I had the privilege of Screening a man today that has battled against adversity. He gave me permission to share his story to raise awareness of ways that the Irlen Method can make life easier.
When my client was 11 years old he got knocked down by a car and went into a coma. When he woke up he could not remember his ‘old life’. Since the coma he has experienced constant headaches/pressure in his head, as well as an effect called ‘visual snow’ which is like watching a TV that is not tuned in, he described it as thousands of white and yellow dots flickering everywhere he looked in the environment.
My client also had a history of reading difficulties, for instance skipping words and not being able to track lines effectively. He described looking at the page ‘like tunnel vision’ as he couldn’t see all the words. The white on the page and black text would form ‘mazes’ and when trying to read he would feel ‘overwhelmed’. Letters and numbers had shadowy lights around them (and so did objects). Not surprisingly he could only read for a couple of minutes and often needed to re-read sentences to take any information in.
His 3 wishes for improvements were: being confident reading out to the class (he was an instructor of massage therapy), to be able to remember what he had read and for the visual snow to be improved.
During the screening process we look for a particular color of overlay (clear plastic sheet) that alleviates individual difficulties that clients experience. My client found that using Aqua (dark blue) overlays reduced his ‘tunnel’ vision, improved comfort and lessened glare from the page when he was reading, the page also stopped ‘buzzing’ and he could see words and spaces instead of ‘mazes’. When looking at numbers they were not ‘jumbled’. On the computer letters became thicker and bolder as the white glow around the letters disappeared. When looking at his overlay the visual snow became less noticeable. He also found he could read and talk with me and was excited about this, previously he could only listen effectively if he shut his eyes.
When I asked him how he felt after the session with me he replied ‘I feel less crazy, less condemning of myself, I have less problems!’ He was excited to report back to his ‘visual snow’ support group the effects of his overlay. A wonderful result and he is planning to come back to get colored, Irlen glasses to see if his visual snow and headaches can be alleviated further. I very much look forward to meeting him again.