Meares-Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual processing disorder and a form of visual stress which leads to difficulty in reading. 50 percent of people with dyslexia are affected. This also impacts people with migraines and epilepsy.
Other Known Names
- Irlen Symptom
- Visual Stress
- Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome
- Eye strain
- Poor depth-perception
- Discomfort in presence of fluorescent lighting
- Discomfort with busy patterns
- Writing problems
- reading Difficulty
- Attention and Concentration Limitations
When reading, words may appear to:
- Jump off the page
- Spin and move around
What Meares-Irlen Syndrome Looks Like
Helping a Child with Meares-Irlen Syndrome
According to Helen Irlen, founder of the Irlen method, the following techniques should be used in helping a children diagnosed with Meares-Irlen Syndrome:
- Copy tests, handouts, and assignments on colored paper or recycled paper.
- Do written work on colored notebook paper.
- Place reading material on angle or use a bookstand to reduce glare.
- Allow students to sit near a window or indirect lighting.
- Allow students to use a finger or marker.
- Use graph paper for math.
- Write in columns on the board.
- Use gray or brown erase boards and avoid white boards.
- Use a colored overlay on the overhead projector.
- Xerox tests on colored paper.
- Let your child work in a dimly lit room.
- Allow the child to do work near a window or indirect natural lighting.
- Have the child wear a hat when outside or in stores.
- Change the background color of the computer screen.
- Use Irlen colored overlays for reading and the same colored paper for assignments.
- Let the child watch TV in a dimly lit room.
- Avoid using bright colors, stripes, and patterns on the walls, floors, or furniture.