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New LED screens at school, son can't read what's on them. Any experience?

(10 Posts)
Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 12-Jan-17 22:16:40

Over Christmas our school replaced their aged interactive white boards with LED screens. The screens are 55"

Our son has been seeing the optician regularly since he was young and was last tested in December. He is very mildly shortsighted but not needing glasses.

Since the introduction of the new screens he is struggling to read what's being displayed. I took him back to the optician for a retest - same result. The teacher has moved our son closer to the new screen but this means that he is now further away from other whiteboards which they use which he now can't see as well due the angle at which he is sat.

The optician advised that white on black or black in white is easiest to read on screens, green and blue fonts should be avoided and that the classroom should be very well lit. He also said that he doubts that our son is the only one who is struggling.

I've had a quick search online and found this article which makes interesting reading. I hope that I can discuss its recommendations with the teacher but am not sure how easy it will be to make changes to the set up.

Has anyone else had similar problems and what did you do to resolve them?

Sillysausages007 Fri 13-Jan-17 12:39:16

Sounds like Visual Stress to me, also called Irlans (sp?). DC has just been diagnosed with it. She has a problem reading small words (they jump about), worded maths problems and seeing some type faces on computer screens.

If that is the case, then black on white (or vice versa) is the worst possible combination to read - the white becomes glaring, and the words become distorted. Our DC has just (in the past few weeks) been given a coloured overlay, and her reading speed and accuracy has improved 35% (tested both using, and not using the overlay).

Not all opticians even agree that Visual Stress exists, but we have personal experience that it does. Apparently it tends to manifest itself when children are starting to get older, and read more condensed texts, rather than books for younger children where the text is on coloured pages and is larger. The problem is not with eyesight (DC also wears glasses, but VS is not linked to this) - it's more an issue of how the brain interprets what the eyes are seeing.

Children develop their own coping mechanisms, and because they only see what they see, and have never seen anything different, they think it is normal. That's why it's hard to diagnose - if you don't think there's a problem then you don't say anything.

I apologise if this is what your article says - I couldn't access the link. Good luck, I hope you get this sorted out.

Traalaa Fri 13-Jan-17 16:33:40

My son has Irlens. I had no idea what it was, but like you discovered it when he was struggling with reading from a white board. Normal opticians often dismiss it or don't test, so best to take him to a specialised clinic.

If you think about it, none of us know how others see things. So my DS had never mentioned words moving, blurring, etc as he just assumed it was normal. He now wears dark tinted glasses in lessons. When they tested, they worked out which tint worked best, then got him to read a page of random words against the clock for a minute. They looked at how far he got and noted mistakes, etc. He then read the same paragraph of random words, but without the tint. The difference was astonishing as with the tint, he read 98% of the words and no mistakes. Without the tint he read only 60% of the words and made lots of mistakes, including skipping several whole lines. Not all children need glasses, but in my son's case it's honestly made a massive difference.

mrz Fri 13-Jan-17 16:57:56

*"*^*Visual Stress to me, also called Irlans*^*"* not the same thing.

LED touch screens will display in exactly the same colours as the old IWB (with a sharper clearer image) and colours can be adjusted in just the same way as essentially both act like a giant computer monitor so if anything it should be better for him.

Sillysausages007 Fri 13-Jan-17 18:08:31

Sorry, MrZ, but I was told by the leading optometrist in the area that Visual Stress is indeed also known as Irlans (although I appreciate that I may well have spelt it incorrectly).

I was told that the name was adopted by the American who "identified" the condition, and subsequently pushed the use of their own brand of coloured overlays to help the movement of words/glare of paper etc. If the optometrist uses the phrase "Irlans", then they have to pay copyright to the company in the US that manufactures them, and so in this country the use of the phrase Visual Stress has been adopted. I believe that there are other types of Visual Stress (although I don't know what, as it didn't apply to us), but Irlans comes under the Visual Stress "umbrella".

Surely this is irrelevant anyway - if the use of coloured overlays helps the OP then any suggestions will be helpful. I hope that she finds something that will help her DS.

mrz Fri 13-Jan-17 19:07:05

The BMJ say otherwise

mrz Fri 13-Jan-17 19:08:21

As for coloured overlays http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4872/rr/761729
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/4/e932
Etc etc

Muchtoomuchtodo Fri 13-Jan-17 21:04:26

Thanks, I'll look into this a bit more.

ShoeEatingMonster Sat 14-Jan-17 14:07:17

Black on white or white on black can be the worst possible for some children. I'd be asking them to try different shades of background to see if any make a difference.

mrz Sat 14-Jan-17 15:37:32

*"*^*The optician advised that white on black or black in white is easiest to read on screens, green and blue fonts should be avoided and that the classroom should be very well lit.*^*"* I'm sure the teacher will happily change backgrounds and/or text colour but the optician has advised black and white.

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