Letters from readers on the successful use of Irlen filters. The first account is from an elementary teacher in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, who found that use of the filters helped some of her students who had reading learning disabilities. The second letter is from a man in his fifties who discovered that the filters not only helped his son, but improved his own life.
1) I’m Amazed that Irlen Filters Helped my Student Read
I teach in elementary school, and one of my students in my Specific Learning Disabilities class complained that the letters “move around” while he’s reading. I told the school psychologist about this and was provided with a set of plastic colored overlays in assorted hues to try. They had been purchased from the Irlen Clinic, in Long Beach, California.
I told everyone in the class that we would be using the used the sheets, which I laid over the reading page, so this student would not feel singled out. We turned off the fluorescent lights and used dimmer, incandescent lighting. I let each student select the color of overlay they found most appealing.
All students enjoyed the dimmer lighting. A few didn’t seem to care about the overlays one way or the other, but most said there was one color that they were most comfortable reading with. I was watching for a reaction from the 5th grade boy who had complained about text movement. He clearly preferred a gray overlay, and his comments were: “The vowels don’t move in front of the words now.” “The light doesn’t block out the letters.” “The words seem darker and closer to me.” I noticed that he read more smoothly with the gray overlay. This is definitely an approach I would like to continue to explore. Palm Beach Gardens
2) Irlen Lenses and Tints have Made a Big Difference for Myself
I’m 53 years old and did not learn about the Irlen tints until four years ago. I discovered I needed them when I was having my son tested for eye problems. He had a mild problem, but I had a major problem. I use a combination of gray and purple tints in my trifocals. I know when the colors have faded or need to be checked, as my eyes begin to tire or water. I have them re-tinted and the problem is gone. Working under fluorescent light or sunlight is now less stressful, and I enjoy reading much more.
I was told this condition could be hereditary. I have already informed my children that I want my grandchildren tested as soon as they are old enough, as I don’t want them to go through what I did. I feel children starting school should have this test in addition to the standard eye test. I wish I had known about this when I was in school. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the Irlen tints. I want to thank you for changing my life. Houston,Texas
See the Irlen web site for more information on this intervention: Irlen.com