Irlen Syndrome Foundation To Increase Nationwide Screening Levels By 25%
By 2025, Foundation Aims to Actively Identify Every Child Suffering From Irlen Syndrome in the U.S.
Long Beach, CA (October 6, 2015) – The Irlen Syndrome Foundation (“ISF”) announces the launch of its 100 in 100 Campaign, raising funds over the next 100 days to train approximately 100 new Irlen screeners for schools and out in the community. The campaign is in support of ISF’s goal increase the number of screeners for Irlen Syndrome in the United States by 25% within the next two years. With 100 new Screeners, up to 10,000 children in the United States would be professionally evaluated for Irlen Syndrome each year, supporting ISF’s mission that no child go unidentified by 2025.
Every dollar donated during Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week (October 19-23, 2015) will be personally matched by a donation from Helen Irlen, who first discovered Irlen Syndrome 35 years ago.
Millions of people suffer from Irlen Syndrome, including students, active military members and veterans, and athletes. ISF’s campaign aims to improve identification of the 15% of the general population who suffer from the condition, in which the brain is unable to successfully process visual information. Irlen Syndrome affects daily functioning, with symptoms ranging from light sensitivity and headaches or migraines, to discomfort when reading, eye strain, and experiencing distorted text or surroundings.
The campaign will support outreach to underserved populations with high concentrations of Irlen sufferers, including military members suffering from combat-related brain injuries. ISF aims to extend availability of Irlen services, which are currently supported by the Semper Fi Fund to members of the Marines, to other military branches and veterans. Ret. Colonel Bart Billings, PhD has joined the Foundation as an Advisor, assisting ISF in these efforts. A former military psychologist, Dr. Billings founded and directs the International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conference, and was the recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
The need for increased testing is at an all-time high. Beyond 15% of the general population, an estimated 50% of individuals with reading and learning difficulties and 30% of individuals with ADHD and autism experience symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. Without identification, most of these sufferers remain unaware of the true source of their problems, and are diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, behavior or psychiatric problems, while Irlen Syndrome goes unrecognized. Irlen Syndrome has also increasingly been linked to a significant portion of individuals with brain injury, chronic headaches and migraines.
ISF Board President and educational psychologist Sandra Tosta says, “Irlen Syndrome is not identified by standard educational or medical tests, but can dramatically impact academic success. In some schools, more than one third of students are at risk of being held back due to grade promotion guidelines requiring grade-level reading skills. We need early and proactive screening.”
Irlen offers a range of immediate solutions, including personalized spectral (color) filters. The non-invasive filters, worn as glasses, provide clients with immediate relief, filtering out troublesome light waves that disrupt normal brain processing and daily functioning.
ABOUT THE IRLEN SYNDROME FOUNDATION
The Irlen Syndrome Foundation, founded in 1996, is dedicated to increasing proper identification of and education about Irlen Syndrome. ISF supports outreach, and educational efforts around the world, driving change in policies, practices, and perceptions, so that individuals with Irlen Syndrome can have access to available and successful solutions. ISF is based in California. For more information, please visit www.irlensyndrome.org
Sandra Tosta, Ph.D.
Phone: (562) 496-2550