What is Irlens?
Irlen Syndrome is an issue with the brain’s ability to process what the eyes are seeing. Referred to as a ‘perceptual processing disorder’ it is not an optical problem nor is it the same as dyslexia as is commonly thought.
Put simply, Irlens is when the brain processes visual information slower than the eyes are seeing it. A good example is: If the brain was a radio, there would be considerable static interfering with the reception of the station you were trying to listen too.
The eyes transmit up to 80 percent of the information an individual needs to function in any given environment - so any problems in the interpretation of such information can cause lifelong difficulties if Irlens is not identified as the cause.
Moving or distorting words while reading can be a common symptom of Irlen Syndrome
So, how do I know if my child needs to be screened?
Irlens can run in families and is pinpointed via screening by a registered Irlens assessor. The great news is - at OCULA, being a registered Irlens assessor is only one of the many tools in our toolkit, so to speak.
When seeing your child for a possible Irlens diagnosis they will also undergo a full comprehensive visual assessment by our behavioural optometrist who will not only test their vision but check how healthy their eyes are and how they make sense of what they see. So, whether your child actually does have Irlens or something different - we have the experience and knowledge to help.
Irlens can be hard to pick-up, is often misdiagnosed and can run alongside other visual and behavioural issues. Symptoms range from poor handwriting and slow reading to obvious depth perception issues (often falling, banging into things) light sensitivity, fatigue and inability to concentrate.
We also recognise that every child needs a different approach, so we work with a close network of educational psychologists, doctors, health care professionals, speech language therapists and occupational therapists to build a management plan tailor-made for your child's specific situation.
What does an assessment look like?
This is great - but where to from here?
You don’t need a referral to see us - just get in touch with our expert team to set up an appointment.