At Irlen East, our screeners and diagnosticians have additional qualifications and experience in the identification and teaching of students with specific learning difficulties. We are also able to advise and support pupils, schools and parents with practical and specific guidance. Irlen syndrome is a recognised condition which can be provided for under the Disabled Student Allowance. If you have, or suspect you may have, Irlen syndrome and are considering applying to undertake higher education then please contact us for further details.
Research indicates that 10-12% of the population suffers from Irlen Syndrome and this prevents them from functioning efficiently. These people may be unaware of the extra energy and effort that they are putting into reading and perceiving. They do not realise that other people perceive print or the environment in a different way. Educators and the scientific community have, until recently, been baffled by this condition which is not detected by standard educational, visual nor medical tests.
Opticians who offer coloured lenses for dyslexia and reading problems do not have our expertise and cannot usually give qualified educational advice, nor can they apply for and obtain exam dispensations for pupils in public examinations. The lenses prescribed by Irlen qualified diagnosticians can be safely worn at all times and do not colour the world for the wearer unlike other lenses. Irlen lenses will therefore also help the wearer to cope in many situations such as driving, unpleasant lighting conditions, sports and games playing, when using computer and watching television.
Irlen centres have been treating visual perceptual disorders for many years in the UK and our centre, Irlen East, covering the eastern counties, was initially set up by Ann Wright- one of the pioneers in the treatment of Irlen Syndrome in both the UK and in Europe. The clinic director is now Tina Yates who has used the Irlen Method for over 25 years initially within education and for the last twelve years in the broader community.
During the testing it is usual for the client to be evaluated with reading, comprehension, writing, concentration span, spatial awareness, balance and co-ordination, and comfort. If appropriate, tints are evaluated when using the computer screen and when driving.
Irlen trained screeners usually operate within their own locality - school etc. Diagnosticians may travel throughout the East Anglian region to the client's own area, where they will carry out the consultation. Diagnosis can take place in homes, schools, hospitals, offices, factories and prisons as well as at our clinic in Stowmarket..
The discovery of Irlen Syndrome
In 1980 Helen Irlen was director of the programme for adults with learning disabilities at California State University, Long Beach. After having worked for 15 years as a school psychologist, it was self-evident that the tests included in the psycho-educational battery were able to identify the reason why only some children were struggling or misbehaving. For many children, the tests did not provide an answer and these children continued to think of themselves as lazy, dumb, stupid, or bad. Irlen was convinced that the professionals were not asking enough questions and not the right questions. She felt that the tests were not identifying all of the problems that were holding these children back from being successful in school, and later at college.
Helen felt strongly that the way to identify these other difficulties was to look at the adults who were still struggling -- to find out what were the factors that stayed with an individual and continued to limit their access to learning and achievement. It was important to look at adults to discover this information because this would highlight problems that did not go away with maturation and/or motivation. Therefore, one important aspect of the university programme was a federal research project to study those adults who were bright enough and motivated enough to undertake a four year college course but were still struggling academically.
The research project was conducted over a five year period from 1980 to 1985 with over 1,500 adults, initially students, and then expanded to nonstudents. It was determined that a number of factors were being ignored by the medical and educational establishments, including those listed above. In addition, many of the students expressed concerns about their inability to read.
You can obtain additional information regarding the history and development of the Irlen Method, in Helen Irlen’s books usually in stock at Amazon
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Copyright © 1998-2006 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved
Copyright © 1998-2019 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved