Irlen Syndrome affects an estimated 12 to 14% of the general population including gifted students and good readers. In a class of 30 students there is a good chance that 3 or 4 students are struggling with Irlen Syndrome even if they are getting good grades. Individuals with Irlen Syndrome find that lighting, contrast, glare, print size, the amount of print on the page, and the demand for continuous performance and comprehension can negatively affect their ability to read and do other visually-intensive activities.
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Questions and Answers
Q: Is Irlen Syndrome a learning or reading difficulty?
A: No. Irlen Syndrome is not a learning or reading difficulty. It can affect the way people "see" words on the page and can cause physical symptoms which make it difficult to sustain reading or to take in what they are reading. People who are good readers can still have Irlen Syndrome.
Q: Is Irlen Syndrome is another word for dyslexia?
A: No. Dyslexia is a language processing problem which makes it difficult for people to access text. Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual processing problem which make it difficult for people to access print. These are two different problems. However, they can co-exist.
Q: Why must I have my eyes tested by an Optometrist?
A: Before being assessed for Irlen Syndrome, it is essential that any vision problems are treated.