In 2nd grade my daughter was struggling with her reading. She kept telling me she couldn't keep her lines. I told her to use her finger, a ruler, a line guide anything but she said it didn't work because the lines never stayed still. When I asked her what the lines looked like she said they looked like waves in the ocean or fish swimming in a river. When I told her teacher about this she instantly knew where to send me. She had had a student previously with Irlen Syndrome and thought my daughter should be tested. She even brought in a colored overlay the next day for my daughter to use. The overlay didn't help much and I was skeptical about paying the money for the Irlen screening just to find out it wasn't going to help but my daughter was crying and frustrated with her homework every day. She had migraine headaches every day (we later found out this was caused by the fluorescent lighting)and she would get nausea whenever she tried to read for more than 10 or 15 minutes. So off to Irlen we went. My daughter was diagnosed with Irlen and then had to start the process to find the right color overlay and filter for her. This is key for Irlen sufferers. The wrong color overlay or filter will not help a person with Irlen BUT the right color overlay or filter will CHANGE THEIR WORLD. It was amazing to watch the change in my daughter once she got her Irlen glasses. No more headaches or nausea, her DRA (reading level) jumped 10 points because her lines and words were not longer moving on the page. She went from a 16 to a 26 in a matter of a few weeks. As her world became calmer and more "still" her confidence in doing new things grew and she started to blossom. It may be a true statistic that only 2% are going to benefit from the colored overlays but if your child is one of those 2% you can't ignore the life changing affect it will have on them. I urge all parents to do whatever they have to do to help their child succeed. If that means spending a few dollars on an overlay then so be it. If you are concerned your child actually does have Irlen Syndrome, have them tested. The right color overlay is crucial.
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