Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS) is a sensitivity to
light that can significantly interfere with reading and writing activities.
It can lower test scores and impair a person’s ability to function
in school and work situations. It can co-exist with dyslexia, learning
disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism, and some emotional
or behavioral disturbances. Irlen® Syndrome/SSS can not be diagnosed
using standard educational, psychoeducational, or speech and language
tests. Fortunately, this syndrome is very easy to diagnose and treat.
is Irlen® Syndrome? Irlen® Syndrome affects approximately 12-14%
of the general population, including gifted students and even those
with good reading skills but who avoid reading. The number of individuals
with Irlen® Syndrome increases to almost 46% for those with reading,
learning, or attention problems. Individuals with Irlen® Syndrome find
bright lights, fluorescent lighting, glare, white paper, and the amount
of print on the page affects reading fluency and comprehension. Individuals
with Irlen® Syndrome perceive visual information differently and often
find that reading can cause discomfort or fatigue. Most individuals
are not aware that they have a problem.
Irlen® Method. Irlen® Spectral Colored Overlays remediate the Irlen®
Syndrome. The use of Irlen® Spectral Colored Overlays is not a method for teaching
reading and does not replace reading instruction or remediation. Using
the correct colored overlay(s) will remove a barrier to learning so
one can read with fluency and comprehension. This sounds simple but
choosing the right overlay color, or combination of overlays, requires
knowledge and training. Choosing the wrong color can make no difference
or even make things worse.
overlays are only one part of the Irlen® Method. They can be used for
reading but not for math, copying, writing, spelling, and computer
use. If color is helpful, wearing Irlen® Spectral Colored Filters will provide
greater benefits in more areas, such as depth perception, sports performance,
driving, night driving, and computer fatigue. Certified Irlen® Diagnosticians
use an almost limitless number of spectral filters to determine a color
combination to be worn as glasses. This method determines the exact
wave lengths of light to which a person is uniquely sensitive and
filters only these colors. Problems of light sensitivity, computer
strain, and poor depth perception also improve with Irlen® Spectral Colored
Lenses. For more information on Irlen® Syndrome, see Reading by
the Colors by Helen Irlen® or www.Irlen.com.
Niche for Irlen®: Reducing the Dropout Rate
say that 1 out of 3 public high school students won't graduate.
Americans and Latinos, the rate approaches an alarming 50%. No community,
small or large, rural or urban, has escaped the problem.
numbers have remained unchecked at approximately 30% through two decades
of intense educational reform, and the magnitude of the problem has
been consistently and often willfully ignored.
peril for dropouts is that this group is immediately relegated to
the most low-wage jobs and those jobs that haven't yet moved overseas
or filled by an increasing group of even lower wage immigrants. The
dropout of today is destined for low lifetime earnings, possible incarceration,
and a high likelihood that their children will drop out of high school
and repeat the same cycle.
prevention should be the top of education's agenda. Although countless
federal and state dollars have been spent on trying to identify why
kids are leaving and looking for ways to reverse the tide, the rate
remains unchanged. Is it possible that they have not looked at Irlen®
as a root cause? Irlen® may be one answer in the war to prevent dropouts.
graduation rate of anywhere from 64% to 71% has remained fairly static
since the 1970's, despite increased attention to the plight of public
schools and vigorous educational reform movement. The National Center
for Educational Statistics states that kids from the lowest income
quarter are more than six times as likely to drop out of high school
as kids from the highest. Can Irlen® offer a valuable second chance
for these kids?
feel that the dropouts are either a by-product of testing mania or
an unavoidable result of public schools. But spending more money has
not worked. We've doubled the amount we spend per pupil since the
70's, and the problem hasn't budged.
to get students to graduate are higher than ever: an estimated 67%
of prison inmates nationwide are high school dropouts. A Northeastern
University study found that nearly half of all dropouts ages 16 to
24 were unemployed.
above statistics were abstracted from an article in Time, April 17,
2006, "Dropout Nation," by Nathan Thornburgh.
Individuals who need colored Overlays. Individuals who answer
"yes" to three or more of the following:
words or lines
with reading comprehension
tired or sleepy
close to the page
to read in dim light
a finger or other marker
restless, active, or fidgety
a headache or eyes hurt
information about Irlen® Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, visit
the Irlen® Institute
This information was reproduced from Irlen® International; Copyright © 1998- 2006 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen®. All rights reserved.