Could The Right Pair Of Glasses Help Your Child's ADHD Or Dyslexia?
Have you ever heard of Irlen Syndrome?
If not, you aren't alone. Irlen Syndrome (which is sometimes called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome) is a type of perceptual processing disorder that affects the way the brain is able to process visual cues and other visual data. It could be affecting your child -- and you (and your child's doctor) might not realize it!
While more common than asthma, this disorder often goes unrecognized -- despite 35 years' worth of evidence of its existence -- because it isn't detectable with standardized testing. The treatment is very simple: colored eyeglasses. Here's what you should know if you're interested in learning more:
What are the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
Often mistaken for dyslexia, Irlen Syndrome is particularly problematic in a high-tech world where children are constantly expected to perform academically under the haze of fluorescent lights and through the glare of a computer screen. Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome include:
- Light sensitivity, including problems with bright sunlight and fluorescent lighting
- Chronic discomfort in bright light (natural or otherwise) that leaves the child feeling sleepy, fatigued, irritable, and headachey
- Reading problems, including skipped words and lines, problems tracking lines, and poor comprehension
- Concentration problems that appear worse as the day goes on, including restlessness and what seems like ADHD
- Difficulty doing tasks that require hand-brain coordination, like playing sports, copying from a chalkboard, writing clearly, judging distances, and reading music
In many cases, children with Irlen Syndrome are misdiagnosed and medicated unnecessarily. The medication for ADHD doesn't seem to help, and the child and their parents are left feeling frustrated and powerless.
How can Irlen Syndrome be treated?
Non-invasive color filtering through the use of specially tinted eyeglasses can alleviate many of the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome very easily. Once tested by a diagnostician who is familiar with Irlen Syndrome, children can learn which color lenses help reduce their light sensitivity and make it easier for their brains to process the information seen by their eyes.
The right filter essentially removes the visual distortions that are constantly in their sight. In turn, this reduces the amount of strain that children and adults suffer when trying to focus.
It's important to understand that treating Irlen Syndrome may not entirely eliminate a perceptual processing disorder. Irlen Syndrome can exist in conjunction with autism, dyslexia, and ADHD, or it can exist on its own.
If your child has been struggling with a visual processing disorder of some kind and these symptoms seem familiar, consider finding a specialist who can diagnose Irlen Syndrome. Then, you can try a simple pair of colored eyeglasses as a treatment for a long-standing issue.