Carlee is 8 years old and visited the Krist Samaritan Irlen Clinic with her mom after staying the night in a hotel after a successful ‘Cheer’ contest. Carlee was wearing a ‘Texas Strong’ T Shirt to show solidarity after their training gym got flooded in last year’s storm.
As the Filter Diagnostic (to find a precise color to be worn as glasses) progressed, and I asked Carlee questions about what life was like for her in the classroom, it emerged that she also had a lot to cope with there and had to work so much harder than her classmates. Although she had an overlay for reading books she still had to do things such as writing, copying off the board and working under fluorescent lights. Here is what she told me: “The computer hurts my eyes”; “The teacher has to write the words really big on the board – or they move a lot”; “I get headaches under the fluorescent lights, the teacher has had to cover the light above me”; “Music is, very hard, the small notes move”; “The lines I am trying to write on move off the page”.
With the precise Irlen color combination we found that the words, notes and lines stopped moving and light stopped hurting. Carlee’s mom had been working really hard to help Carlee keep up at school and she noticed lots other differences that I would not have been aware of: “Usually I have to do Word Searches for her, today she can find words on her own!”; “She’s not squinting when reading or outside!”; “She can track across the page without losing her place, usually I have to cover the other lines”; “Wow, her reading is so much faster than normal!”; “She’s walking down the middle of the corridor, usually she walks sideways!”
So it was a pleasure to work with this mom and daughter and reflect on what ‘Texas strong’ really means.