This article presents information from various sources that shed light on Irlen Syndrome, and the different options for dealing with it, focusing on a new and unique solution: the Genius Notebook.
Quite a significant percentage of the world population (almost 20%) suffer from a visual processing problem that is treated worldwide using the Irlen Method.
Irlen Syndrome is a visual processing problem and is not considered an optical issue, but rather a problem involving the brain’s ability to process visual information. The essence of the problem stems from the fact that the brain ineffectively processes one or more of the colors in the spectrum, which creates distortions in visual perception. The simple solution to this problem, as discovered by Helen Irlen, an American educational psychologist, researcher, visual perception specialist and founder of the Irlen Method, is based on the use of color filters that are specially chosen for each patient.
Studies regarding the scope of the syndrome show that 46% of people diagnosed with reading problems, dyslexia, ADD or learning disabilities suffer from Irlen Syndrome, and as such, could benefit from treatment with the Irlen Method.
These students and individuals suffer from a certain type of light sensitivity and for them, a white page can pose an interference and blind the eye, which transmits the message to the brain. This problem directly impacts the process of reading and writing.
There are those who suffer from physical symptoms as a result of this sensitivity, including fatigue, dizziness, anxiety and restlessness. Others suffer from headaches, frequent mood swings and the inability to remain focused, especially under bright or neon lights.
For many students, this is expressed as difficulty when reading, writing, preparing homework or writing an academic paper. In terms of writing, the difficulty may express itself as difficulty copying down texts, uneven spaces between letters and words, uneven letter sizes or writing across the page vertically, from top to bottom or the opposite.
Sometimes, do to the lack of familiarity and awareness that is prevalent regarding Irlen Syndrome and its symptoms, these individuals or children are diagnosed mistakenly as having ADD or ADHD, and treated unnecessarily with various solutions, including medication.
Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome (partial list):
Light sensitivity: Bothered by brightness, neon light, sunlight and sometimes lights at nighttime.
Focusing problems: difficulty focusing, especially when working in areas with bright lighting or neon lighting.
Reading problems: slow and ineffective reading, impaired reading comprehension, over-exertion of the eyes, exhaustion, headaches, difficulty with math, letters on the page appear unclear, skipping words, difficulty in moving from line to line, preference to reading in dim light, slow and hesitant reading, losing their place when reading.
Writing problems: uneven spacing between letters and words, size of letters is not uniform, writing across the page, from top to bottom or the opposite, many spelling mistakes.
The Everyday Reality:
For many children, the way that the text is presented for reading or writing, and the classrooms, are liable to create an additional burden that makes the already difficult task of learning even more difficult. Instead of the child focusing his efforts on interacting with the text, he channels precious resources toward his attempt to push away an excess of sensory stimulants that are distracting him from the task he is trying to accomplish.
Thus, for example, loud or sudden noises, the movement of children in the room, strong smells of food, a crowded and unsuitable desk and improper lighting can all overstimulate the brain (“hyperstimulation”) and quickly cause fatigue and frustration.
The Solution – The Color Series
The Genius Notebook’s Color Series is based on pages that are adapted for individuals who are blinded by the whiteness of the paper. Our Color Series was approved by the international Irlen Company as a helpful tool for individuals who suffer from visual processing disorders. The Genius Notebook is recommended by the Irlen Company for students of all ages who are sensitive to light/white pages.
The notebook was developed and designed to enable maximal concentration and ease of writing for students. The wide-paged Genius Notebook facilitates consecutive learning, focus and order.
Thanks to the size of the notebook (slightly larger than A4-sized pages), the student benefits from a visual space that encourages precision and order, without interfering with the didactic sequence.
The design of the pages themselves is cognitively adapted to the students’ needs, with dark lines for writing and a background in a color appropriate to create a lighter, clear contrast, in shades that are especially adapted to the customer’s needs.
The notebook is the first notebook in the world that was developed according to the recommendations of expert ophthalmologists of international caliber for sight and vision focusing problems among children.
Thanks to its unique design and clear advantages in creating a successful didactic experience, and due to its emphasis on eye-brain connection and student cognition, specialists in pediatric vision focusing problems are implementing the Genius Notebook. It has won recommendations from educational supervisors, principals, teachers, parents and students. The notebook is also frequently used by remedial teachers.
Added Value – Advantages:
Imparts a sense of order, cleanliness and aesthetics, which are very important to students suffering from various types of anxiety.
Creates a clear, calm, organized and fundamentally different work surface in comparison with environments that are “busy” visually and auditorily.
Enables working for longer intervals, with a high sense of satisfaction.