I can tell you that my son, who is both gifted (math/science) and has a learning disability (in writing)could read if the print was a big enough font and not dense. As the fonts got smaller, he had more trouble. He couldn't copy off the white board, couldn't follow on overhead projectors and took 2 1/2 hours to read 8 pages of an AR (Accelerated Reader) 5.1 level book at the end of 5th grade. He had migraines, red eyes and would ONLY read outside during a specific time - he liked the light at that time. He was screened the next month. During the screening, I was looking on and when a yellow overlay was tried - I had an INSTANT migraine that lasted for 6 hours. With my son's colored overlay (thankfully NOT the yellow for my sake), he read the ENTIRE next book in the series (still a 5.1 AR level) in only 3 hours - about 100 pages, over 10 times faster. He still couldn't copy off the white board or see clearly overhead projected items until he got the glasses. By the way - when he first complained of not being able to read the board in 2nd grade - we started getting his eyes checked - he has 20/10 - BETTER than 20/20. How much of his writing disability developed because he couldn't read???
I now have the Irlen tinted glasses and I quit having migraines - except when I need the tints changed. Since I have a pair of tinted glasses with no prescription (for use with contacts), others have tried them - it's amazing when they sigh, relax their faces and shoulders, and tell me white is amazingly white. For others, it's not the right tint and they see a color. The cost puts off most of them. I have talked with special education teachers and most of them try colored overlays, never knowing why one color worked over another.
If my son hadn't gotten the Irlen glasses, what do you think the odds would be of him being in college - working towards an ENGINEERING degree??? His brother - who has the same gifted/LD and same test scores, but was almost out of High School when his brother started with the overlay (and refuses to even consider wearing the glasses) refuses to attend college, even though he has CREATED after market car parts and SELLS them. He would benefit from at lease some engineering classes, but hates school because he struggled for 12 years.
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