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Irlen Lenses Gimmick Or Useful

(12 Posts)
2006hildy Sat 20-Oct-12 21:19:18

Does anybody use Irlen lenses? My husband says they are just a gimmick!

They are on Wikipedia you know!

G certainly stims with his vision. How common is it for someone to be checked out for Irlen syndrome?

So desparate to help both sons and hubby (son 1 and hubby both dyslexic) willing to trust any charlatan,

Handywoman Sat 20-Oct-12 21:56:42

my dd (dyslexic) uses tinted lenses. when we went for the colorimetry assessment (which basically involves seeing which colour makes the text 'look clearest') the optometrist was clear that it was a very subjective thing and there was not necessarily a 'right' and 'wrong'. But in our case they provided dd with a text and compared her reading speed with and without the lenses. The difference in my dd's reading speed/accuracy was obvious. It may or may not work for your sons. the variability and interplay between the cognitive and visual difficulties in dyslexia is huge. so no guarantee but no 'gimmick' in my experience, either.

HTH, Handy xxx

bochead Sun 21-Oct-12 10:19:40

You need to do two searches.

1. Search this forum for behavioral optremetrist threads. There's a LOT of collective wisdom on them.

Irlens syndrome is a recognised medical condition but there are other visual issues that can lead to dyslexic symptoms. (If your child has this, then yes lenses help - otherwise it's a waste of time). Many visual problems such as visual tracking and convergence issues can easily be helped with a simple prescribed programme of excercises, which may or may not be computer based, depending on the specific problem.

2. Guessing never helps - a proper assessment from a behavioral optremetrist is the way to go. Look on the BABO website for the closest trained professional to yourself. Do note that a high street optician is NOT qualified to identify and diagnose the visual issues that cause the dyslexic symptom. To do this you really do need the services of the specialist professional. An initial assessment with a BO is in the region of about £200.

Have you asked school what interventions they are currently using? Lexia is a common computer based dyslexia solution used by many British schools to help support many children with dyslexic issues. It's based on continuous assessment so is particularly helpful for picking individual children's specific areas of difficulty. DS does 2x 20 sessions a week - this then better informs his teacher, so problems are picked up early and can be addressed by his teacher in the class literacy sessions, and in homework. Knowledge is power lol!

My mother was a dyslexia association tutor, as we are a family of dyslexics. However she feels they haven't kept up up with the times in regards to getting kids to see behavioral optremetrists & auditory specialists (that could often avoid the need for years of specialist tuition in the first place by sorting the root of the problem). Once you've done this there are many home based solutions that can help your child catch up with their reading at home for a far lower cost than hiring a tutor at £30 an hour.

Home programmes - a selection.
Apples and pears - workbook series many on here and in the primary section swear by.
Clicknread - online phonics programme for early readers. Very consistent approach & affordable.
Mimio reading and reading comprehension - (recc'd by SALTS)
Readwrite inc - again online & good for kids with audio processing issues as the root cause of their dyslexia.
Ladybird Peter & Jane Key words series - great for kids for whom phonics is never gonna be the way to learn to read (This is how my siblings & I learnt to read well & I'm dyslexic lol!)

auntevil Sun 21-Oct-12 10:20:29

2006 You should be able to get a colour overlay assessment on the NHS. Ask your GP to refer you for an eye assessment, requesting that this needs to be done also (it needs more time than just an initial assessment, so they need to book extra time).
This way, you can see if it helps and if it does, it will be on the NHS. Your DH will not have to pay, and you can say it can't be a gimmick as the NHS wouldn't pay if it wasn't necessary grin
Seriously though, DS1 is trialling 2 shades at the moment. It has made a HUGE difference to his reading. I think the thing is that something so simple can make such a big difference is hard to fathom.
When they checked the different colours, I was quite amazed that for a child that has very little idea of colour, he was so consistent in his colour choices. All of the comparative shades he found improved reading had blue in them. This isn't a boy thing, preferring blue to pink as he preferred lilac to peach etc, not realising that lilac has blue in it.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Ineedalife Sun 21-Oct-12 18:06:43

2 out of 3 of my girls have benefitted from coloured lenses in their glasses.

Dd2 is midly dyslexic and Dd3 has Aspergers.

Dd2 also has difficulty with colour recognition. Not technically colour blind but struggles with shades and colours which are similar.

Dd3 has particular difficulty with depth perception, she was able to tell the optician quite clearly what happens to the words/letters/numbers on the page. She has only recently stopped reversing some numbers and letter but she is also a leftie so I dont know if that has impacted on her.

Aston University have a visual sciences deptartment, they sent us a really good questionairre to fill in. I then took Dd3 to different BOblush but Aston would have been cheaper.

2006hildy Tue 23-Oct-12 06:52:52

Thank-you for all your replies I really appreciate it.

Writing slope – the cheapest one I have been able to find is at specialdirect.com. £30 Ikea don’t seem to do OLGO anymore.

Toe by Toe manual I will definitely get one of these.

Irlen lenses I think I know these are not a gimmick now. Quackwatch says it has not been fully proven though.

I have contacted the Reading by Colour charity to see if they can assess my boys for Irlens syndrome.

I will also ask our GP for a referral.

I will also contact Aston University visual sciences department.

Any more comments gratefully received.

SallyBear Tue 23-Oct-12 07:23:53

This is all really fascinating. DS1 was assessed two weeks ago by an EP for Dyslexia. I have not heard anything yet, so it's good to read up (in advance of report results), of methods to help him.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Tue 23-Oct-12 07:52:21

you could try this one 2006 before going for a more expensive option

zzzzz Tue 23-Oct-12 08:36:59

Good for a teeny percentage of dyslexics. You need to try overlays for a few months first.

I was totally disbelieving like your Dh, till right at the en of the test. Ds2 is about as suggest able as a 7 year old wriggler could be, and frankly I felt the optician was leading his response, but when he got to the final colour composite and put them on ds2 went very still and exclaimed..."How did you do that?!".

His reading has improved, but not in a "ooh I can read instantly" he is just smile making slow steady progress now.

He has no dx of dyslexia, but is colour blind and very destractable.

The overlays made some impact but I thought it was placebo/novelty at that stage.

zzzzz Tue 23-Oct-12 08:42:27

I should add we had assessment in Exeter, it was £40 ish then a hundred and something for glasses if you went ahead.

zzzzz Tue 23-Oct-12 09:06:22

Sorry trying to do breakfast so disjointed.

I'm not sure how old your boys are, but I think this book is very good,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0091863511/ref=pe_217191_31005151_dp_1

Ds1 follows a Montessori curriculum (well sort of) and I have found ds2 does his spellings much better with the solid moveable alphabet. It's aimed at -> 6ish and mine are a bit older, but the that's when most people learn so I guess that's the case for most resources.

2006hildy Tue 23-Oct-12 09:28:23

Ninjagoose thanks for the Brada at Ikea advice. At that price I can afford to get both.

ZZZ will try Irlen accredited optician and like the book advice.

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