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About Irlen Syndrome

What is Irlen® Syndrome?

  Irlen syndrome is a light sensitivity disorder causing visual perceptual difficulties that affect performance in learning, academics, depth perception and/or everyday functioning.

  Irlen® Syndrome affects approximately 12-14% of the general population, including gifted students and even those with good reading skills but who may avoid reading or memorize things quickly so they don't have to read any more than is necessary.    

  The number of individuals with Irlen® Syndrome increases to almost 46% for those with reading, learning, or attention problems. 


 Individuals with Irlen® Syndrome find bright lights, fluorescent lighting, glare, white paper, and the amount of print on the page affects reading fluency and comprehension. Individuals with Irlen® Syndrome perceive visual information differently and often find that reading can cause discomfort or fatigue. Most individuals are not aware that they have a problem.


(Copyright © 1998-2017 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.)

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In The City

The Irlen® Method

  Irlen® Spectral Colored Overlays remediate the Irlen® Syndrome. The use of Irlen® Spectral Colored Overlays is not a method for teaching reading and does not replace reading instruction or remediation. Using the correct colored overlay(s) will remove a barrier to learning so one can read with fluency and comprehension. This sounds simple but choosing the right overlay color, or combination of overlays, requires knowledge and training. Choosing the wrong color can make no difference or even make things worse.


  Colored overlays are only one part of the Irlen® Method. They can be used for general reading and other places needing adjustment. They are not helpful under all circumstances. 


  If color is helpful, wearing Irlen® Spectral Colored Filters will provide greater benefits in more areas, such as depth perception, sports performance, driving, night driving, and computer fatigue. Certified Irlen® Diagnosticians use an almost limitless number of spectral filters to determine a color combination to be worn as glasses. 


  This method determines the exact wavelengths of light to which a person is uniquely sensitive and filters only these colors. Problems of light sensitivity, computer strain, and poor depth perception also improve with Irlen® Spectral Colored Lenses. 

  For more information on Irlen® Syndrome, see Reading by the Colors by Helen Irlen® at, or email Jean at

(Copyright © 1998-2017 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.)

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Identifying Individuals Who Need Colored Overlays

 Individuals who answer "yes" to three or more of the following may benefit from the use of colored overlays:

  • Skips words or lines

  • Rereads lines

  • Loses place

  • Trouble tracking

  • Easily distracted

  • Makes more errors

  • Trouble with reading comprehension

  • Reads slowly

  • Gets tired or sleepy

  • Blinks or squints

  • Reads close to the page

  • Rubs eyes

  • Prefers to read in dim light

  • Uses a finger or other marker

  • Becomes restless, active, or fidgety

  • Gets a headache or eyes hurt

  For more information about Irlen® Syndrome / Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, visit the Irlen® Institute Website at . (Copyright © 1998-2017 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.)

Please consult with Jean on the best methods for using this tool. However, you can follow this link to try out your own:

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How to Screen for Irlen® Syndrome

  Irlen® screenings are efficient and economical. The testing and remediation can be administered individually in an hour, and results are immediately known. The Irlen® Reading Perceptual Scale can be administered alone or as a part of a test battery. The Irlen® Method is currently being used in schools throughout the world as well as in clinic and private practice settings. 

  Take a free self test today at:

(Copyright © 1998-2017 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.)

Irlen® Links

  A piece of the puzzle for reading problems, learning difficulties, ADD / HD, dyslexia, headaches, and other physical symptoms through the use of color.

  • Guiding your Mind-Body to take control of your life. Why be swept along by events? Take better control of your life. It's easier than you thought! It's a matter of learning self-regulation techniques. aids in biofeedback training, audio-visual stimulation, and guided relaxation.

  • Kn.I.L.E Center EduCoachNow is an after school, educational enrichment program. Our tutoring program is different from traditional tutoring methods in that we combine cognitive training skills with enhanced organizational, study, and testing methods. The net result is a student who can attack and process any subject much more effectively than if he or she had attended a traditional tutor.

(Copyright © 1998-2017 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.)

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