeated opportunity to "practise" a skill that was a "strength" for them and one that catered to providing them with information from which they could learn and gain understanding in a format that was in keeping with their natural learning style.
Opportunities for me to develop my natural abilities and practise the skills I was strongest in were few and far between - likewise I was rarely provided with information to learn and gain understanding from in my own natural language.
That isnt a "disability" and to be able to think of it as such, one would have to have prejudice against minority learning and thinking styles.
In my case, had there been any effort to attempt to "correct" the problem by trying to develop my "tracking skills" I believe would have put me at an even greater disadvantage rather than reduce the disadvantage because it would have meant that I had even less time available to me to find opportunities to develop my strengths and learn how to use what I have to my disadvantage.
Now, as an adult with greater freedom to create opportunity for myself to do that, I find myself thankful that I dont have the added complication of trying to practise skills that specific training would result in my being conditioned against.
Again - I am not in any way implying that any other comments are not valid - just adding what is valid for me to the list of comments available for consideration.
Further to your post Lorna I recently did a google search on Irlen's and there is a wealth of information on it. As you say children say that the text seems to move around on the page, or jump, and they have great difficulty seeing black text on a white page. If they are diagnosed with Irlen's they are provided with special glasses which corrects this problem - it does not cure dyslexia it merely addresses the text doing a merry dance thing - or falling off the page - or however it is they perceive it. Wearing the glases the children don't have to do any special eye exercises.
Now the experts say there is absolutely no credible scientifc evidence but one child I now swears that the coloured glasses work, and Irlen's has been in existence for about 20 years now. Some Kip McGrath centres I believe do the assessments - parents probably need to make their own minds by reading some of the website links. Good to raise awareness of it though so people have the choice.
Further to Chugga's post latest research would agree with her that visual eye tracking has shown to have no correlation with reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, which is know to be based in linguistic processing areas of the brain. But that is not to say that poor eye coordination might not affect functional skills in some way. But as Chugga says I know another child assessed with poor ability to 'cross the midline' and jerky eye movements - hours and hours of reading and fine craft work have never been a problem. Eye tracking 'problems' might not even be there any more for all I know?!
As far as "colour" goes - I have found personally that it is "less draining" to read text that is set against backgrounds other than white - some text/background combinations are much better than others - bright backgrounds have a similar effect to sunlight reflecting off the paper.
The beneficial effect seems to be only temporary however - suprise suprise, I have a theory about that!
My theory is that the background colour change (or coloured glasses would have the same effect) would, by virtue of the very fact of being something that is visually strikingly different provide extra stimulation which would effectively increase the amount of energy available in the circuit because of how we respond to "newness" - more energy means one can perform the task without needing to draw as much (if any?) energy away from other areas thus it is easier to sustain.
Also, I find it considerably easier to express myself in written form (well typed anyway) than I find it to read. It is as though having the "picture inside my head" provides a "boost" to the energy supply in itself - and of course, where I am writing to express my own "understanding" or ideas from my own perspective, I am at liberty to use discriptive terms.
Unfortunately my experience of school was that "providing evidence of what you have learnt in written form" is not acceptable unless it was written as it was taught - from the linear perspective of those who think in words.
I cannot help but wonder if the current conventional "understanding" of dyslexia and the like is even remotely accurate - I was at a seminar once where "dyslexia" was described as having the wiring of the brain all muddled up like a tangled ball of wool .... now I had no specific identification with dyslexia at that point but a picture jumped immediately into my head of these scientists all standing around looking at the brain of an expert - what they were LOOKING AT was a brain with very different and considerably more complex and more highly organised wiring than a "normal" brain but, all they were able to SEE was a "tangled mess".
I also know of an Irlen assessor in Auckland if you want to go that route. Several children I see have benefited from Irlen lenses but others feel self-conscious about wearing them in class. Many dyslexic children have visual as well as auditory processing problems as dyslexia is essentially a processing problem. A number of the children I see have eye tracking problems and are helped enormously by visual therapy.
Who ever talked about the 'wiring' of the brain of a person with dyslexia being like a tangled ball of wool is plain wrong and it is a very crude image. I am currently reading some of the latest research studies using magnetic resonance imaging. At last they now have a noninvasive method to study the brains of typicially developing children and can produce information which is based on the brain function of real children rather than animals or brain injured adults or further still post mortem results! What I am reading suggests that the latest thinking is that the picture of what is going on in the brain of a person with dyslexia is quite individual and specific to that person which is obviously why children all present differently. Although there are certain areas of the brain researchers know to look at - atypical changes in those areas can be quite discrete and specifc to the person and certainly don't involve the whole brain. Plus some 'normally' developing children are shown to have atypical patterns as well. Due to neural plasticity the human brain has a huge capacity to compensate and may end up functioning vey well indeed despite its 'atypicalness'. In fact 'atypical' is being suggested by some researchers as better term to use rather than 'deficit' or 'impairement'. I'm sure there is a lot of understanding to come yet as it is still early days with this research.
Barbara I took my comment about visual processing from the atricle "Specific reading disability (dyslexia): what have we learned in the past four decades?" Vellutino, F. R.; Fletcher, J.M. ; Snowling, M. J. & Scanlon, D.M. in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45: 1 (2004) pp. 2-40.
Perhaps I am misreading things and misinterpreting things but in a section disussing visual deficits they say "the theories implicating deficiencies in the visual system have been the most ubiquituous and most influential theories of dyslexia, for before the turn of the century... the most prominent visual deficit theories in the early reading disabiltiy literature had little empirical suport, and confounded the visual and verbal components of reading and spelling". They go on to suggest that in studies of visual processing when verbal coding was controlled for "few significant differences were found between poor and normal readers" across a range of ages and class levels. They suggest the results from the studies they discuss "provide strong evidence that reading is primarily a linguistic skill".
Re. eyetracking they say "The visual tracking theory of reading disabiltiy has been discreditied by well controlled eye movement studies finding no differences between poor and normal readers on visual tracking of non-verbal stimuli"
Further more they say "linguistic deficits have been demonstrated to be casually related to reading disability, the visual deficits have not been demonstrated to be causally related to reading disabilty".
Of course there is lots of detailed neurophysilogical explaination as to why this is so. Challenging I know - challenged my understanding but if parents are going to pay out good hard earned money for expensive treatments surely they need to be alerted to make a judgement call about whether it is of benefit or not.
I still believe eye coordination may cause functional difficulties for some people and not others because we are all unique in how we put our capacities to use.
However, I find it interesting that Chugga who says she does not read for information often gets close to current theorists in her thinking. I am of course no expert in this field so am quite happy to be shot down in flames -if you read the article and find I am off beam?!
I agree that some children may not want to wear glasses that make them look different so it all depends on how well the envionment around them supports them to do so.
this one I should be able to keep brief so I feel a bit more sure about responding. I was actually surprised to see someone say that there was research that is of similar view as my own - thats because I basically just "make it up as I go along" - I "observe" what my brain appears to me to be doing - as if it were a physical system that was sitting on my desk and then match that to a system that looks most accurate in terms of the overall picture.
To me it seems so very easy and simple to do that I sometimes forget to remind myself that most people would probably struggle as much trying to do what I find so easy I dont even really have to "make an effort" as I struggle when I try to do this kind of stuff their way.
Maybe some "reverse psychology" would help them understand how it would be from a perspective such as mine? Make them put all their energy and concentration into thinking as I do and coming up with conclusions and explanations through thinking in those terms and see how long it is before they spit the dummy tell everyone to get naffed and resolve to stick to how they do things naturally themselves for evermore!
There is no doubt about it - I do have to "re-invent the wheel" but since it is a very quick way of being able to look at complex matters in great detail - I get those wheels built in no time flat and often in more intricate detail - and sometimes what starts as reinventing the wheel becomes a prototype for a new mode of transport that should, in theory at least work faster, better and with more efficiency and it seems like it should be quite easy to drive.
The other benefit is "ignorance" - my "prior knowledge" is primarily limited to that which I have come to believe is probably the case through evaluating it rather than accepting it as fact because someone else has stated that to be the case. Because I dont usually have "back up" beyond my own thinking and conclusions (that I know of due to limited reading making much information unavailable) I tend to factor in that "this may not be correct" and try to come up with other scenarios that might provide a more accurate picture as a form of "testing" - lack of being "certain" I think helps more independent thinking to develop and also, prompts "reviews" on a regular basis which often helps to refine the idea or realise there is a "better" answer.
Thanks everyone for all your input on this topic. Barbara, I think I will follow up with a visual therapist. We are in Mt Eden so if you could recommend someone close by that would be great. I am also interested in the Irlen's Syndrome possibility but I assume a visual therapist could look into that possibility if we ask.
Not all visual therapist assess for Irlen Syndrome so ask about that at the time. Evan Brown is at Howes and Brown in Meadowbank and he has been well known in the field over many years. The main Irlen centre is in Howick.
Rosanne : We had visual therapy with Roger Apperley at Barry & Beale in Queen St. We found him very good and after 6 weeks of exercises, we had a significant improvement in my son's ability to read. I think Naomi Meltzer also there, does vision therapy too - their family were on Explorers Committee for years.
Now my son tells me that he used to see two of each letter and his eyes jumped instead of tracking smoothly, so he kept losing his place. Similarly with ball games, he could see two balls and have difficulty following them.
A friend of my had her son assessed by the one of the above at about 7 years, as reccomended by someone else, followed the programme even though as a sole parent with other children it was an extra expense for the family budget. They felt it made little difference. At age 13 he has finally being diagnosed as being dyslexic and she wishes all those years ago she had spent her money on an educational psychology assessment instead - so she had an overview of his learning style instead of focusing on just one thing. Just food for thought.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. We've already had an educational assessment done and my daughter is not dyslexic. She does seem to have problems with sequential learning - spelling, maths etc which seems to be her learning style as I understand things to date. Whether her eyes are a contributing factor is the question to sort out now. Have made an appointment with Evan Brown so will soon find out.
Both my daughter and myself have non-sequential learning styles.
My daughter has a "classic dyslexia" pattern that is easily recogisable but she cannot be called "Dyslexic" by an Educational Psychologist because she is able to use her abilities to perform to a higher standard than the "cut off".
I interchange the terms "non-sequential" and "dyslexia" depending who I am talking to .....
Very interesting Chugga. I originally wondered if my daughter was dyslexic but she doesn't seem to struggle quite as much as the classic dyslexic picture. The One day School assessment profiled her as gifted with a visual spatial stength and a auditory sequential weakness. and from what I've read in Linda Silverman's book and on the net she does fit these terms. But what you said has me wondering. I guess it doesn't really matter what the term is in the end except that i guess there are some strategies that have helped dyslexics in school which might be appropriate for her. Would be interested on your thoughts on the matter.
I could never really read because after two minutes the page would go blurry. It also enabled me to learn how to spell when i was younger. I tryed over-lays ad when im really tired i still use them. when your in a school situations espetialy high school most of your teachers do not have time to make you a spacific copey on colourd papper i soon learnd that i could read things if i read them side ways.
For all thouse people out there still looking for an anwser try turnight you book 55-90 degrees.
I myself had the same sort of problem. My father was told when he was young that he might have dislexia. there are many forms of dislexia, most people think of it as writing back-words. what I have is a form of dislexia called Irlens Syndrome. I can't see black writting on wight background for anylonger then 2 min. befor it gose blurry. I went to a spealist and had testing to see what colour of overlays (colourd plastic) i needed. There are many different forms of Irlens Syndrome
Our son (9) who has had problems reading has been assessed as having a high probability of having Irlen's Syndrome and is now going for a full assessment. He has a high comprehension level and low reading level which has lead to incredible frustration for him. He typically comes home from school exhausted and irratable. Headaches late in the day are a problem for him and the assessor put this down to the concetration that he has to put in during the day to try and read class material.
He now has a coloured sheet (pink) to cover the pages he is freading and within a couple of days there has been a marked difference in his reading speed and accuracy. Without the sheet he stumbles, misses words and guesses at others and skips lines altogether. With the sheet this has eased and the everpresent frown when reading has gone.
Hi Mark, just curious as to what 'symptoms' your son has been able to tell you about. For example, do the words jump around, appear hazy, fall off the end of the page etc??
When was he first able to express these symptoms to you?
This sounds like my son.
He constantly complained of headaches. The eye tests at school did not pick anything up, so we took him to Barry & Beale. They found he was focusing short of the page, causing eye strain/ migraines/tiredness. This test is not usually carried out my most optometrists for some reason. He hasn't had a headache since he got his glasses.
Hope that's helpful
Rebecca, sorry IO have not looked at the site for a while. SYmtoms yes the words do move for him and he doesn't see sequential words well so when he reads he misses words and gets very frustrated.
The conentration he had to put in at school meant that he came home irritable. Headaches were a common problem for him. He got around the issue at school to some extent by wandering around the classroom to see what his friends were doing.
At this age kids a very sensitive to appearing stupid and would rather not do something than to appear to do it wrong.
His "pink sheet" that the erlins tester gave him as an interim measure is now his most treasured posession. His reading (using the sheet) is markedly improved to an extent that it is difficult to beleive it would be coincidental.
His teacher is rigfht on board with us which is a godsend and he is not stressed at the end of the day now.
We were late picking his reading issues up becuase he has an almost total recall memory so was able to mask his reading issues for the frst couple of years. He would come home and read his school books to us at night word perfectly simply from memory
My little sister has a promblem reading at first my mom thought that she might be dislexia. But when she got tested at school she checked out fine
so we just thought she was a slow learner. But as time progressed she ended up neeeding to repeat the first grade. Now she is starting her 2 semster and they are saying she reades worse than at the being of the year. She has to read her daily reader 3 times anight when everyone
else only does one. But what is weird is that she reads it differnt every
time. For an example one time around she'll know a word and next time she won't have an idea what it is. And when she can't understandit she gets mad.
If anyone has any information that would be useful thankyou
We took our 6 1/2 year old daughter out of school. She displays typical dyslexic patterns, spells phonetically and is exceptionally bright and creative. However, because she was unable to keep up in the class room, as her writing was so slow and difficult, she was given simpler work and easier readers. She was bored out of her mind! When we took her out, she could easily memorise her books, but not read independently. Now and almost 7 she reads the Daisy Meadows fairy series of books in bed for pleasure. Once we built her confidence, established what she would actually enjoy reading and then taught her carefully how to read, she was away. We have heard her say "I can't believe that the school never got me excited about reading". Now, we still have quite a way to go even though she is reading at a 10 year level, however, we still have to be very careful not to sway her confidence as she has been quite battered by the standard classroom situation.
Regarding tracking and eye difficulties, there is an optometrist called Mike Frith, who works out of Frith & Laird in Manurewa. He only charges for a normal appointment (we paid $45 although this may vary due to the time he takes). He is very experienced in this area, dealing specifically with learning difficulties from an optometry perspective.
Hello, my son was just diagnosed with Irlens. We have fought the system for over 6 years. The school blamed his slow learning to his seizures and disruptive behavior. We have pushed for two years through meeting with the school to have testing for Irlens, since they had brought up the colored overlays in previous meetings. They finally tested him this past week and tested moderate to severe.
I need to know where to start-- the testing and glasses are expensive.
Before I had ever even heard of "Irlens Syndrome" I had identified the "symptoms" as being relevant to us and come up with ways to "alleviate symptoms".
My conclusion was that the cause (in our case) was actually a combination of highly acute visual processing and also because our brains dont process information in the same manner as reading requires one to process.
I was quite taken back when I did hear about the "patented Irlens system" because I had gone off to our $2 shop and bought transparent coloured plastic that I cut to fit books and it had exactly the same result as the overlays and glasses that they charge a small fortune for!
We have also found that the type of book being read makes a huge difference to us - books rich in visual descriptions being much easier to read (and far more enjoyable).
Another little "quirk" we actually find helpful but would be a "no-no" in school is reading "backwards" .... literally starting at the back page and working our way towards the front - I do it and my daughters do it - its just an "instinct" and it works for us. Strange but true.
I honestly believe that they have a lot to learn about how we actually DO function and differences in how some people DO function but - first they will have to get past the notion that the answer always lies in "dysfunction".
im nearly 14 and i probably have irlen syndrome
i havent been able to be tested, but my mum has it too and i know what it is.
I've always loved to read and been quite a fast reader on books. but ive noticed that very white paper is difficult to read off.
Ive had headaches since i was very young. i thought everybody saw like me so i didnt tell anyone until computer screens became difficult to read from and my special needs co ordinator in school told me i was dyslexic, which i know isnt right. on the dyslexia test my eyes were hurting, so i just put any answer to finish it quickly.
On white paper i see bright spots of colour. when im reading graphs or following sheet music, it just doesnt stay still. i have to drag my finger along the line, and even then it doesnt look right.
In school I use glasses with a blue tint, and my work is on blue paper. this helps incredibly, and im surprised i could have survived without it before.
In exams, like sats which i did today, i can request the exam paper to be on blue. With this i work faster and its much easier. If you have a child with irlen doing exams its best to ask for paper on the colour you prefer.
I was looking up Irlen on the net and came across this site. We have just had tests done on our 9 year old son for Irlens. He has been given blue tinted glasses for school work, homework and computer work.
We spent a bit of money in doing this going to optometrists.
Now we are being told we need to get his hearing tested, for a auditory processing disorder test.
We live on the west coast of the south island and have no specialists here on the coast so we have to go to Christchurch.
My son has had speech therapy at 5, seen occupational therapist and has difficulty with visual memory, he has not gone up a reading level in 2 years and has lots of help at school.
I am trying to find my way through all this and any finding it very hard.
All I want is the best for my child and to help him anyway I can. So if anyone has any advise or good websites that will help me I would be so greatfull.
It might be worth contacting the audiologist dept at the University of Canterbury. They sometimes see people for free (you need to request a CAP assessment when booking- central auditory processing assessment, and have a referral). The contact is Jonathan Grady, Ph 364 2987, ext 7182. I know costs can really add up and it might help.
Also, John Anstice (a behavioural optometrist) in CHCH has a wealth of info on Irlens. I would suggest making contact with him and requesting some info direct. He has written a number of articles etc over the years and offers strategies from an educational perspective. His contact is 03 343 3909.
Thanks Rose for your feed back. My son has been to John Anstice in CHCH, he was wonderfull. He was the one that said our boy has irlens. He is very good at what he does. Someone else told us about John Grady, but we were not sure if we should take that road or not. I heard he was good. Once again thakyou for your help.
Hello, I'm 29 and I've just been diagnosed with Irlen syndrome (optician suspected i had it and referred me). I have what i thought were blue glasses but when i look in the mirror wearing my irlen glasses they are actually purple.
It used to take me four hours to write two short emails but now it's a breeze. What I don't understand is that I've never thought of myself as an under achiever or that i had reading problems. Sure I felt stupid and slow at times but I achieved well in school and i even have a degree in music. I just don't really know if irlen syndrome should be an excuse for underachieving.
I've experienced many of lifes' challenges and would like to encourage that achievement is a test of ones character not a result of a condition.
Self determination will get you through anything.
I hope that i wont have to wear my glasses forever. Some days i don't because it amuses me how funny and entertaining the world looks through my naked eyes.
All the best with your sons delightful character as it shines with and without the glasses on.
G'day to all who are following this thread - Just to add a bit to it, My daughter is a tutor, specialising in children with learning difficulties.
For several years she struggled with a couple of her students who, although having a high IQ had considerable reading difficulties. About 4 years ago, she heard of Irlin's (or is it Erlin's) Syndrome and thought that this could be her student's problem. At that time she did not have access to an assessor, but tried the students using coloured transparent overlays when reading black on white printing (which of course is about 90% of all printed words)
The results were amazing and immediate - all 3 of her reading problem students said that they could now easily read what was written, that the words no longer bounced around and that in the past they had thought that everyone had the same problem with reading as they had which made them think they must be "stupid" to be unable to read.
While her initial tests only had a choice of about 6 basic colours to choose from, even this was good enough to give a vast improvement , her students have now been assessed and are wearing tinted glasses (each required a different colour) and no longer need her services as a tutor for they are reading as well as anybody else
Hi Brian, thank you for sharing that - it doesnt surprise me in the least.
It makes perfect sense if one thinks about it - white being the most light reflective colour and all - that some will experience difficulty with the light from the background being reflected off the page and into their eyes!
That would be particularly true in this day and age where "whiter and brighter" seems to be so in vogue.
I am a 37 year old man and I hated school, id like to think I am a very bright person . I have for about 20 or so years suspected I may be dislexic. I can read It just takes me longer to absorb what I have just read.
I have two kids 10 and 8 the girl of 10 is a beautiful reader. The lad is a slow reader and I noticed in him some of the "traits" I have/had so we had him tested for dyslexia yesterday.
He passed this test and the teacher said he was a very bright lad.
While the teacher was going through the pages of text the lad had read "words" like ug ig there were 40 on a page I had little trouble focusing of the task myself. Then 3 pages later the page had bigger "words" 4 or 5 letters again there was 40 on the now more crowded page. And I mentioned to her that the words were all dancing around the page.
This when she mentioned the coloured over lays. And showed me a yellow one(only one she had at hand) and it helped me read with out feeling like I was on a boat.
So today I am going to buy some like a previous reader posted some cheap colours and find what colour works best for me then buy some shades!!!
Can I just add that I read and typed this on a G1 mobile phone. Took a while to read all the posts on the coloured back round. But when it come to typing its on a white backround!!!lol and took a complete age..
Thankyou all for the constructive comments.
Can I just ask if any of the people with this problem find they have no sence of direction??
And I am going to be tested for dislexia I don't feel ashamed any more! Thankyou all.
I would strongly recommend that you go see Lynn Berresford and have a proper cognitive assessment done rather than just looking for "dyslexia" ... while it is absolutely helpful to know what areas of cognitive processing are comparatively "weak" - knowing where the strengths are can be invaluable.
I work with people from a "strength based" perspective and fine that I can help them get so far without a cognitive assessment - but without the specifics that can be identified more precisely through the assessments, it becomes guess work after a while - and it is often the case, particularly with adults, that they are working against their strengths and towards their weaknesses without realising they are doing so.
Lynn also has experience with the Visual Spatial.
It also might be worth investigating different reading methods - disregarding the hype of course .... I struggle immensely if I try to read "normally" - left to right across the page line for line - but not so much with looking at "blocks" of text as if they were a "picture" - I still keep reading to a minimum though because I know its actually not good for my neuro-cognition.
I dont have the same difficulty with words on paper - but I do have difficulty with left/right , east/west/north/south type "directions" .... my intuitive sense of direction however is pretty good.
Interestingly - I went to renew my licence in Jan and struggled no end with the eye check - they made allowances for my dyslexic type difficulties but with the degree of difficulty I had I wanted to make sure so checked at my Drs and had absolutely no difficulty at all reading the bottom line of the eye chart.
We had to change the "left/right" peripheral vision check to lifting my hand on which side it was one.
I am wondering if anyone can recommend an optometrist in West Auckland that tests children for eye tracking, Irlens or similar disorders. My son has passed all the basic eye tests at preschool level but I have become concerned as he seems to have difficulty tracking objects i.e. maintaing focus on a ball rolling to him, or catching or even attempting to catch a ball. We also have a cousin with an eyetracking problem which wasn't picked up until he was 7 and he had developed a sense of failure by then which has taken years to overcome.
I wanted to get him help if he needs any before he starts school and wondered if anyone else had a preschooler tested? (He is actually almost 5) if this was worthwhile and again if you can recommend anyone in West Auckland.
My son passed all the basic eye tests at preschool too, but I noticed he sometimes appeared cross-eyed when very tired and rubbed his eyes quite a bit after a busy day at school. When I took him for a full exam at the optometrist (at age 5) I discovered he is VERY long sighted and has a lazy eye. He now wears corrective lenses and has had some vision therapy to correct the lazy eye - both with great results. I'm in Wellington so can't recommend anyone for you in West Auckland Betty, but definately worth getting it all checked out. The public health nurse vision-checks that preschoolers get don't always pick up every problem, especially if the child has worked out strategies to compensate for their poor vision.
I have two extremely long sighted children: My daughter also had amblyopia causing moments of cross-eyedness and was legally blind in that eye but still passed the kindergarten vision tests; my son had a severe eye-tracking problem that was later caught by an occupational therapist and still passed all his kindergarten vision tests. I can stress enough the importance of seeing an optometrist for a full eye test (including eye drops to relax the eyes) before starting school and any child whose problems extend to their ability to catch a ball would probably greatly benefit from seeing an occupational therapist as well. I can't recommend anyone in Auckland as I am in Christchurch but if you ask at the school, they will have a very good idea who to go to.
On the dyslexia side, I also had concerns about my son's reading and found that we could tick almost every box when I read about dyslexia on the internet. We took him to an educational psychologist and now know that he has dysgraphia. That and his eye tracking problems were responsible for the appearance of dyslexia. An educational psychologist is a great place to start because they are qualified to diagnose a wide range of problems whereas some specialists can't see beyond their own area of expertise.
I have suffered from a similar problem whilst being at school but I used overlays to change the colour of the paper, this worked very well but only for a short time. I was recommended "react to light" glasses but I never tried this method. The way in which what happens is that my eyes didnít focus in the same point and werenít yoking. Instead I tried a method called body brushing this involves brushing certain pressure points with what looks like a paint brush. I think that this really helped me though I canít be fully sure that I have not just grown out of it but different things help people differently.
i have irlens,cap and cp now i also get all of my irlens symptoms in the real world and therefore need to wear my all irlen lens day everyday. i get the halo distortions and the bright lights appearing from nowhere and headaches in the real world not just at my computer or when i read
IMNAD (I am not a Doctor) but if you haven't already discussed this with your GP or optometrist , it might be a wise idea to do so. I get visual distortions from time to time followed by intense headaches. Theyr'e the result of Classical Migraines but certainly not all the time, which must be hard going.
However there are probably other things that can produce visual/neurological symptoms like this and it would be a good idea to talk to a suitably qualified someone about it.
If you are interested "Irlen" lenses are the result of research by Mrs Meares and Helen Irlen. Meares-Irlen syndrome in essence is a major dysfunctional stress from reading. I happened to test Mrs Meares a few years before her death and I was related the story of a child in her class telling her that he could see more comfortably though a coloured overlay! Unfortunately Helen Irlen who further researched colour and came out with her own testing regime and system of tinted lenses would not release any scientific studies to corroborate the success of the lenses and in doing so estranged herself from optometry. This has been severely detrimental to their uptake.
In the early 1990s optometry trying to disprove the lenses (Prof Arnold Wilkins and Prof Evans in the UK) designed the "Intuitive colorimeter", a device that could create 100,000 different colours (hue and saturation). They were surprised to find that colour did make a difference and that 5% of the population are severely compromised without colour and a further 20% make significant improvements with correctly determined filters. I have the only version 3 colorimeter in NZ (Auckland) which can diagnose scientifically the hue and saturation that will provide the most comfortable viewing lens.
My 9 yr old loathes reading and sometimes tells me the words on the page are turning green. He is not dyslexic (tested) but does reverse numbers and letters too frequently for comfort. He sometimes comments on flickering flourescent lighting which I can't really notice.
My behavioural optometrist with whom we have done a number of expensive visual programs, is well known and does, I believe, test for Irlen's syndrome judging from some of the other contributors here where his name has been mentioned. Is it possible that he is missing something? I am happy to hear from anybody - please help.
if you have a good Optometrist and you let him or her know exactly what your daughter does wehn reading they should be able to help you out. Ask about tracking and focussing.
Behavioural Optometry is not as supported generally as its equivalent in Audiology, although some folk have shown good improvements following vision training. You have to be prepared to do the exercises prescribed for some time and on a regualr basis if you go down this path.
I have a daughter, just turned 10, who also did not like reading at all - until she got into Harry Potter about half a year ago (she was only allowed to watch the movies after she read the corresponding books, perhaps that provided the motivation) and now she is also reading other rather difficult and long books and reads a lot.
But, when she started reading more, she complained a lot about headaches, letters/lines moving. Before that she occasionally complained that numbers were moving or turning around while doing simple maths problems. Although when playing music she still has sometimes great difficulties with sight-reading, ocassionally not recognizing the most familiar notes, which is puzzling us a lot, because she is very musical and likes music a lot. By the way, some days are much better than others, and if she is motivated and not too tired she can hide her problems totally.
We just have been to a behavioural optometrist , who (only) found that her eye muscles have difficulties to relax after focusing, coloured overlyas did not improve her reading. He prescribed reading glasses, which are not worn very regularly (only the first weeks), and I am not sure if they really help. As I said she reads a lot lately, and also stopped complaining about any problems. Still, I don't think that the problems are solved