Frequently Asked Questions
How can I support my child with Irlen™ syndrome with school work?
- Be positive and acknowledge and work with your child’s strengths.
- Help your child recognise his / her strengths.
- Use strategies like visualisation when working with your child on school tasks like spelling.
- Modification of the environment is often very useful, eg. dimmer lighting, coloured paper, coloured overheard transparencies, avoiding whiteboards, use of a visor or cap in glary situations. Suggest this to the teacher.
- Talk to your child about the language to use when others comment on their glasses.
- Talk to teachers about Irlen™ Syndrome, mention the websites as well, and how it affects your child.
- Take along a copy of the report for the child’s file at school.
Books that may be helpful
Irlen Helen. Reading by the Colors: Overcoming Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities through the Irlen Method. (1991) Avery, NY.
Freed, Jeffrey & Parsons, Laurie: Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World. Simon and Schuster NY 1997.
How many children (and adults) are helped by the Irlen™ method in Australia each year?
Approximately 4,000 clients were fitted with Irlen™ lenses in 2006.
Will it help me?
Check the observation form. Not all the symptoms described need be present for Irlen™ Filter Lenses to be helpful. If several symptoms persist despite eye checks, then an Irlen™ Diagnostic Assessment is recommended. All clients should be seen by an optometrist (or ophthalmologist) before attending and Irlen™ clinic.
Is there any research to support Irlen™?
Much of the earlier research is educational in nature. In later years, it has been linked to biochemical studies, and currently research is being conducted using SPECT scans. This technology enables the brain to be studied. The scans of clients using Irlen™ lenses show remarkable differences in brain activity.
Can I use glasses I already have?
Prescription lenses can be tinted provided they are made out of CR39 plastic, with no coatings or tints.
Will my health fund cover the cost?
As yet, Medicare does not cover any of the costs, although several private health funds are giving some rebate on the tinted lenses and the frames. Our Optometric lab can supply a provider number and an item number. Check with your Health Fund to see if they will provide some rebate.
My child has been screened for Irlen™ and the results are positive. What do I do next?
Contact a qualified Irlen™ diagnostician to make an appointment for a tint assessment.
What is the process involved?
The second assessment determines which specific tint is the one that will work for the client.
If needed, lenses are ordered by the diagnostician from an optical lab in Perth.
The lenses take from three to four weeks to manufacture and return.
Lenses are returned to the diagnostician, packed with a report and card and posted out to the client.
What is Irlen™?
Helen Irlen called this disorder “Scotopic Sensitivity”. It is most frequently referred to as Irlen™ Syndrome. Essentially it is a specific sensitivity of the visual / perceptual system to certain frequencies within the white light spectrum.
Prominent educators in the field of Special Education, including Dr Greg Robinson, University of Newcastle, consider this to be the biggest breakthrough in learning disabilities for more than twenty years. Research indicates that over half of the people, both children and adults, who find reading difficult, fatiguing or stressful, can be helped considerably with Irlen™ Filter Lenses.