Carole & Ronald Krist Samaritan Counseling Center has a Certified Senior Irlen® Screener and Diagnostician who was trained by Helen Irlen. Age range of clients is usually from age 5 to adulthood. A screening determines if a particular color of overlay (transparent plastic sheet) can aid reading by reducing distortions and/or visual stress. Overlays are commonly allowed as accommodations in examinations and can also help clients at home and work. The screening also determines if clients are likely to benefit from precision spectral filters (a specific tint color worn as glasses) which, along with aiding reading, is designed to: reduce light sensitivity, help with visual distortions in the environment, and minimize headaches/migraines.
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 it cannot identified by a standard eye test.
Who experiences it?
Anyone. It is hereditary but can also be brought on by a brain/head injury. It can occur in those with a learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, ADHD, and 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. Some examples include depression, light-induced epilepsy, and Lyme Disease. 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 educational 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 particular symptoms. Colored writing/graph paper may also be 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.
How can we help?
At the Carole & Ronald Krist Samaritan Counseling Center, we have a fully trained Irlen® Screener and Diagnostician who can determine if a client is showing typical symptoms, and, if so, prescribe a particular color of overlay followed by tinted lenses. The lenses do not have to contain a prescription.
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 5 upwards and even poor communicators can be screened, for instance those with Autism. The screening takes up to 2 hours and a summary report is provided. The report will advise if tinted lenses are likely to aid reading and other difficulties that the client is experiencing. The Irlen Filter Diagnostic takes up to 3 hours. It is a precision process determined by the specific visual processing difficulties a client is experiencing.
Below is a short questionnaire detailing possible Irlen® difficulties when reading. It 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/math difficulties, light sensitivity, headaches/migraines, or visual perception of the environment (including depth perception difficulties).