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Tinted glasses help my brother deal with Irlen syndrome

Kidsday reporter Charlie Vescovo, right, reads with his

Kidsday reporter Charlie Vescovo, right, reads with his younger brother Peter. Credit: Vescovo family

What is Irlen syndrome? Great question.

Irlen syndrome is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. It can affect many different areas like academic performance, behavior, attention, ability to sit still and concentration. People with Irlen syndrome sometimes have reading problems. They have poor comprehension, misread words, skip words, read slowly, or avoid reading all together.

In order to help fix these problems, people are given colored overlays. The overlays are placed on top of the pages the person is reading, and their symptoms can be alleviated.

My brother Peter was recently diagnosed with a severe case of Irlen syndrome. Peter was having difficulty progressing with his reading level at school. He told my parents that the words on the page looked funny.

So my parents had him evaluated. The specialist tested Peter with many different colored overlays until they finally found the color blue-gray worked. It helped Peter see the words on the page clearly. He no longer saw duplicate words, and the words were no longer moving on the page.

After having had success with the overlays, my parents brought Peter to a specialist. She examined Peter and fitted him for special glasses.

Now Peter no longer needs to use the overlays. He is able to use his prescription glasses that have been tinted blue-gray for all of his academic needs. Peter has been making great progress since wearing the glasses, not only with his reading but also with his confidence. Peter has found a love for reading thanks to the help of his new glasses. I am so proud of all the hard work Peter has been doing.


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