Patrick Timpone

Helen Irlen

Founder of The Irlen Method

What is Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen Syndrome (also referred to at times as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, and Visual Stress) is a perceptual processing disorder. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. This problem tends to run in families and is not currently identified by other standardized educational or medical tests.

Helen IrlenHelen L. Irlen is an internationally recognized educator, researcher, therapist, scholar, and expert in the area of visual-perceptual problems. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

Over 20 years ago, research directed by Helen Irlen under a federal research grant studied methods of helping children and adults with reading and learning disabilities. One important discovery was that a subgroup of individuals showed a marked improvement in their reading ability when reading material was covered by colored acetate sheets. For the next five years, Ms. Irlen worked on refining her discovery, developing diagnostic testing instruments, and patenting a set of colored filters.

Because of this breakthrough, the Irlen Method has been the subject of two segments of 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, The Home Show, 60 Minutes Australia, a BBC Special, ABC Worldwide News with Peter Jennings, NBC News, and numerous TV shows around the world. She is the author of Reading By The Colors. Her work has been reported in textbooks on learning disabilities in Australia and England, and the Irlen Method has received international exposure through National Geographic, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and television documentaries.

Show Highlights:

-What is Irlen Syndrome?

-Helen Irlen explains how learning disabilities, ADD, headaches, anxiety, reading problems, etc are often caused by the need to filter out a certain color.

-Testing for Irlen Syndrome

-Take an Irlen Self Test

-Individuals who have any of the following types of problems can be helped by the Irlen Method:

PROBLEMS READING ON WHITE PAPER. Individuals who can be helped with the Irlen Method cannot read for long periods and take breaks or prefer to read newspapers and magazines. Reading on white paper is uncomfortable and often requires rereading for comprehension. The white page may be glary or compete with the black print, making the letters less readable. The same problems can occur with numbers and musical notes.

INEFFICIENT READING. Individuals with Irlen Syndrome have difficulty reading print, numbers or musical notes because the print is not clear or stable. Problems may include print that shifts, shakes, blurs, moves, runs together, disappears or becomes difficult to perceive. Many individuals have never seen print correctly and are not aware that the way they see the printed page is not clear or stable. They think everyone sees the page the way that they do.

SLOW READING RATE. Individuals who can be helped may have problems tracking, a slow reading rate, word-by-word reading, or have an inability to speed-read. Individuals often use their finger or a marker when reading.

PROBLEMS WITH ATTENTION & CONCENTRATION. Problems in concentration when reading, writing, or working on the computer may be due to Irlen Syndrome. The individual may have difficulty staying on task, take frequent breaks, and become restless, fidgety or tired when doing reading, studying, or doing other visual tasks.

STRAIN OR FATIGUE. Individuals who are helped with Irlen Spectral Filters often experience discomfort. Individuals may become tired; others experience headaches, dizzy, sleepy, anxious, irritable, and fidgety or have an inability to stay focused. Discomfort can interfere with the length of time and ease of reading, studying, or doing homework making breaks necessary.

LIGHT SENSITIVITY. Individuals who can be helped by the Irlen Method do not like florescent lighting and prefer dim lighting. Staying focused with listening or reading under florescent lights is more difficult and can even cause strain and discomfort. Most individuals with Irlen Syndrome prefer to read in dim lighting; although some need bright lights to read.

-and more!!

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podcast repaired as of tuesday morning


helen irlen and processing information with colors in the brain, august 29, 2016

'Helen Irlen – Understanding Irlen Syndrome, a Perceptual Processing Disorder Podcast Ready Now – August 29, 2016' have 7 comments

  1. August 29, 2016 @ 7:05 pm Shoshana

    Helen Irlen has helped millions of children and adults with a worldwide network of highly trained screeners and diagnosticians serving clients with learning challenges, sensory processing disorder’s, chronic migraines and headaches, Trumatic brain injury, and autism. Irlen overlays and spectral filters warn of glasses provide immediate and for phones benefits to alleviate symptoms and improve function. Thanks for highlighting Irlen syndrome and Helen Irlen. Irlen syndrome awareness is crucial to so many people


  2. August 30, 2016 @ 10:58 am Jennifer Owen

    Helen Irlen thank-you for changing my life given me the chance spend the word about Irlen.


  3. August 30, 2016 @ 12:58 pm Katya

    Hey Patrick..unless you fixed this…..Helen’s podcast was mistakenly reposted as the CIA’s guy podcast. Check it out as I really want to hear Helen’s..cheers mate :)


    • September 1, 2016 @ 1:40 am Harry

      yup was going to say the same thing


  4. August 30, 2016 @ 3:33 pm Leslie

    Thank you so much for airing the show on Irlen Syndrome.  I am a special education teacher and Irlen screener,   For the past 20 years I have seen how the Irlen overlays/lenses have helped so many people. It is amazing how something so simple has such a positive impact on those suffering from perceptual difficulties.  Educating parents, professionals and the public is vital. Thank you for putting this information out there.


  5. September 1, 2016 @ 11:04 am Lea Ann Turner

    Discovering Irlen Syndrome for my 10 year old granddaughter has changed her life. Going from hardly being able to read to her grade level in just one school year. Now, we are going to have my grandson, my granddaughter 1st cousin, screened. Thank you Helen Irlen for your research. I can’t help but think that there are a lot of people who have it & do not know it. We are spreading the word in NW Oklahoma.


  6. September 19, 2016 @ 6:52 pm Angela Eaton

    Within a year of getting her first Irlen filters, my daughter transferred from a high school for kids with learning disabilities and made the honor roll her first semester at a private, college-prep high school. No more headaches or eye pain or bumping into walls and furniture. Absolutely life changing. Unless you specifically test for it, you won’t know that Irlen Syndrome could be the source of problems. Not detected on eye exams or neuropsychological testing. Very frustrating to have seen so many professionals and no one detected the problem. The way I found out about it was through a Facebook post. Keep spreading the word!!!


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