Irlen Syndrome week from October 17-21

Be alert: Ballarat Irlen Syndrome screener Christine Phillips says the disorder is more common than many think. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Be alert: Ballarat Irlen Syndrome screener Christine Phillips says the disorder is more common than many think. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Ballarat Irlen Syndrome screener Christine Phillips is urging local families to be wary of the disorder in the lead up to Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week, from October 17-21.

The syndrome, also known as visual stress, hampers the brain’s ability to process visual information and affects about 46 per cent of people with reading problems, dyslexia or learning disabilities as well as 12 per cent of the general population to a smaller degree.

This problem tends to run in families and is not able to be identified with optical assessments, standardised educational assessments or medical tests. Often the condition goes undetected or misdiagnosed as ADHD in children. Irlen Syndrome occurs on a continuum from mild symptoms to very severe.

“Since becoming a screener, I have been amazed at meeting adults who have suffered all their lives from headaches, migraines, poor depth perception, sometimes even aches and pains, and/or learning difficulties,” Ms Phillips said.

“They tested positive during an Irlen Screening and are able to be greatly helped using the Irlen method of treatment. This method has been used for nearly 30 years  and involves the use of precision-tinted coloured overlays and Irlen spectral filters. The Irlen method is only carried out by certified Irlen Screeners and Diagnosticians.”

Symptoms of the disorder include sensitivity to light, reading difficulties and spelling issues as well through as many more common behavioral patterns.

Screenings for traces of the syndrome can be done through Ms Phillips at Dawson House as well as through a home service. Those who wish to screen their children for Irlen Syndrome can do so through Aldon Tutoring on 0417 593 416.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF IRLEN SYNDROME INCLUDE: 

Sensitivity to Light

Reading Difficulties

Distortions with Print

Spelling Problems

Delayed Learning

Concentration Difficulties

Behaviour Problems

Frustration

Handwriting Problems

Find Copying Difficult

Depth Perception Difficulties

Eye Strain / Visual Stress

Headaches and Migraines

Fatigue after School or Work

Low Self Esteem

Anxiety