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Information & Cost

Irlen Diagnostic Clinics help children and adults with reading disabilities by using tinted filter lenses. Our diagnosticians at our clinics are able to diagnose Scotopic Sensitivity, Visual Stress, or Irlen Syndrome.  Our clinics are located throughout Queensland (Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Townsville & Cairns) and the Northern Territory (Darwin).  We also support other diagnosticians throughout Queensland, as well as across Australia - through promoting other clinics, referrals and networking.




Peter Freney (Regional Coordinator; Diagnostician - Sunshine Coast / Darwin)


Peter Freney began his Irlen Clinic 24 years ago and has screened thousands of children and adults that suffer from Visual Dyslexia known as Irlen Syndrome. Peter spent 25 years as a school principal, he found that in years gone by that things were easier and less complex than the teaching environment today. Peter believes that if a person is having a lot of challenges with reading difficulties and learning difficulties it affects their whole life and that a lot of young children develop low self-esteem and children are experiencing anxiety as a pre-curser to depression. ‘As far as young students go, school is their representation of society, when a child is failing at school they feel disheartened when they leave skills feeling failure with society this can continue to build resentment throughout their life.’


 Dr Christine King (Regional Coordinator; Diagnostician - Brisbane / Sunshine Coast / Darwin)

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Dr Christine King has had a love of learning all of her life. This was not just a love of 'learning about things', but also a love of 'learning about learning'. Christine has completed a BSc (Psychology) and a PhD in Learning. She also completed a postgraduate program in education and community development. For the past 25 years Christine has worked in the Aid sector working on and managing large multi-stakeholder learning and change projects in Africa, India, Cambodia, Australia & Pacific Islands. From 2002 to 2010 she also lectured in research methods, and learning and change methodologies and processes at the University of Queensland, and has been a consultant for universities across Australia and overseas. She has been a senior researcher at Monash University since 2014 and is an Adj. Assoc. Prof. at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

By teaching people how to 'learn to learn, Christine has been able to enable profound changes in people's lives, facilitating processes that have helped individuals, groups, organisations, villages, and entire communities achieve extraordinary results. Since 2012, Christine has been running the 'Learn to Learn ... and get better grades' Program with high school and undergraduate university students. During this time, she has identifed many students with Irlen Syndrome who would have benefited incredibly, if only they knew about Irlen Syndrome sooner. Christine also has Irlen Syndrome, as do 2 of 3 of her children.


Bill Spooner (Diagnostician - Cairns)

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In 1973, Bill graduated from the Queensland College of Art and in 1975, completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Bill taught secondary art at local Tablelands and Cairns high schools. During this time, he was a specialist advisory teacher to the remote community schools of the Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait. In the early 1990s, Bill left the classroom and began to work regionally across Far Northern Schools, firstly in Careers Education, then as the Senior Schooling Education Advisor to Cairns high schools. After the Senior Schooling Education role, Bill worked as a Regional Curriculum Co-ordinator of the 140 schools of the peninsular region of Education Queensland. This gave Bill the opportunity to broaden his educational interests and to work at the cutting edge of education at a state, national and international level. 

Throughout the years, Bill has been actively involved as a leader in many professional and community associations and projects. All of these are designed to further the cause of education and forge closer ties between schools, parents and the business community. In 1997, Bill's career saw a major change when he resigned from Education Queensland. In 1998 he set up Bill Spooner's Coaching Academy, having decided that he could make a greater contribution to children and their parents by working in the private arena. Bill has a passion for motivating children to learn in order to achieve success and happiness. Visit Bill Spooner's Coaching Academy here. 


 Heather Coleman (Diagnostician - Townsville)

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Heather Coleman (BScHons. Dip Teach. Dip Ed.) started teaching in 1968. She has always been searching for a way to really make a difference for her students. Heather taught in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, followed by a time in learning support, running an Early Education group and Kumon centre, after school tuition.  In 2002 Heather had the opportunity to train as an Irlen Screener and several years later became a Diagnostician. Diagnosing Irlen Syndrome and prescribing tinted lenses for clients of all ages is definitely making that difference she was looking to make when she started teaching in 1968.  

Wendy Downward works with Heather as an Irlen Screener.  She served 19 years in the Australian Army as a pscyhological examiner.  Wendy has 2 daughters with Irlen sydrome who have shown remarkable success since they began wearing their Irlen filters.  Seeing improvments in her own daughters inspired Wendy to become an Irlen Screener and help others with Irlen Sydrome. You can visit Wendy's website here.


Heather Rawlins (Diagnostician - Bundaberg; President - AAIC)

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Heather Rawlins studied at the Western Teachers College in Adelaide. She is a retired Special Education and remedial Teacher who loves working with Mums, Dads and Grandparents to help their children work through the difficulties some children face when learning to read. Many moons ago when her son was having difficulty learning to read, she went in search of answers for something to help, as Mums do. Not just as a Special Education Teacher, but being a Mum working each day supporting her children with their learning to read and now with some of her Grand Children who need some extra help, Heather has been able to gather up all sorts of tips and tricks which she would love to share with you.

Heather has lots of practical tips, but also offers the Expressways to Reading Program. Heather has 2 Grandchildren who are having excellent success with this program and have had some fantastic success with some of the local schools in Queensland working with the children with this program. She also specialise in the diagnosis of Dyslexia. You can visit Heather's website here.


Celia Watson (Diagnostician - Maryborough)

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Celia's teaching career of 25 years spans high school teaching, working with adults who had attended Special School, Special Needs Support Group in high school and finally, Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and Acting Deputy Principal at Maryborough Special School. Celia enjoys working with parents and children in the Maryborough community, building students' learning capacity by coaching them in the use of strategies that they can take with them into the future, and apply every day. For many years, Celia has worked alongside her husband Richard who held a position at the Tafe College and has a strong background in business, working with adults with disabilities, and Adult Education.  You can get in contact with Celia through her website by clicking here.






There are a number of useful textbooks written about Irlen Syndrome, especially from the Irlen Institute.  There are also a range of fiction books available, some written in Irlen front, and others written especially for school aged students where the main characters or heros in the books experience visual stress.  Our favourite books are the ones below!  Click on the books to find out more.


     reading by the colours           story snatchers         picture pinchers          the word gobblers 

Below are a series of videos that will help you gain more insight about Irlen Syndrome.

Do you experiece regular headaches, migraines, or nausea?  

Headaches, migraines, and nausea, can all be regularly experienced by people who have Irlen Syndrome.  This occurs when the brain tries to make sense of visual information but light sensitivity makes this difficult.  Symptoms not only include headaches and migraines, but also nausea, fatigue, eye strain, lack of concentration, and depth perception problems. Irlen Syndrome is not a problem with the eyes, but a problem related to the brain's ability to process visual information (i.e. perceptual processing). 

There has been some interesting research conducted that shows the link between Irlen Syndrome and headaches and nausea:

  • Evidence that symptoms of headaches and other symptoms of strain can be reduced by the wearing of Irlen Spectral Filters which alter the wave lengths of lighting comes from a variety of studies (Bulmer, 1994; Chronicle & Wilkins, 1991; McLachlan, Yale & Wilkins, 1993; Cilkins & Clark, 1990; Wilkins, Nimmo-Smith, Slater & Bedocs, 1989; Wilkins & Wilkinson, 1991).
  • A preliminary study by D.W. Riley and A. Wright (October 2000) comprised 30 people ranging in age from 10 to 60+. The diagnosis of migraine was by doctor or specialist for 21 of the subjects, with the remaining 9 being self-diagnosed. All the subjects had been assessed for Irlen Syndrome and had been wearing Irlen Spectral Filters for 6 months to 5 years. For 83% of people in the study, Irlen Filters reduced the frequency and severity of their migraines.
  • Research at the University of Birmingham in England showed that many migraine sufferers are sensitive to the flickering from fluorescent lighting, TV screens, and computer monitors. The study found that wearing colored glasses reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by 74 percent. Other research indicates that about one in five individuals could get relief with colored glasses. A preliminary study conducted at the UT Houston Medical School with 30 migraine sufferers found that 27 of them were helped dramatically by colored contacts.

Below are the results of SPECT Scans from the Amen Clinic, Newport Beach, CA, USA. These three-dimensional scans using SPECT technology show the portions of the brain that are in heavy use, or 'hot'. The scan on the left is the brain of a person with Irlen Syndrome. This scan shows many more 'hot' areas than a scan of a 'typical' person.  The scan on the right was taken when this same person is wearing Irlen filters.  The brain is said to be 'normalised' when the person is wearing the Irlen filters.  


        without filters               with filters

Colored overlays are most effective for individuals whose difficulties are isolated to reading. If you experience challenges with writing, math, depth perception, night driving, or the environment, colored filters (worn as glasses) will be your best treatment option. However, colored overlays are an important first step in determining whether the Irlen Method can work for you and provide your first experience with relief.

Colored Overlays can help

  • Improve print clarity and stability
  • Reduce strain and fatigue
  • Eliminate headaches
  • Improve comprehension
  • Tracking and keeping your place while reading
  • Make reading faster
  • Allow you to read longer and with comfort

Overlays for School Students

Irlen® Overlays are the original coloured overlay technology. They are used by hundreds of thousands of students and over one-million people worldwide. Irlen® Overlays are the only coloured overlays available backed by more than a decade of scientific research and used by more than 4,000 school districts worldwide.

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome ( or Irlen Syndrome) is a distinct type of visual dyslexia. Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome is related to difficulty with light source sensitivity, and colour. Research has shown that 50% of those with reading difficulties suffer from Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

The eye is only one part of vision. There are numerous neural pathways in the brain which play an important part in what we see and interpret. If there is interference with these pathways, the individual will experience difficulty with learning and other visually related tasks.

Screeners, who do part of the initial assessment to determine if SSS/IS is present, are located in the following centres: Brisbane, Buderim, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, and Cairns.  The Brisbane locations include Manly West, Alexandra Hills, Victoria Point, Caboolture and Bribie Island. Screeners normally charge $100 to $120 (plus GST if applicable) for their services. See our page on Screeners.  Screeners who belong to the Gold Coast Clinic, are based in Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.

The Irlen Method consists of two testing sessions, a screening appointment by Irlen Screeners and Irlen Diagnosticians and a testing appointment for Irlen Spectral Filters by Irlen Diagnosticians.  There are yearly filter rechecks.

Colored tinted lenses provided by others are NOT the same as Irlen Spectral Filters provided by the Irlen Method.  Only certified Irlen Diagnosticians are trained to determine the specific frequencies to optimize performance from an almost limitless selection of filters.

Everyone’s brain is different.  Only Irlen Diagnosticians can determine the Irlen Spectral Filter which allows your brain to function properly.  This results in improved reading, learning, performance, attention, and well being.

Irlen Screeners are certified to administer the first testing session and determine whether an individual will benefit from further evaluation for Irlen Spectral Filters. With thousands of certified Irlen Screeners worldwide, only a few are listed on the website.  For a screener nearer to you, contact the closest Irlen Diagnostician.

Irlen Diagnosticians are certified to administer both testing sessions.  During the initial testing session, an individual is screened to determine whether wearing Irlen Spectral Filters will make a difference and the amount of improvement for reading and other academic activities.  In addition, during this session 12 other areas will be evaluated and recommendations made.  Only Irlen Diagnosticians are certified to test and determine your customized Irlen Spectral Filter, worn as glasses or contact lenses, and conduct yearly rechecks.



If the initial diagnostic screening is positive and a second diagnostic/prescriptive session to determine the exact tint is carried out, then the cost is likely to be about $620.00. This is made up of:

Have you heard of tinted lenses as a remedy for dyslexia, reading disabilities, rapid eye fatigue when reading, headaches, sore eyes, and poor depth perception? The technique uses precisely prescribed tinted filter lenses to correct perceptual disorders and reading disabilities with some very exciting results. The technique was developed in 1984 by a Californian psychologist, Helen Irlen, who was the director of a research project investigating adult reading disabilities at the University of California.


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AAIC - Australasian Association Irlen Consultants