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The IRLEN Method

The IRLEN Method

We offer assessment for Irlen Syndrome, a visual-perceptual disorder. This treatment can be used as a stand alone service or in conjunction with an educational assessment.



Irlen Screenings

What is Irlen Syndrome?

Irlen Syndrome (also referred to at times as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, and Visual Stress) is a perceptual processing disorder. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. This problem tends to run in families and is not currently identified by other standardized educational or medical tests. 

The symptoms of Irlen Syndrome are wide-ranging, but the solutions – Irlen colored overlays and Irlen Spectral Filters (worn as either glasses or contacts) – are straightforward and available to you. Irlen addresses the underlying perceptual processing difficulties and light sensitivity that can contribute to reading difficulties, headaches, and attention difficulties. Irlen also can play a role in the challenges experienced by many individuals who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, autism, concussion syndrome and traumatic brain injury, or who may have been diagnosed with ADHD. 

Irlen Syndrome can affect many different areas, including:

Academic and work performance
Ability to sit still

This problem can manifest itself differently for each individual. This problem is not remediable and is often a lifetime barrier to learning and performance. If you suffer from any of the following, Irlen Syndrome might be your problem:

Print looks different
Environment looks different
Slow or inefficient reading
Poor comprehension
Eye strain
Difficulty with math computation
Difficulty copying
Difficulty reading music
Poor sports performance
Poor depth-perception
Low motivation
Low self-esteem

Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome

Light Sensitivity:

Bothered by glare, fluorescent lights, bright lights, sunlight and sometimes lights at night

Some individuals experience physical symptoms and feel tired, sleepy, dizzy, anxious, or irritable. Others experience headaches, mood changes, restlessness or have difficulty staying focused, especially with bright or fluorescent lights.

Reading Problems:

Poor comprehension
Misreads words
Problems tracking from line to line
Reads in dim light
Skips words or lines
Reads slowly or hesitantly
Takes breaks
Loses place
Avoids reading


Strain and fatigue
Tired or sleepy
Headaches or nauseaF
Fidgety or restless
Eyes that hurt or become watery

Attention and Concentration Problems:

Problems with concentration when reading and doing academic tasks
Often people can appear to have other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, and are given medication unnecessarily.

Writing Problems:

Trouble copying
Unequal spacing
Unequal letter size
Writing up or downhill
Inconsistent spelling

Other Characteristics:

Strain or fatigue from computer use
Difficulty reading music
Sloppy, careless math errors
Misaligned numbers in columns
Ineffective use of study time
Lack of motivation
Grades do not reflect the amount of effort

Depth Perception:

Difficulty catching ballsDifficulty judging distances
Additional caution necessary while driving


Words on the page lack clarity or stability; i.e., may appear to be blurry, moving, or disappear

For more information about Irlen® Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, visit the Irlen® Institute Website.

This information was reproduced from Irlen® International; Copyright  © 1998- 2006 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen®.  All rights reserved.

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