Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual dysfunction principally affecting reading and writing-based activities. Those with this condition see the printed page differently from the proficient reader. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. The Syndrome may remain undetected by standard visual and medical examinations.

Irlen Syndrome can affect reading, attention span, energy level, motivation or work production. In addition, problems with handwriting and depth perception can result. The symptoms will vary between individuals. When the Irlen Syndrome goes undetected, students might be viewed as underachievers with behavioural, attitudinal or motivational problems. They often appear bright but fail to produce to a level considered appropriate, and may have been labelled as “dumb”, “stupid” or “lazy”. Some individuals diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties, dyslexia, reading problems, or various developmental delays may also be suffering from the Irlen Syndrome. The symptoms of Irlen Syndrome can be eased by colour overlays.

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