Irlen Screening

The Carole and Ronald Krist Samaritan Counseling Center now has a Certified Senior Irlen® Screener who can screen clients from age 7 to adult and prescribe the appropriately colored overlay (transparent plastic sheet). Overlays are commonly allowed as accommodations in examinations and can also help clients at home and work with their reading, whilst colored paper can aid writing and math.

What is it?

Irlen® Syndrome is caused by a sensitivity to particular wavelengths of light. It is a difficulty with visual processing rather than an optical problem so not identified by a standard eye test.

Who experiences it?

It occurs across the population and gifted people can have Irlen® Syndrome. It is hereditary but can also be brought on by a brain/head injury. It can occur in those with a learning difficulty / disability such as Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism. Some psychological and medical conditions, which include aspects of light sensitivity, processing difficulties and sensory overload, have also been helped by the Irlen® Method, for instance depression and light-induced epilepsy. Some current and former members of the armed forces are also benefiting from this process.

How does it manifest when reading, writing, studying or note-taking?

  • Visual stress, physical symptoms – headaches, dry/itchy eyes
  • Light sensitivity especially bright / fluorescent (often used in education environments)
  • Reading difficulties - slow, can't read for long, difficulty tracking, distortions of the text, poor comprehension, can’t copy from the board
  • Writing difficulties – messy handwriting, poor spacing, lack of punctuation, cannot keep on the line or in squares when using graph paper
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration / focusing

How can it be helped?

  • An Irlen® Screener can prescribe a particular color of overlay (clear, plastic sheet) to alleviate client's particular symptoms. Colored writing / graph paper is also useful
  • If colored overlays improve text the next stage can be colored lenses. An Irlen® Diagnostician helps determine a combination of colors to form the filters. The filters do not color the surroundings.


At The Carole and Ronald Krist Samaritan Counseling Center we have a fully trained Irlen® Screener who can determine if a client is showing typical symptoms, and if so prescribe a particular color of overlay to help alleviate them. Colored overlays often have a dramatic effect on how easily a client can read and their motivation to read. The screening is ideal for ages 7 upwards and feedback from the client is useful. However, even young children or poor reporters can be screened using a selection of carefully chosen activities. The screening takes up to 2 hours and a written report is provided. If the screening is positive the report will explain difficulties the client is experiencing and suggest suitable accommodations for work or school and examinations if appropriate.

A short questionnaire is provided below to help determine whether Irlen® difficulties are being experienced when reading. Depending on age, this can be filled out by: the client, a parent, a teacher or teaching assistant. Results of this will help determine if you wish to schedule a screening or talk further with our specialist. Please also contact our specialist if your difficulties relate to another aspect of Irlen® Syndrome such as: writing difficulties, light sensitivity, visual perception of the environment.

Download Questionnaire