I am the Irlen Clinic Director at the Krist Samaritan Center, Houston. When meeting clients they sometimes ask about my ‘Irlen Story’… so here it is.
I have always worked hard and done well with my studies. I never realized I was working harder than most. It was only when I was in my 40s and studying for a Masters in Special Education (Dyslexia) that I suddenly became aware of having difficulties – I had hit my ‘brick wall’. What particularly bothered me was that text in Journals was so small and I started getting eye strain and headaches. I found that highlighting information with colored highlighters (particularly blue) helped me read and understand better, instead of having to keep re-reading.
At that time I was also doing a lot more internet research on the computer than previously - and my eyes would hurt and go blurry – but I would keep pushing myself to do more. One day it actually looked like all the text on the computer was going around in a swirl, so I decided to lay down and try again later. When I tried again, the problem was still there. I was very concerned and arranged a repeat eye test with my optician – however they reported the prescription was correct.
Before further medical investigation was started I suddenly remembered that in my research for my Masters I had come across a website talking about color and colored overlays. I found the Irlen International site and contacted a local Diagnostician (in the UK) who arranged for a Screening for me - and I was positive! As the overlays worked so well, and I had issues at University with the white boards and studying under the fluorescent lights, I went on to see her for Spectral Filters, and I am convinced I would not have managed to finish my MA (and get a Distinction) without them.
Since then I trained as an Irlen Screener in the UK and as an Irlen Diagnostician in the USA. It was wonderful to get the opportunity to be trained as a Diagnostician by Helen Irlen herself at Long Beach, California.