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Author: Sandy Tosta

Home/Articles Posted by Sandy Tosta

Teen Makes a Splash in Ireland to Raise Awareness of Irlen Syndrome

Seven months ago, I had a conversation with Ethan Lynch, a 19-year-old college student from Ireland, who wanted to help raise awareness of Irlen Syndrome within the Irish education system. I never could have imagined what would happen next, as Ethan, his cousin Oliver, and his friends embarked on an awareness and fundraising campaign to help change the lives of individuals with Irlen Syndrome. Below, Ethan details his journey in his own words. We hope Ethan’s motivation, creativity, perspiration, and supreme dedication inspire you as much as it inspired us. One person can make a difference. One person can ignite change. One person can generate momentum. Thank you, Ethan, for your incredible dedication to changing lives!

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Irlen Syndrome: A Whole New Perspective

by Ethan Lynch 

Hello, Irlen Syndrome Foundation, just a brief introduction. My name is Ethan Lynch, I’m 19 years old from Dublin, Ireland. Currently, I’m a second-year college student studying marketing at TU Dublin. Alongside my college course, my main interest is boxing which I’ve been doing for the last 3 years. Recently, this experience lead to me obtaining a coaching role in one of the most highly regarded boxing gyms in Ireland named ‘Headon Boxing Academy’ (HBA). Before then, I was playing rugby for both my club Lansdowne FC and my school, St. Michaels College.

I was diagnosed with Irlen syndrome in my final year of secondary school (High School) at 18yrs, 6 months prior to my final exams known as the ‘Leaving Cert’ in Ireland. I cannot begin to explain the positive impact these tinted glasses have had on me in all aspects of my life, but I will get to that later. Firstly, I feel it is important and helpful for people who do not have Irlen syndrome or have recently become aware of the disorder, to understand it better by outlining the impact it has had on my life.  So, I will briefly go through some of the struggles my family and I went through throughout my time in the education system.

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From the age of 5yrs to 12yrs I was assigned to the resource classes, as the teachers spotted early on that I needed further help and guidance, especially with reading. As the years progressed, my resource teacher (Mrs. Hogan) could not exactly pinpoint what was happening or why I was struggling. For years I was just labeled as dyslexic, even though I was never diagnosed with dyslexia. I remember just how frustrated I would get, and my overall confidence and self-esteem were slowly being diminished. While that was going on, my mom brought me to see two educational psychologists to try and determine the root cause of my struggles. The second educational psychologist tested me again for dyslexia. This was my third negative result from a dyslexia test. This particular psychologist also made it clear to my mom that the resource classes were not only ineffective but were having a severe negative effect on my self-esteem and any help I needed moving forward should be completed outside the remit of my school. I was a very shy and sensitive kid back then. I did not know what the feeling was, but I ended up having bad anxiety issues whenever I was around my friends and family. Surrounded by big groups of people, I could not engage properly, I always wanted to play on my own. It also impacted my one big escape, sport.

I loved playing rugby and football as a kid, it was the only way I could show glimpses of my true personality and my fun side. It was a time when I was not surrounded by extra assistance or feeling like I had a disadvantage because I simply could not process information as fast as others. It was the one time I was on a fair playing field. But there were occasions where I always felt that I was going to mess up and not perform for my team. I tended to always talk down about myself because of what kids around me in school would say to me. My decision-making on the pitch would be poor, and I simply had no confidence at times. But that mindset soon changed for me and that amazing feeling of being in your happy place came back.

My mom discussed the Educational psychologist’s report with Mrs. Hogan who agreed that we needed a change in direction in dealing with my issues. She put us in touch with a new speech and language therapist who recommended that I meet with Karen O’Connor who runs the ‘Child Development Centre’ in Ireland. This center runs programs for children with a wide range of issues.  We did not know it at the time, but this program was going to drastically improve my school and social life. I vividly remember the first time I stepped foot into the room where “The Lift” as it was known was run.  I was in a group of 8 to 10 children who had experienced similar issues to me. This program, to explain it briefly, was a music therapy program that took place 5 days a week for 3 weeks. Each child was given a microphone headset and any book of interest. For 20 to 30 minutes, each child would take a spot in a room by themselves and read aloud while listening to classical music, and as you read, you can hear yourself through the microphone.

This form of therapy helped with my sensory imbalance and enabled me to navigate my world much better in terms of social cues and interaction with others.  My mom has said it was like someone had unlocked me. A good example of this was on a trip I took with my grandmother shortly after completing “The Lift”. Usually, I would sit in silence and not interact with anyone. I do not personally remember this happening, but apparently, I was constantly talking, asking questions and giving my own input into the topic of discussion. My grandmother thought she picked up someone else’s grandchild! That is just one example of the impact this program had on me.

From here, my parents were more confident with how I would cope with life in senior school (13-18yrs). Although I was more confident than I had ever been, there were still some difficulties I was dealing with academically. I was still being mistaken for having dyslexia year in year out, but this time it wasn’t just the teachers, friends and other students were also saying the same thing. I was constantly making the same silly mistakes both for homework and in exams, so you could say it was understandable to make that assumption, as I didn’t fit into any category recognized by the Department of Education in Ireland. These mistakes were repetitive – reading the question wrong, struggling to copy down notes on the board, losing the meaning of a sentence, comprehension was particularly difficult and my time management for exams was poor. Along with this, I was still nervous to read aloud in class or ask questions in front of everyone.

Fast forward to my final year in senior school. One evening during after-school study my good friend Mikey Kelly came in wearing orange-tinted glasses. He told me that he had been diagnosed with pattern glare, similar to Irlen syndrome and the tinted glasses helped him to read.  He then went through his symptoms and what his perspective was when reading any text. The glasses stopped the words from appearing to move or jitter on the page. I could instantly relate to what he said.  As soon as I got home I told my parents what had happened. They then remembered that my cousin Oliver had mentioned that he had new colored reading glasses a few years previously and contacted him straight away. He explained he had Irlen syndrome and that very evening we completed the online test on the Irlen website. Two days later I had my first appointment with Maureen McMenamin, a Diagnostician.

I will always remember my first appointment with Maureen, it was a mixture of emotions. It reminded me of the many places my mom had brought me to seek extra help and some of those had no positive impact whatsoever, so as well as being excited, I had that nervous feeling that it might not work out. Maureen could not have been more welcoming and friendly to us as we walked into her own home. I felt comfortable around her, and I honestly could not speak more highly of her. Without her, I’m not sure where I would be in terms of my journey to Third level education.

Further assessment proved without a doubt that I had Irlen syndrome, thankfully on the milder scale. So then we started to investigate what color or colors would be needed to make my filtered lenses. After 2 and a half hours, we could not get a perfect match … we were 90% there. At the time I was so drained and disappointed, I went back to school thinking I could do some study, but I was both physically and mentally exhausted. I had to wait a further 2 weeks for my next appointment with Maureen to try again.  It was possibly the toughest two weeks of my final year, knowing that there was something out there that could help me but I couldn’t have it yet frustrated me so much. Finally, back in Maureen’s home, focused and beyond determined we found a 100% match after an exhausting 3hrs of trying.

People tend to ask me how it must have felt when I finally got my tinted glasses. Yes, I was full of joy and excitement, but my main feeling was relief … I was relieved that it worked and that I finally had an answer as to why I constantly made all those mistakes.  I looked forward with optimism reading my next school report card, which hopefully wouldn’t say “Ethan needs to concentrate harder,” or “Ethan keeps making silly mistakes.” At the same time, I don’t have anything but nice things to say about my teachers, they’ve helped me to the best of their capabilities, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the support they’ve given me over the years.

I could instantly tell the difference these glasses brought to my academic life. They’ve given me a whole new perspective of learning. Finally, I can read a page of text the same way that the average student can, which is quite mad to say if you think about it. As soon as I told my teachers what I had, and how this was an issue I had for my whole school life, every teacher had the same reaction, “that makes a lot of sense now,” referring to the common and constant mistakes I always used to make and how long it took me to complete some tasks.

Two years on, after a long hard 18 months of the devastating impact of covid-19, where the majority of people had too much time on their hands and were desperate to keep themselves busy, I, along with my cousin Oliver Madigan and my good friend Mikey Kelly, decided to organize a fundraiser for the Irlen Foundation in the summer of 2020. We documented all the fundraisers on my Instagram. With the kind help of Adam Kerr, I made a quick 2-minute video explaining what Irlen syndrome was and the task for this charity event. We planned to swim in the Irish Sea every day for 17 days (representing the 17 years of my life without my Irlen filtered lenses!). On the final day, along with some friends, we cycled from Dublin to Kilkenny, 95km (60 Miles) approx. It was tough at times, but overall, an extremely rewarding experience.

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With our fundraising effort, we managed to donate €5,400 or $6,150 to the Irlen Syndrome Foundation! It was the very first independent charity event for Irlen syndrome in Ireland. Along with the challenges, we also held a competition for two pieces of clothing from Get Ahead & Co. This competition helped us push our message out to others, as contestants had to share the post on their Instagram and tag one friend. Overall, it was an enormous success and one giant step for the recognition of Irlen syndrome in Ireland. Lastly, my former school St. Michaels College, Ballsbridge donated an extra €1000 to the Irlen Syndrome Foundation, which was included in the same fundraising effort! It was documented on the school’s weekly newsletter, https://stmcdaily.tumblr.com/

I want to personally thank everyone again who shared, donated, and took part in the fundraiser, without you guys, I would not have been asked to write up my story for the Irlen Syndrome Foundation website and continue this unbelievable journey! It was a dream come true to shine light on Irlen in a country that knows little about the disorder. I want to give a special shout out to my old school St. Michaels College notably Mr. Hogan, Mr. O’Connor, Mrs. Hogan, and all the chaplaincy team for all the help and guidance you have given us for this venture. To Maureen McMenamin for her kindness and endless patience. To Karen O’Connor and the Child Development Centre for the brilliant work they do, my family and close friends, and lastly to Sandra Tosta, who has been so supportive over the last few months especially with allowing me to talk about my story on the biggest platform for Irlen.

Research About Irlen Syndrome that Isn’t About Reading

Irlen Syndrome may affect an individual’s reading performance, but it’s not a reading disability. In fact, many great readers suffer from symptoms of Irlen Syndrome, such as eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, light sensitivity, depth perception issues, or attention and concentration problems. Here are a few key research findings related to Irlen Syndrome that have nothing to do with reading.

Irlen Family Picnics Take Over Brazil

Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week may not be until October, but Irlen families in Brazil have taken awareness into their own hands with their Irlen Family Picnics and #IrlenDoesExist movement. On August 5th, families gathered in 27 cities in Brazil, 1 city in Italy, and 1 city in the USA to show solidarity, raise awareness, and make new friends! We asked Ana Paula Federicci, one of the main coordinators of this incredible multi-city event, to share with us how it all came together.

My name is Ana Paula D. B. Federicci, I have two children, 14-year-old Luis Felipe and 11-year-old Gabriela, and all three of us discovered we have Irlen Syndrome in October 2016. Early in July, 2017, through a WhatsApp chat group formed by patients, relatives, friends, and professionals who live with the Irlen Syndrome and share experiences and knowledge, we had the idea of a picnic. The objective of this gathering was to strengthen and materialize the force and bond of the Irlen group, showing children, teens and relatives that there are many others like them and that they are not alone. We also wanted to make the #IrlenDoesExist movement public, so as to obtain acknowledgement by 100% of the middle class, and to gain the attention of media and government to recognize Irlen Syndrome so that the diagnostics and treatments could be accessed by all patients.

The first Irlen family picnic happened in 2017 and turned squares and parks in 8 Brazilian cities colorful and happy. Everyone had a lot of fun through
conversations and entertainment. It was such a huge success, that in 2018, we began preparing earlier for the 2nd Irlen family picnic. This year, we had Irlen Family Picnics in 27 different Brazilian cities, 1 city in Italy and 1 in the USA.

We had a wonderful exchange of experiences, information, music, dance, entertainment for children and teens. The atmosphere was contagious to
everyone; once more we had parks and squares filled with color and the number of attendees only grew. Now it is a tradition! Every year we will repeat it on the 1st Sunday of August and we are stimulating people through Facebook and WhatsApp to expand the event around the world, as it happened in Houston, Texas – USA and Bergamo, in Italy, showing the world that Irlen Does Exist!

2018 – Cities which held the Irlen Family Picnic:

Brazil
Aracaju – SE, Belo Horizonte – MG, Brasília – DF, Campinas – SP, Cuiabá – MT, Curitiba – PR, Fortaleza – CE, Joao Pessoa – PB, Juiz de Fora – MG,
Macaé – RJ, Maceió – AL, Maringá – PR, Natal – RN, Osorio – RS, Ourinhos – SP, Petropolis – RJ, Porto Alegre – RS, Recife – PE,    Resende – RJ, Rio de
Janeiro – RJ, Salvador – BA, São Bento do Sul – SC, São Paulo – SP, Vale do Paraíba – SP, Vitoria – ES, Wenceslau Braz – PR

United States
Houston, Texas

Italy
Bergamo

These are just a few of the hundreds of photos from the big day!

Save the Date for the next Irlen Family Picnic: August 4, 2019

More information and pictures from the annual Irlen Family Picnics at https://www.facebook.com/pg/irlenexistesim/photos/?tab=album&album_id=248709902428658

Ana Paula’s blog: https://irlen.blog/

Campaign screenshot

Color Me Curious: The Summer Scholarship Fundraiser

ISF is excited to kick off our summer fundraising campaign! August 1st is the official start to the 30-day fundraising campaign, in conjunction with the Irlen Parent Connection Facebook Group. We have a lofty $10,000 goal, and every cent goes towards Irlen scholarships for individuals from low-income families. As you know, Irlen Spectral Filters change lives, and we’re making sure everyone who needs Irlen Spectral Filters can get them.

Here is the link to the fundraiser: https://www.chuffed.org/project/color-me-curious. (You’ll get a free t-shirt with a $30 donation).

Help us reach our $10,000 goal by making a donation, sharing the link with others, or, joining our team by clicking the red button at the bottom of the fundraiser page that says “Create Your Own Fundraiser Page”, so that you can customize it with your own story, thoughts, information, etc. to send to the people you know.

 

school1a

The ISF Ghana Project Takes Flight

On November 7, Dr. Jeri LaVigne flew from Atlanta, GA to Ghana on behalf of the ISF Ghana Project to train five members of CLED (Campaign For Learning Disabilities) how to screen for Irlen Syndrome. Dr. Jeri and her team from CLED accomplished a lot during her week-long stay. Not only did they complete their Irlen training, but they met with the country’s educational policy makers, the Department of Education and the Special Education Division of the National Assessment and Resources Center. They screened children at multiple schools during the training week, and CLED director, Padmore Quansah and his team continued school screenings immediately following Dr. Jeri’s departure from Ghana. This outstanding team of Irlen screeners is taking the country by storm, and we look forward to hearing how implementing Irlen screening country-wide changes educational success of the children in Ghana.

Below are Dr. Jeri’s daily logs from the trip – enjoy!

November 8

This is Moses, one of the CLED employees and a soon to be Irlen Screener. We walked from the office to his house tonight through town, Kasoa. We had dinner at his house. His mom made Ampesi with fresh yams and plantains from the yard. And yes, that’s a mango tree.

November 9

We walk everywhere. And then if we have a long way to go, we hire a taxi. Today we went to the Dept. Of Education to get permission to work in the schools.

November 10 Oduponkpehe, Ghana

Screening at our first school!

November 11

Sometimes we have electricity and sometimes we don’t. Today we have to improvise and move the training outside under the mango tree because it’s too hot inside with no fan.

November 13  Asabaham, Ghana

This morning we took a mini bus and went to screen students at another elementary school, Opeikuma St. Peter’s Angelican School. Then we went to the Dept. Of Education again to give a presentation and ask for their support so Padmore and his team at CLED can continue to screen and assist children in the schools. All of the 15 administrators wanted to be screened!

 

November 14

The Special Education Division of the National Assessment and Resources Center heard about what we have been doing in the schools and asked us to come to Accra today to present the Irlen Method and our findings so far. It was a wonderful experience and they were excited to learn a new way to help their children that struggle. I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly for their national offices in the Capital, but think twice before you complain about your work space.

 

November 15

I would like to introduce you to the first Ghanian Certified Irlen Screeners. Padmore Quansah, Nicholas Aidoo, Akpene Genevieve Dagadu, Anthony Mengah Nsenyiane, and Moses Dickson from CLED – Campaign for Learning Disabilities. We wish them much success! Ayekooo (Well done)

Cool Cat

A Colorful Night of Awareness and Fundraising

The Irlen Syndrome Foundation’s Board of Directors and their invited guests kicked off Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week on Saturday, October 14th with a night of painting to raise money for scholarships for Irlen testing. Guests were treated to food and drinks generously donated by Thrive Kitchen LA, and heard personal testimony from Irlen Spectral Filter wearers, including retired Naval officer and brain injury client, Jeff Doran, before participating in the evening’s main event – a painting class led by children’s book illustrator, Christina Forshay.

 

Board President, Sandra Tosta, shared updates on the organization’s current projects and announced the kick-off of the foundation’s $10,000 scholarship campaign. The evening increased awareness of Irlen Syndrome among the local community, and successfully raise $2,500 for ISF scholarships to assist low-income families in receiving Irlen testing and Spectral Filters.

 

[caption id="attachment_908" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Retired Naval Officer, Jeff Doran, shares his personal Irlen story[/caption]

Check out some of the creative artwork inspired by the night’s theme “Cool Cat,” sporting all different colored Irlen Spectral Filters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help us reach our $10,000 scholarship goal with your $25 pledge today!

 

 

 

See What A Difference Color Has Made For Our Scholarship Recipients

ISF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
In this post, we catch up with some of our past scholarship recipients to see how receiving Irlen Spectral Filters has changed their lives.

It’s been a busy and rewarding year for the Irlen Syndrome Foundation! We’ve awarded more than 30 scholarships, but we are receiving more requests for aid than we are able to support. We recently launched the Individual Aid Scholarship Campaign, to raise $10,000 to fulfill these requests and double the number of people we can help this year. We’re excited to share the following updates on six of our recent scholarship recipients. See how your gift can change the life of someone with Irlen Syndrome.

Traumatic brain injury can cause some of the most severe symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. Here’s Mikayla’s story…

Mikayla “Mac” has suffered from multiple TBIs incurred over the 10 years she worked as a law enforcement officer, both on the job and during recreational activities. She has suffered with light sensitivity, migraines, vertigo, and seizures triggered from flashing lights. These symptoms were so severe, that she was unable to drive and confined herself to dim light indoors so as to mitigate the symptoms. Fortunately, she was able to get assessed and fitted for customized Irlen Spectral Filters with an Irlen Foundation Individual Aid Scholarship. After only a few weeks, she reported that her comfort and functioning level had immediately improved. She reported less fatigue and exhaustion, and is elated that she is finally able to leave her house and spend more time outdoors. All of her frustration and tenseness that resulted from being cooped up all day indoors has disappeared; so much so that her physical therapist noticed a difference right away.  As of May 2017, she said that she still wears them all the time and couldn’t imagine life without them. She is now referring people for Irlen Spectral Filters who are in similar situations. She sends her thanks from Clark, Oregon to all of those who have donated to the Irlen Individual Aid Scholarship program as well as those who continue to help the Irlen Syndrome Foundation spread awareness of Irlen Syndrome!

Research has shown 80% of incarcerated adults suffer from severe Irlen Syndrome. By helping youth in the juvenile justice system, we’re making sure they don’t enter the adult prison population. Here’s an update from the Marion County Juvenile Justice Department in Oregon… 

The following story of one juvenile justice department scholarship recipient reflects the significant challenges that Irlen Syndrome can pose to future success, if left unaddressed. Due to strict confidentiality required by the juvenile justice system, any personally identifying information for this youth has been removed from the testimonial excerpts below, provided by both the scholarship recipient, as well as her educational advocate in the juvenile justice system.

Recipient A is a 17 year old female in the Juvenile Justice System. She lives with her mother and a sibling, and they are on public assistance. She is the only one in the family that works, holding two jobs that equate to 40 hours per week. She participates in a multitude of appointments and has voluntarily engaged in a rigorous program, which will expunge her record, if it is completed successfully. Her goal is to graduate from high school, enter the military, and pursue a career in engineering. However, her difficulties with reading and physical symptoms caused by bright lighting are really holding her back. Her primary symptoms of discomfort included experiencing headaches and a strong sensitivity to fluorescent and bright lighting. As a result, she reported having frequent headaches. When reading, she loses her place, becomes distracted, uses a marker, and has poor comprehension; however, she still earned grades high enough to qualify for honor level coursework. Unfortunately, she failed a reading entrance exam for a particular school program. Prior to discovering her symptoms, her educational advocate was perplexed as to why she earned good grades yet had failed her reading entrance exam. It didn’t make sense, that is, until she reported the severity of her symptoms resulting from Irlen Syndrome. She was provided a peach colored overlay, which she used daily for reading, both with books and with a computer screen. She earned an “A” in a grade-level English literature course. Her educational advocate, seeing the massive improvement in her reading ability, spoke with her and her guardian about Irlen testing and Irlen Spectral Filters. Both were supportive and enthusiastic, as she reported that the use of the overlay has a huge impact in terms of alleviating her reading discomfort and difficulties.

After receiving her Irlen Spectral Filters, Recipient A provided the following update on her progress, “Since I have been wearing my glasses, I don’t get headaches. My eyes don’t hurt. They have helped me feel more comfortable when I am outside or around fluorescent lights. Before I got my glasses, I would have to reread lines. I would also lose my place. Now I don’t have those problems.”

It is important that our veterans return home with full functionality so that they can make the most of the freedoms and opportunities they fought to preserve. Some return home suffering from Irlen-related symptoms as a result of traumatic brain injuries…

Justin, a disabled military veteran, suffered from anxiety and experienced Irlen Syndrome symptoms when he tried to read or was in a bright environment. He was recommended for the Individual Aid Scholarship by his local diagnostician, and, after receiving it, was amazed by the results.

Justin: “I am feeling calmer, more focused, lights don’t bother me in stores, I can read faster, process faster, balance is good, symptoms come back instantly without filters, can now use a cell phone and computer – was unable to for years because the screen bothers me.”

Justin now wants to go back to school at a technical college!

Classroom environments that contain bright fluorescent lights can exacerbate Irlen Syndrome Symptoms, and make school unbearable… 

Moises suffered from extreme light sensitivity and migraines that caused him to miss 95 days of school over the course of 2 years. He constantly struggled in the classroom and was unable to concentrate for long periods of time without breaks. As a result, he fell behind and wasn’t reading at his own grade level. He would regularly take 30-45 minutes breaks when trying to complete school work, in an effort get his symptoms to go away. What should have taken him 1 hour to finish ended up taking him about double the time to complete. Whenever he was asked a question in class, he would walk out of the classroom frustrated and anxious. After being awarded an ISF Scholarship and receiving customized Irlen Spectral Filters, he is finally able to concentrate for longer periods of time and has gained the confidence to articulate his thoughts and participate in classroom discussions!

Leo, an 18 year old student, moved to Washington to support his struggling family. In a stroke of bad luck, he was assaulted. His brain was damaged in the incident and he became partially paralyzed. After his brain injury, he started showing signs of Irlen Syndrome…  

After he recovered from his medical treatments and injuries, Leo tried to go back to school. However, whenever he tried to read textbooks, whiteboards, and other reading materials, his eyes started watering, headaches nagged him incessantly, and he was unable to stay focused for long periods of time. Luckily, two Irlen Screeners worked at his college and provided him with colored overlays. While the overlays provided some relief, they weren’t enough. He still reported dizziness, nauseousness, and overall fatigue when exposed to bright lights. He was recommended for the Individual Aid Scholarship, so he could get Irlen Spectral Filters to protecting his brain from this constant environmental stressor.

Since receiving his Irlen Spectral Filters, Leo reports that his filters “make me happy!” He wears them all day and can participate in life without distortions, getting headaches or becoming dizzy. He is re-enrolling in fall quarter at RTC and wants to obtain an Administrative Assistant Degree within one year. In the classroom, he is no longer bothered by  fluorescent lights or the white board, and he is able to read and comprehend with comfort.

Seeing print distortions is also a symptom of Irlen Syndrome. In Nayla’s case, they kept her from continuing her education…

Nayla suffered from seeing print distortions both on paper and in her everyday environment. She would see after images, pulsating lights, and what she referred to as a “visual snow.” She also suffered from headaches/migraines, sleepiness/fatigue, dizziness, and slight nausea from reading. When Irlen Diagnosticians discovered the severity of her symptoms, they all wondered how she was able to graduate high school. She tried a semester of college, but ultimately found it too hard. She expressed that if the Irlen Spectral Filters helped, her ultimate goal would be to return to college and pursue a degree in social work. Here is what she has to say after receiving the Individual Aid Scholarship and her Irlen Spectral Filters:

These glasses are really helping!! I have found a nice balance. I can’t read with them at all but I found that wearing them throughout the day and around fluoroscent lighting have calmed my eyes enough that I’ve managed to read at night with a dim lighting, sans glasses. I went through 80 pages straight of a novel the other night! I can’t tell you how happy I am and how much it has helped my life already. 

Thank goodness I managed to find you! I am forever grateful. 

I’ve even been able to return to work helping my father at his store, a help he greatly needed. We discovered that using lamps in the office instead of the previous harsh lighting has made a big difference in my overall comfort and ability to work. I know it seems obvious but I just wasn’t even previously really sure of myself enough to ask for help, you know? So, not only have the glasses helped but also your sage advices. I even feel good enough to go back to school. There’s a great program here for interpretation studies that I am in the process of applying to. 

I feel like a pair with the first layer, the dark “Irlen person” lens, one shade lighter would be perfect for every day office use. I am interested in returning to Portland or Salem for a follow up if that is still possible. 

So, one final Thank you! The work you/the foundation are doing really does improve lives. 

Best regards, 

Nayla”

 

We want to thank everyone that has donated to the effort and continues to raise awareness of this little-known condition. There are millions of other people all around the world that are in similar situations, and it is due to the generosity of people all over the world that we are able to step in and help those that need it the most.

 

Please visit www.irlensyndrome.org to learn more about Irlen Syndrome and to make a donation today.