Irlen? Huh?

Accommodations 'n stuff

Symptoms


While you're looking through the possible symptoms of Irlen syndrome, it's really important to remember the definition of a syndrome:

syn·drome (sĭn'drōm')
n.
A set of possible symptoms that together point to a single disorder.

Translation: A syndrome isn't an all or nothing kind of deal. You might have all of the symptoms, you might have two of them, you might just have one; you could still have the syndrome!


Hint: If that white definition box above is harder to read than this grayer background, you may have Irlen. That's one of the classic symptoms.

Note: Printer Friendliness

The list below may seem a bit stuffy. Sorry, but if you've been diagnosed with Irlen syndrome and you're trying to get accommodations at work or at school, it could be helpful to print this formal symptoms list and show it to your teacher, boss, IEP (Individualized Education Plan) coordinator, etc.

Click here for a pretty, printer-friendly version of this page (without this note and all the stuff above).


Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome

(All persons will not have all symptoms)


Light sensitivity:

· discomfort from glare, sunlight, headlights or streetlights.

· discomfort or difficulty concentrating or working under bright lights or fluorescent lights.

· fatigue, headaches, mood changes, fidgety behavior or inability to stay focused under bright or fluorescent lights.


Problems with white pages:
· inability to read as long or with comprehension as good when print is on white paper.

· inability to read as well because white seems glary or competes with black print, making letters less readable. (Same occurs with math pages or musical pages.)


Inefficient reading:
· difficulty reading print, numbers or musical notes. Problems may include print that blurs, shifts, shakes, moves, runs together, disappears or becomes difficult to perceive.


Slow reading rate:

· inability to read groups of letters, numbers, words or musical notes at the same time. This reduced “span of recognition” results in problems tracking, slow reading rate, word-by-word reading, or an inability to skim and speed-read.

· need for finger or a marker when reading.


Attention deficit:
· problems concentrating while reading, writing or working on the computer.

· difficulty staying on task, need for frequent breaks.

· restlessness, fidgety behavior or fatigue when reading, writing, working on computer.


Strain, fatigue, sleepiness or headaches:

· strain, tension, fatigue, sleepiness or headaches from reading and other perceptual activities. Strain can interfere with ease of reading, studying, or even listening.


Poor depth perception:

· difficulty judging distance and spatial relationships. May be unsure or have difficulty with such things as escalators, stairs, ball sports or driving.


If you think you have some of these symptoms, check out the self test page.

Of course, some of these symptoms can be caused by problems or disorders other than Irlen Syndrome, but, on the other hand, Irlen can also tend to mimic other disorders in some cases, so it's worth checking out.
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