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Adult Dyslexia - The Irlen Syndrome

Aug 14, 2008
One condition that a dyslexic person may have is the Irlen Syndrome. This condition is very much related to dyslexia since, they both have a number of similar symptoms. Additionally, a lot of dyslexics have this syndrome, along with having dyslexia itself.

From research and testing, it was found that a diversity of problems could result from seeing a distorted page of numbers, words, and musical notes. It can actually affect reading, spelling, and writing. Also, there are times that math, copying skills, music reading, driving, sports performance, ability to work on a computer, and being comfortable under fluorescent lights are also affected.

What is the Irlen Syndrome
People with this syndrome perceive the printed page in a different way than those people that has normal vision. If you have this, you are obliged to constantly adapt to the distortions you are seeing on the printed page.

You can become a slow or inefficient reader because of this. Additionally, you may exhibit poor comprehension, since you don't really understand what you are reading. You can also suffer from headaches, strain, or fatigue.

The condition can affect your attention-span, motivation, energy-level, depth-perception, handwriting, and most of all, your self-esteem. People who sufferers from this condition are sometimes labeled as underachievers that have behavioral, motivational or attitudinal problems.

This syndrome is considered to be a variable and complex condition that is often found co-existing with other learning-disabilities, such as dyslexia.

The Beginnings
The syndrome was identified first by Helen Irlen, an Educational Psychologist. This happened in the 1980s while working in California with adult-learners. She was able to observe that a number of her students can read with better ease every time they used a colored overlay to cover the printed page they are reading.

Treatment
If you are a dyslexic with this condition, you would have to undergo the patented treatment-method. Here you need to use specially formulated, colored overlays or colored lenses. You can wear these as glasses or even contact lenses. Once you use the lenses, a reduction or even elimination of perceptual-difficulties is experienced.

Their program is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of people with learning difficulties, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and other conditions that can interfere with sufficient functioning inside the workplace, classroom, and socially.

Symptoms
Some symptoms of this syndrome are poor reading comprehension, reading in dim light, misreads words, skipping of words or lines, slow or hesitant manner of reading, and avoidance of reading itself.

While reading, a person with this condition can have numerous complaints like strain, fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea. A person may also seem restless and fidgety while doing the task.

In regards to writing, you can have some trouble copying words, unequal spacing between characters, uphill or downhill direction of writing, and inconsistent spelling of words.

When using the computer, you can also feel fatigue and strain. You may also experience some difficulty when reading music. Also, you often have sloppy or careless math mistakes. When you write numbers in columns, they are also misaligned.

One obvious symptom however is the syndrome's effect on your depth perception. You are often clumsy and have difficulty with sports that involve catching balls. You may also have problems in judging distances.

Most of the time, when people with dyslexia undergo treatment, the intervention is not successful since there is an underlying presence of Irlen Syndrome. That is why getting an assessment for this condition is equally important when you have dyslexia.
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