Annotated Research List

(Info courtesy of


Every effort has been made to ensure the authenticity of the information that is provided here. However no guarantee of its accuracy is given or implied. Be careful, do not quote from these pages without verifying the original text.

This page is a complete list of the papers, that we have Identified, that relate to Irlen Syndrome. Do please just browse through them. If however, you know the name of the first author of a paper that interests you, go directly to that section of the list by clicking the hyperlink below.

An # indicates that no authors with that name are included in the list.

The Australian, University of Newcastle's Irlen Syndrome web pages are well worth a visit.

* Indicates papers that are held in the UK Paper Archive. We have permission to copy some of the unpublished papers. If you would like details of what is available or have any comments and corrections to the list please contact the Irlen Centre North West UK. (Tel: + 44 (0) 1625 583841. Fax: +44 (0) 1625 584441, Email

*Adler, L. and Atwood, D.(1987)

Poor Readers: What Do They Really See on the Page?

A Study of a Major Cause of Dyslexia. Research Report of Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Ament, C., Carriera, A. and Salmond, J. (1987)

The Effect of Irlen lenses on Learning Disabilities in the Northern Territory.

Unpublished research paper.

ABSTRACT This study is a survey which endeavours to assess the effectiveness of Irlen lenses in helping children diagnosed as having a visual perception problem called scotopic sensitivity. It looks at three main research areas: the realization (or otherwise) of expectations of parents and teachers about the lenses, the factors which may inhibit a child’s adjustment to wearing the lenses, and what help children are experiencing in areas of specific difficulties.

The data revealed that 87% of parents reported benefits, and significant 63% of teachers the most sceptical of groups surveyed, had noticed improvement in the children’s ability to cope with their problems. 75% of the children reported benefits in one or more of Irlen’s five prescribed areas of difficulty. Factors which are likely to affect a child’s willingness to wear Irlen lenses are age and sex. Girls have adjusted better than boys, and younger children have adjusted better than older children.

The study concludes with suggestions for other research, particularly in examining other learning disabled children in Darwin for scotopic sensitivity. It highlights the importance of the teachers' and parents' role in helping the child to adjust to Irlen lenses.

*Anstice, J. (2000)

Eye Movements: Their Importance for Reading and some of the Factors that Disrupt them.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

INTRODUCTION. Reading for most people is a visual process that builds on a person's prior linguistic knowledge. A successful and efficient reader goes directly from the symbols on the page to meaning automatically and unaware of the complex processing done to achieve this.

This processing involves language, concepts about print, visual analysis skills and the sound sequence of words. Underlying concepts are: the analysis of the sound sequence in the words we use, and the left to right visual analysis of letters or clusters of letters in the written word. Learning to read involves the integration of all these factors.

*Anstice, J. (2004) – Common Eye and Vision Problems.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July.

*Barbolini, G., Wright, A., Migaldi. M. and Irlen, H. (1996)

A Biological Approach to Remedial Chromotherapy.

Published in the form of a booklet. Available from:

Irlen Centre East

4 Park Farm Business Centre

Fornham St. Genevieve

Bury St. Edmunds


IP28 6TS


Barbolini, G. Caffo, E., Robinson, G.L. & Wright, A. (1998) – Light sensitivity and Some Pervasive Developmental disorders: Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder.

Modena International conference on Autism & Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Univ. of Modena, Italy 26-27 March

*Blaskey, P., Scheiman, M., Parisi, M., Ciner, E.B., Gallaway, M. & Selznick R. (1990) - The Effectiveness of Irlen Coloured Filters for Improving Reading Performance:

A Pilot Study. Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Draft only

*Bogdashina, Olga (2004)

Possible Patterns of Visual Dysfunction in Autism and Irlen Method.

Presented at the Eighth International Irlen Conference, Brugge, Belgium, 7-11 July 2004.

Abstract: Unusual sensory experiences have been observed in autistic people for many years and are confirmed by personal accounts of autistic individuals. As all the senses are interconnected, the deficiency in one of them may lead to disturbances in the other(s).

Traditionally, vision is considered on of the 'main' senses. In autism, visual problems are well documented. The Paradox of the condition is - despite their vision being acute it may become dysfunctional to the extent that the individuals may behave as if they were blind or disoriented. The matter is, their vision is too acute, too literal, and too accurate. The aim of this paper is to identify possible patterns of visual experiences in autism (hypersensitivity, fragmentation, distortions, etc.), the behaviours ('blindisms@) reflecting these experiences (that may be added to the list of symptoms of SS/IS specific to autism) and possible ways to eliminate their visual problems using Irlen lenses.

*Bogdashina, O. (2004) – Possible Patterns of Visual Dysfunction in Autism and Irlen Method.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July.

Borsting, E., Ridder, W.H., Dudeck, K., Kelley, C., Matsuir, L. & Motoyama, J. (1996) – The presence of a Magnocellular Defect Depends on the Type of Dyslexia.

Vision Research 36, 1047-1053

Joelle Bouldoukian, Arnold J. Wilkins and Bruce J. W. Evans (2002)

Randomised controlled trial of the effect of coloured overlays on the rate of reading of people with specific learning difficulties

Ophthal. Physiol. Opt. 2002 Number 22 Pages 55-60


A randomised controlled trial has demonstrated that, for selected children with reading difficulties, individually prescribed coloured filters reduce symptoms of asthenopia. In the present study, we investigate the effect of individually prescribed coloured overlays on the rate of reading. Subjects were 33 children and adults who: had consulted a specific learning difficulties clinic; had received treatment to normalise any conventional optometric and orthoptic anomalies; and subsequently reported symptomatic relief from coloured filters. These subjects carried out the Wilkins Rate of Reading Test (which assesses visual rather than linguistic factors) under two conditions: with their chosen coloured overlay and with a control filter. Steps were taken to ensure that a strong placebo effect was associated with the control overlay and, when asked which they preferred, subjects were not significantly more likely to prefer their coloured overlay than the control filter (p=0.11). Nonetheless, the rate of reading was significantly faster with the coloured overlay than with the control (p=0.0019). Further analyses support the conclusion that individually prescribed coloured filters can improve reading performance for reasons that cannot be solely attributed to conventional optometric factors or to placebo effects.

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Bruce Evans. E-mail address:

Bulmer, J. (1994).

Sensory overload and general well being: Can adults be helped by using Irlen lenses?

Unpublished Honors Thesis, Chester College of Higher Education, Chester, UK.

Bouma, H. & Legein, Ch.P. (1997) – Foveal and Parfoveal Recognition of Letters and Words by Dyslexic and by Average Readers.

Neuropsychologica, 15, 69 - 80

Bouma, H. & Legein, Ch.P. (1980) – Dyslexia: A Specific Recording Deficit? An analysis of response latencies for letters and words in dyslexics and average readers.

Neuropsychologica, 18, 285 - 296

Branna, J.R. & Williams, M.C. (1988) – Developmental Versus Sensory Deficit Effects on Perceptual Processing in the Reading Disabled.

Perception and Psychophysics, 44, 437 - 444

Breitmeyer, B. (1980) – Unmasking Visual Masking: A Look at the “Why” Behind the Veil of the “How”.

Psychology Review. 87, 52 – 69

Breitmeyer, B.G. (1989) – A Visually Based Deficit in Specific Reading Disability.

The Irish Journal of Psychology. 10, 534 - 541

Breitmeyer, B.G. (1993) – Sustained (P) and Transient (M) Channels in Vision: A Review and Implications for Reading.

In D.M. Willows, R.S. Kruk & E. Corcos (eds) , Visual Processes in Reading and Reading Disabilities Hillsdale N.J. Eribaum 95 – 110

Breitmeyer, B. F. & Breier J.I. (1994) – Effects of Background Colour on Reaction Time to Stimuli Varying in size and Contrast: Inferences About Human M Channels.

Vision Research 34, 1039 - 1045

Breitmeyer, B. F. & Ogmen, H. (2000) – Recent Models and Findings in Visual Backward Masking: A Comparison, Review and Update.

Perception & Psychophysics 62 (8)

Breitmeyer, B. F. & Williams, M.C.(1990) - Effects of Isoluminant-Background Color on Metacontrast and Stroboscopic Motion: Interactions Between Sustained (P) and Transient (M) Channels.

Vision Research 30 (7) 1069 - 7052

Bruck, M. (1990) – Word Recognition Skills of Adults with Childhood Diagnoses of Dyslexia.

Developmental Psychology, 26, 430 - 454

*Bulmer, J. (1994) - Sensory Overload and General Wellbeing: Can Adults be Helped by Using Irlen Lenses?

Unpublished Honours Thesis, Chester College of Higher Education, Chester UK.

Burgess, J. (1990). Long term evaluation of the effect of Irlen tinted lenses on academic and related skills.

Unpublished M.Ed. Thesis., University of Canberra, Belconnen A.C.T.

*Calderon Castro, I. (2004) - The Puzzle.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July.

Canino, F.J. (1981) – Learned Helplessness Theory: Implications for Research in Learning Disabilities.

The Journal of Special Education. 15, 471 - 484

Carlile, C. (1997) – Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome Sheds Light on Reading Disability.

Texas Reading Report, 19 (4), 1 - 13

*Carroll, T.A., Mullaney, P. & Eustace, P. (1994)

Dark Adaptation in Disabled Readers Screened for Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 131-141.

*Chan, L.K.S. and Robinson, G.L.W.(1989)

Effects of Comprehension Monitoring Instruction on Reading Disabled Students

With and Without Tinted Lenses.

The Australasian Journal of Special Education, Vol. 13 No: 1. 4-13

Chan, L.K.S. and Robinson, G.L.W.(1990)

The effects of poor reader's responsiveness to metacognition instruction in comprehension.

Department of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Chase, C.H. (1996) - A Visual Deficit Model of Developmental Dyslexia.

In C.H. Chase, G.D. Rose & G. F. Sherman (eds.) Developmental Dyslexia, Neural, Cognitive and Genetic Mechanisms Timonium, MD: York Press (pp127 – 156)

Chase, C.H. & Jenner, A. (1993) – Magnocellular Processing Deficits Affect Temporal Processing of Dyslexics.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences., 682, 326 - 330

Cahes, C., Ashourzadeh, A., Kelly, C., Monfette, S. & Kinsey, K. (2003) – Can the Magnocellular Pathway Read? Evidence from Studies of Color.

Vision Research, 43, 1211 - 1222

Chelva, E., Collins, D.W.K., Levy, R.L. and McLaren, T.L. (1987)

Preliminary Electrophysical Testing of Subjects with Prescribed Irlen Tinted Lenses.

Dept. Biophysics, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Paper presented at the Dyslexia Research Foundation Seminar, Perth, W.A.

Cheng, A., Eysel, U. & Vidyasagar, T. (2004) – The Role of the Magnocellular Pathway in Serial Development of Visual Attention.

European Journal of Neuroscience, 20(8) 2188 - 2192

Chronicle, E.P. & Wilkins, A.J. (1991).

Colour and visual discomfort in migraineurs.

The Lancet, 338, (October), 890

Clay, M.M. & Imlach, R.H. (1971) – Juncture, Pitch and Stress as Reading Behaviour Variables.

Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour, 10, 133 - 139

*Conlon, E. (2000)

Visual Perceptual Problems in Reading: Their relationship to reading disability and neural processing.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

SUMMARY AND CURRENT CONCLUSIONS. Visual discomfort is characterised by extreme sensitivity to pattern and some forms of temporal stimuli, for example bright or flickering light. Using the Visual Discomfort Scale as a measure of susceptibility the slow reading rate, poor conscious visual attention and depressed spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity functions found in the high visual discomfort group cannot be explained by pattern interference only. In addition these results cannot be explained by experience of co-existing migraine or a specific reading disability. In susceptible individuals the inability of the visual system to inhibit large amounts of superfluous visual information may explain these difficulties. Ongoing research aimed at investigating further these inhibitory mechanisms within a framework of processing in the parvocellular and magnocellular is ongoing. The ways these mechanisms are related to 'rate of processing' may provide an explanation for poorer perceptual performance in a number of domains.

Cotton, M.M. & Evans, K.M. (1990).

An evaluation of Irlen lenses as a treatment for specific reading disorders.

The Australasian Journal of Psychology, 42, 1-12.

Cotton, M.M. & Evans, K.M. (1994) – Parents and Children’s Expectations about Irlen (tinted) Lenses.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 1387 - 1390

Croyle, L., Elliot, R. & Dain, S. (1997) – Reading, Visual Processing Colour and Contrast.

Unpublished manuscript, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Croyle, L. (1998).

Rate of reading: Visual processing, colour and contrast.

The Australasian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 3(3), 13-21.

Demb, J.M., Boynton, G. M., & Heeger, D. J. (1998)

Functional megnetic resonance imaging of early visual pathways in dyslexia.

Journal of Neuroscience, 18(17), 1037-1045.

Demb, J.M., Boynton, G.M., Best, M. & Heeger, D.J. (1998) – Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Early Visual Pathways in Dyslexia.

Journal of Neuroscience, 18, 6939 – 6951

Di Lollo, V., Hanson, D. & McIntyre, J.S. (1983) – Initial Stages of Visual Information Processing in Dyslexia.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 9, 923 - 925

* Dobrin, R. (2007) – Toward An Authentic Diagnostic Impression Using Clinical Composites and Functional Brain Imaging for an Improved Understanding of Irlen Syndrome.

Summary of presentation at 9th International Irlen Conference, Auckland, New Zealand 3 -6 January

Eames, T.H. (1957) – The Relationship of the Central Visual Field to the Speed of Visual Perception.

American Journal of Opthalmology, 43, 279 - 280

Eden, G,F. VanMeter, J.W., Rumsey, J.M., Maisog, J.M., Woods, R.P & Zeffiro, T.A. (1996) – Abnormal Processing of Visual Motion in Dyslexia Revealed by Functional Brain Imaging.

Nature, 382, 66 - 69

Edwards, V. T., Hogben, J. H., Clark, C. D., & Pratt, C. (1996).

Effects of a red background on magnocellular funtioning in average and specifically disabled readers.

Vision Research, 37(7), 1037-1045.

Evans, B. (1994) - The Intuitive Colorimeter – Friend or Foe?

Optician, 5436 (207) 18 - 22

*Evans, B.J.W., Cook, A., Richards, I.L. and Drasdo, N. (1994)

Effect of Pattern Glare and Coloured Overlays on a Simulated Reading Task in Dyslexics and Normal Readers.

Optometry and Vision Science. Vol. 71 No: 10 pp. 619-628

Evans, B.J,W., Busby, A., Jeanes, R. & Wilkins, A.J. (1995) – Optometric Correlates of Meares-Irlen Syndrome: A Matched Group Study.

Opthalmological and Physiological Optics. Vol 15, No. 5, 481 – 487.

Evans, B.J.W., & Joseph, F. (2002) – The Effect of Coloured Filters on the Rate of Reading in an Adult Student Population.

Opthalmological and Physiological Optics. 22, 535 – 545.

Fisher, D.F. & Shebliske, W.L. (1985) – There is More That Meets the Eye than the Eyemind Assumption.

In R. Corner, G.W. McConkie & C. Menz. (eds.) Eye Movements and Human Information Processing (pp149 – 157) B.V. (North Holland) Elsevier Science Publishers

*Fletcher, J. and Martinez, G. (1994)

An Eye-Movement Analysis of the Effects of Scotopic Sensitivity Correction on Parsing and Comprehension.

Journal of Learning Disabilities. Vol. 27 No.1 p.67-70. Research Brief.

ABSTRACT Does scotopic sensitivity correction enhance parsing and, thus, comprehension? Twenty-two readers with scotopic sensitivity (X age = 20.3 yrs.; 40.9% male) parsed sentences under scotopic correction and control conditions. Measures included eye-movement indices of parsing and comprehension questions. Although eye movements suggested enhanced parsing, comprehension scores were not significantly improved with correction.

Foorman, B.R. & Liberman, B.R. (1989) – Visual and Phonological Processing of Words: A Comparison of Good and Poor Readers.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22, 349 - 355

*Fricker, S. (1988)

Do Irlen coloured lenses improve stereopsis and reading ability in children who have reading difficulties caused by visual perceptual distortion when they look at black print on white paper, and does their colour vision differ from the normal population?

Unpublished Diploma of Community Child Health Thesis, Flinders University, Adelaide Australia.

*Geaney, E., McGeady, M., McMahon, T., Mahon, D. and Mullaney, P. (1991)

Eyes, Filters and Reading. A Pilot Study.

Report compiled from a pilot project conducted at Royal Victoria Eye Hospital, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2

and at the Irlen Centre, Palmerstown, Dublin 20.

Gole, G.A., Dibden, S.N., Pearson, C.R., Pidgeon, K.J., Hannell, G., Fitzgerald, B.A., Kortman, J.Y. & McGlinchey, N.D, (1989)

Tinted lenses and dyslexics: A controlled study.

The Australasian & New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology, 17, pages 137-141

*Good, P.A., Taylor, R.H., Ophth, F.C., and Mortimer M.J., (1991)

The Use of Tinted Glasses in Childhood Migraine.

Headache, September.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, Church Street, Birmingham, B3 2NS, England. Reprint requests to: Mr. P. A. Good.

SYNOPSIS. Twenty children with clinically diagnosed migraine were asked to wear either a rose coloured tint or density matched blue tint for a period of 4 months. The frequency, duration and intensity of migraine attacks were recorded, together with the amount of visually provoked beta activity in the EEG. After one month's wear all the children in the study revealed an initial improvement in headache frequency. However, only those children wearing rose tints sustained this improvement up to 4 months, when the mean headache frequency had improved from 6.2 per month to 1.6 per month. The headache frequency of those children wearing blue tints revealed no overall improvement after 4 months. The improvements in headache frequency in children wearing rose tints correlated with a reduction in visually provoked beta activity.

Goodman, K.S. & Gollasch, E.V. (1980) – Word Omissions: Deliberate and Non-Deliberate.

Reading Research Quarterly, 16, 6 -30

Gray, J. (1999).

Visual perceptual difficulties and reading behavior: Irlen syndrome and eye colour.

Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, University of Bristol, UK.

Gregg, P.J. (1989).

Dyslexia and tinted filters.

The Optician, January 29, pages 17-20.

Griffin, D.C., Walton, N.H. & Ives, V. (1974) –Saccades as Related to Reading Disorders.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 7, 310 -316

Grosser, G.S. & Spafford, C.L. (1989) – Perceptual Evidence for an Anomalous Distribution of Rods and Cones in the Retinas of Dyslexics: A New Hypothesis.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 68, 683 - 698

Grosser, G. S. & Spafford, C. S. (1990)

Light sensitivity in peripheral retinal fields of dyslexic and proficient readers.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 71, 467-477.

Gustafson, S., Samuelsson, S. & Ronnberg, J. (1997) – Phonological Training and Reading Skills: Why Do Some Resist?

In B. Ericson & J. Ronnberg (eds.) Reading Disability and its Treatment. Sweden. Eve Malmquist Institute of Reading. pp38 - 51

Halley, D. & Lea, A. (1992) – Irlen Lenses and the Reading Disabled.

The Bulletin for Learning Disabilities. Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, Canberra.

Hannell, G., Gole, G.A., Dibden, S.M., Rooney, F., Pidgeon, K.J. &McGlinchey, N.D. (1989).

Reading improvement with tinted lenses: A report of two cases.

Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 72, pages 170-176.

ABSTRACT There have been numerous anecdotal reports of an improvement in reading in dyslexic children fitted with tinted spectacle lenses. Few of these cases have been subjected to scientific scrutiny. We report the findings in two dyslexic brothers each of whom showed a marked improvement in reading facility when reading print material either through a semi-transparent tinted plastic sheet (overlay) or through tinted spectacle lenses. Other observed effects of the tinted overlays and/or tinted lenses were improved visual acuity, improved figure/ground perception and reduction in apparent distortions and fragmentation of print. Such improvements were noted in either one or both of the boys. A speculative explanation for this effect is that the lenses act by altering the transmission of impulses along the primary visual pathway.

Harbaugh, Rick, Director of Irlen Center Albuquerque. 2007

Incidence of Irlen Syndrome in the General Population

The last paragraph of the paper. Admittedly, the latter six of the ten studies are evaluated by a different criteria than the first four studies. Also, all of the latter six studies are designed using Wilkins' Intuitive Overlays rather than Irlen Overlays—though the color spectrum of the overlays is similar to the Irlen overlays. While this may cast some doubt on the validity of the 22% incident rate, it is interesting to note that the two Robinson studies are 25% and 20%--bracketing the 22% figure this analysis shows. Putting all these studies together, we are also able to look at a large sampling of students around the world—over 2000 students participated in these studies. The ages of students tested also shows that Irlen Syndrome affects all age groups in the school system. These studies range from age five through eleventh grade.

*Hazell, P, University of Newcastle, Australia. (2000)

Still Going. Hyperactivity Enters its Second Centruy.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

CONCLUSION. Nearly one hundred years have passed since the earliest known published clinical description by Still on the syndrome now called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the American Psychiatric Association classification of mental disorders, and Hyperkinetic Disorder in the International Classification of Diseases. The core features of restlessness and inattention identified by Still remain relevant to cortical dysfunction continues to be a focus of research endeavour. Inconsistencies in the condition that were described by Still, such as differing patterns of associated problems and variability of outcome, also remain relevant. It would be fair to say that research and clinical interest in ADHD has fluctuated since the delivery of the Coulstonian lectures. Interest has been stimulated by new theories or discoveries, with important milestones being the observation that symptoms are reduced by amphetamines, the interest in the putative role of diet, the resurgence of research interest in attentional dysfunction, the development of research instruments to more reliably quantify symptoms and monitor treatment response, and finally the impact of dynamic brain imaging. Aetiology is most probably multifactorial, with a contribution from both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Recent research, however, indicates that genetic vulnerability contributes substantially to the development of ADHD symptoms.

*Hobbs, M. (1994)

A Study on the Prevalence of Vision Problems and Irlen Syndrome Among Students "At Risk".

Unpublished paper. Study conducted in New Zealand.

*Hobbs, M., Robinson, G.L. & Whiting, P.R. (1997) - Irlen Syndrome: A Barrier to Learning. Research into colour filtering. Unpublished paper, January.

*Holland, Keith C., Tyrell, Ruth and Wilkins, Arnold (1991)

The Effect of Irlen Coloured Lenses on Saccadic Eye Movements and Reading.

Paper given at joint meeting between Applied Vision Associates and the Colour Group. Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. 10th July

Hulme, C. & Hogben, M.J. (1997) – How Does a Visual Transient Deficit Affect Reading?

In C. Hulme & M. Snowling (eds.), Dyslexia: Biology, Cognition and Intervention. London UK, Whurr. 59 – 70

Iovino, I., Fletcher, J.M., Breitmeyer, B.F. & Foorman, B.R. (1998) – Coloured Overlays for Visual-Perceptual Deficits in Children With Reading Disability and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Are They Differentially Effective?

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Psychology. 20 (6), 791 - 806

*Irlen, H. (1982)

Visual Dysfunction and Dyslexia - a new functional disorder.

Unpublished paper.

*Irlen, H. (1983)

Successful Treatment of Learning Disabilities.

Paper presented at the 91st annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Anaheim, CA.

*Irlen, H. (1987)

Dyslexia as a retinal dysfunction; a different perspective.

Unpublished paper.

Irlen, H. (1994) – Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome: Hypotheses and Explanation of the Syndrome.

Journal of Behavioural Optometry, 5, 62 – 65

Irlen, H. (1994) – Dyslexia in Higher Education: Strategies and the Value of Asking.

Paper presented at the Dyslexia in Higher Education International Conference 31 October – 2 November, Devon, UK

*Irlen, H. (1996)

Dyslexia in Higher Education: Learning Along the Continuum.

The Information Bulletin for Learning Disabilities. No: 1 - 1996, 44-48

*Irlen, H.

The Missing Link: Scotopic Vision and How it Relates to Dyslexia.

Unpublished paper.

Irlen, H. (1997) – Reading Problems and Irlen Coloured Lenses.

Dyslexia Review. 8 (3), 4 -7

*Irlen, H. (2000)

Looking Beyond the Printed Page.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

*Irlen, H. & Lass, M.J. (1989) – Improving Reading Problems due to Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome Using Irlen Lenses and Overlays.

Education, 30, 1 - 5

*Irlen, H. & Robinson, G.L. (1996)

The effect of Irlen coloured filters on adult perception of workplace performance: A preliminary survey.

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1(3), pages 7-17.

*Irons, P. (2006) – The Use of Colour to Help Dyslexic Adults.

Dyslexia Review, 17 (2) 12 – 16

*Irvine, J.H. and Irvine, E.W. (1997)

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in a Single Individual (A Case Study).

Naval Air Warfare Centre, Weapons Division, China Lake, California, April.

*Irvine, J. H. (2005) – Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in a Single Individual.

Presented at the North American Irlen conference, Long Beach, California. 21 - 24 July

Jeanes, R., Busby, A., Martin, J., Lewis, E., Stevenson, N., Pointon, D. & Wilkins, A. (1997).

Prolonged use of coloured overlays for classroom reading.

Journal of Psychology, 88, pages 531-548.

Jennings, G.D.J. & Underwood, G. (1984) The Influence of Parafoveal Information on a Simple Reading Task.

In A.G. Gale & F. Johnson (eds.) Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research, (pp179 – 185) B.V. (North Holland) Elsevier Science Publishers.

Johannes, S., Kussmaul, C.L., Muente, T.F. & Mangun, R. (1996) – Developmental Dyslexia: Passive Visual Stimulation Provides no Evidence for Magnocellular Processing Defect.

Neuropsychologica, 34, 1123 - 1127

*Johnson. P. (2004) – Six Types of ADHD.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July.

Johnson, P.J., Saba, G., Dorain, E., Belmont, S. (2000)

A Study to Test the Effectiveness of Reading with Irlen Coloured Overlays for Students with Irlen/Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

*Jordan, D.R. (1998) - Irlen Syndrome (Word Blindness).

In D. Jordan, Attention Deficit Disorder,ADHD and ADD Syndromes. [62 pp13]

Jordan, I. (1998) – Visual Dyslexia: A Guide to Parents and Teachers.

United Kingdom, Desktop Publications.

Juel, C. (1988) – Learning to Read and Write: A Longitudinal Study of 54 Children from First through Fourth Grades.

Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 437 – 447

Juel, C., Griffith, P, & Gough, P. (1986) – Acquisitions of Literacy: A Longitudinal Study of Children in First and Second Grade.

Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 243 – 255

Just, M.A. & Carpenter, P.A. (1980) - A Theory of Reading: From Eye Fixations to Comprehension.

Psychological Review, 87, 329 – 354

Knoblauch, K., Arditi, A, & Szlyk, L. (1991) – Effects of Chromatic Luminance Contrast on Reading.

Journal of the Optical Society of America, 8 (2), 428 - 439

*Koch, A. (2004) – Holistic Time Management.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July

*Kreuttner P. and Strum I. (1990)

The Irlen Approach. An intervention for students with low reading achievement

and symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Kriss, I. & Evans, B.J.W. (2005) – The Relationship Between Dyslexia and Meares-Irlen Syndrome.

Journal of Research in Reading, 28 (3) 350 - 364

Extract from the start of the paper. Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) is characterised by symptoms of visual stress and visual perceptual distortions that are alleviated by using individually prescribed coloured filters. Coloured overlays (sheets of transparent plastic that are placed upon the page) are used to screen for the condition. MIS is diagnosed on the basis of either the sustained voluntary use of an overlay or an immediate improvement (typically of more than 5%) on the Wilkins Rate of Reading Test (WRRT). Various studies are reviewed suggesting a prevalence of 20-34% using these criteria. Stricter criteria give a lower prevalence: for example, 5% of the population read more than 25% faster with an overlay. It has been alleged that MIS is more common in dyslexia, but this has not been systematically investigated. We compared a group of 32 dyslexic with 32 control children aged 7-12 years, matched for age, gender and socio­economic background. Participants were tested with Intuitive Overlays, and those demonstrating a preference had their rate of reading tested using the WRRT with and without their preferred overlay. Both groups read faster with the overlay, and more so in the dyslexic group. ANOVA revealed no significant effect of group, but a signi­ficant improvement in WRRT with overlay (p = 0.009) and a significant interaction between group and overlay (p = 0.031). We found a similar prevalence of MIS in the general population to that in previous studies and a prevalence in the dyslexic group that was a little higher (odds ratio for> 5% criterion: 2.6, 95% confidence limit 0.9-7.3). The difference in prevalence in the two groups did not reach statistical significance. We conclude that MIS is prevalent in the general population and possibly a little more common in dyslexia. Children with dyslexia seem to benefit more from coloured overlays than non-dyslexic children. MIS and dyslexia are separate entities and are detected and treated in different ways. If a child has both problems then they are likely to be markedly disadvantaged and they should receive prompt treatments appropriate to the two conditions. It is recommended that education professionals as well as eye-care professionals are alert to the symptoms of MIS and that children are screened for this condition, as well as for other visual anomalies.

*Kumagai, K. (2006) – Effect of Coloured Films Related in Facilitating Reading: The Result of the General Japanese Population and a Dyslexic Student.

University of Tsukuba. (Paper published in Japanese with Abstract in English)

*Kyd, L.J.C., Sutherland, G.F.M. and McGettrick P.M. (1992)

A Preliminary Appraisal of the Irlen Screening Process for Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome

and the Effect of Irlen Coloured Overlays on Reading.

British Orthoptimalogical Journal, 49; pages 25-30.

La Berge, C. & Samuels, S. (1974) – Towards a Theory of Automatic Information Processing in Reading. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293 - 323

* Lea, A.R. & Hailey, D.M. (1990) - Tinted Lenses in Treatment of the Reading Disabled.

Australian Institute of Health. Health Care Technology Series No. 2. [84 booklet]

*Lehmkuhle, S., Garzia, R.P., Turner, L., Hash, T., and Baro, J.B. (1993)

A Defective Visual Pathway In Children With Reading Disability.

The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 328 No: 14 989 - 995

ABSTRACT. Background. The possibility that reading disability in children is associated with visual problems is in dispute. We sought to test the existence of this association by using electrophysiologic techniques to measure the processing of visual information in the magnocellular and parvocellular visual pathways of the brain.

Methods. Visual evoked potentials were measured with scalp electrodes in children 8 to 11 years old who were normal readers and in those with reading disability. The potentials were measured for targets with low (o.5 cycle per degree of visual angle) and high (4.5 cycles per degree) spatial frequency, surrounded by either a steady background or a uniform-field flickering 12 times per second. A flickering field normally reduces the amplitude and increases the latency of a transient potential evoked by a low-spatial-frequency target, which preferentially excites the magnocellular visual pathway, but has little effect on the response to a high-spatial-frequency target.

Results. With a steady background, the latencies of the early components N1 and P1) of the visual evoked potentials were longer in the reading-disabled children than in the normal readers when the low-spatial-frequency target was used. In normal readers, the flickering background increased the latency and reduced the amplitude of the early components, whereas in the reading-disabled children only the amplitude was affected. No differences were observed in either group with the high-spatial-frequency target.

Conclusion. The pattern of results suggests that the response of the magnocellular visual pathway is slowed in reading-disabled children, who do not, however, have a general slowing of the visual response. The possibility that there is a cause-and-effect relation between these findings and reading disability will require further study.

Lehmkuhle, S. (1993) - Neurological Basis of Visual Processes in Reading.

In D.M. Willows, R.S. Kruk & E. Corcos (eds.) Visual Processes in Reading and Reading Disabilities, (pp77 – 94) Lawrence Eribaum Associates, Hillsdale, N.J.

*Lewine, J.D. PhD, Irlen, H, and Orrison Jnr M.D., W.W. (1996)

Visual Evoked Magnetic Fields in Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Many people with poor reading skills and habits demonstrate significant visual fatigue and discomfort when observing high contrast, high luminance stimuli. Dizziness, headaches, strain or fatigue are some of the ancillary findings in Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome (SSS) that compound reading difficulties. Under high luminance conditions words distort. They may float above the page or jumble into a wavy, incomprehensible tangle. The background may pulsate or eradicate parts of letters. Several behavioral studies demonstrate that many of the deleterious aspects of the condition can be alleviated by wearing coloured Irlen lenses, the best colour being different for each patient.

At present, the relevant physiological mechanisms are unknown, but presumably they are related to altered visual information processing. In this study, magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to characterize visual responses in conditions with and without lenses. Steady-state visual evoked magnetic fields were recorded from 8 subjects with SSS and 8 normal control subjects using a 122-chanel whole-head bio-magnetometer. During the testing, subjects fixated the centre of a 4 square checker board that contrast reversed every 200 msec. There was a small black circle at fixation that briefly flashed white every 1-2 seconds, and subjects were instructed to count flashes.

For the SSS group, each subject was evaluated with and without custom coloured Irlen lenses. Control subjects were tested without lenses and with a lens pair that caused the maximum change in luminance. In all cases, the evoked magnetic signal reflected a complicated pattern of bilateral activation of multiple cortical generators. A major difference in with and without lens conditions was seen between 170 and 200 msec post-stimulus.

For normal subjects, without lenses, the field pattern at this time was mostly dipolar and reflected midline calcarine activity. When lenses were on, the pattern was much more complex, reflecting multiple generators. The reverse situation was seen for 6 of 8 subjects with SSS. That is, complex field pattern was seen without lenses, whereas an organized dipolar pattern was seen with lenses.

The data suggest that the coloured Irlen lenses provide for normalization and crystallization of visual information processing in most members of the SSS population.

Lewine, J.D. (1997) - Changes in Visual Evoked Magnetic Field for People with SSIS: Implications for Understanding Causal Mechanisms.

Paper presented at the 4th North American Irlen Conference, San Diego, June.

Lewine, J.D. (1999).

Changes in visual evoked magnetic field for people with SS/S.

Fourth Biannual Australasian Irlen Conference. Newcastle, Australia, May 20-22.

* Lewine, J.D., Davis, J., Provencal, S., Edgar. J. & Orrison Jr, W. (2006) – A Magnetoencephalographic Investigation of Visual Information Processing on Irlen’s Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Unpublished summary.

*Lewine, J.D., Davis J.T., Provencal, S., Edgar, C. & Orrison Jnr. W.W. (1999) - Magnetoencephalographic Evaluation of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

Unpublished(?) paper [80 pp3]

Lightstone, A., Lightstone, T. & Wilkins, A. (1990) – Both Coloured Overlays and Coloured Lenses can Improve Reading Fluency, but their Optimal Chromaticities Differ.

Opthalmological and Physiological Optics, 19 279 – 285

Livingstone, M. (1994) – Eye Spy: Decoding Dyslexia.

Focus, January 21, 1 - 2

Livingstone, M.S. & Hubel, D,H. (1984) – Anatomy and Physiology of a Color System in the Primate Visual Cortex.

Journal of Optometric Visual Development, 17, 4 – 15

Livingstone, M.S. & Hubel, D,H. (1987) – Psychophysical Evidence for Separate Channels for the Perception of Form, Color, Movement and Depth.

Journal of Neuroscience, 7 3416 - 3468

*Livingstone, M., Rosen, G.D., Drislane, F.W., Galaburda, A.M. (1991)

Physiological and Anatomical Evidence for a Magnocellular Defect in Developmental Dyslexia.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Vol. 88 p. 7943 - 7947

ABSTRACT Several behavioral studies have shown that developmental dyslexics do poorly in tests requiring rapid visual processing. In primates fast, low-contrast visual information is carried by the magnocellular subdivision of the visual pathway, and slow, high-contrast information is carried by the parvocellular division. In this study, we found that dyslexic subjects showed diminished visually evoked potentials to rapid, low-contrast stimuli. The abnormalities in the dyslexic subjects’ evoked potentials were consistent with a defect in the magnocellular pathway at the level of visual area 1 or earlier. We then compared the lateral geniculate nuclei from five dyslexic brains to five control brains and found abnormalities in the magnocellular, but not the parvocellular, layers. Studies using auditory and somatosensory tests have shown that dyslexics do poorly in these modalities only when the tests require rapid discriminations. We therefore hypothesize that many cortical systems are similarly divided into a fast and a slow subdivision and that dyslexia specifically affects the fast subdivisions.

Lopez, R., Yolton, R.L., Kohl, P., Smith, D.L. & Saxerud, M.H. (1994).

Comparison of Irlen Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome test results to a academic and visual performance data.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 65(10), pages 705-714.

Lovegrove, W. (1984) – Dyslexia and the Vision Factor.

Education News, 19, 15 – 18

Lovegrove, W., Martin, F. & Slaghuis, W.A. (1986) – Theoretical and Experimental Case for a Visual Deficit in Specific Reading Disability.

Cognitive Neuropsychology, 3, 225 - 267

Lovegrove, W.J., McNicol, D., Martin, F., MacKenzie, B. & Pepper, K. (1988) – Phonological Re-coding, Memory Processing and Memory Deficits in Specific Reading Disability.

In D. Vickers & P. Smith (eds.) Human Information Processing: Measures, Mechanisms and Models. 65 – 82 Amsterdam, North Holland.

Lovegrove, W.J., Garzia, R.P. & Nicholson, S.B. (1990) – Experimental Evidence for a Transient System Deficit in Specific Reading Disability.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 61, 137 – 146

Lovegrove, W.J. & Williams, M.C. (1993) – Visual Temporal Processing Deficits in Specific Reading Disability.

In D.M. Willows, R.S. Kruk & E. Carcos (eds.) Visual Processing in Reading and Reading Disabilities, 311 – 330. Hillsdale, N.J.: Eribaum.

Lovegrove, W.J. (1996) – Dyslexia and a Transient/Magnocellular Pathway Deficit: The Current Situation and Future Directions.

The Australian Journal of Psychology, 46, 167 – 171

Lovett, M.W. (1986) – Sentential Structure and the Perceptual Spans of Two Samples of Disabled Readers.

Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 15, 153 - 715

Lovett, M.W. (1987) – A Developmental Approach to Reading Disability: Accuracy and Speed Criteria of Normal and Deficient Reading Skill.

Child Development, 58, 234 - 260

Lovett, M.W. (1987) - A Developmental Approach to Reading Disability: Accuracy and Rate Criteria in the Subtyping of Dyslexia.

Brain and Language, 22, 69 - 71

Mackova, Z. (1992)

Irlenover Syndrom Skotopickej Senzitivity.

Psychologica a Patopsychologica, 27(3), pages 259-263.

*Maclachlan, A., Yale, S., and Wilkins, A. (1993) - Open Trial of Subjective Precision Tinting: A Follow up of 55 Patients.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 13, 175-179 [64 pp4]

Martin, F., MacKenzie, B., Lovegrove, W. & McNicol, D. (1993) - Irlen Lenses and the Treatment of SpecificLearning Difficulty: An Evaluation of Outcomes and Processes.

Australian Journal of Psychology, 45(3), 141-150.

Martin, F., Mackenzie, B., Lovegrove, W. & McNicol, D. (1993).

Irlen lenses and the treatment of specific reading disability: An evaluation of outcomes and processes.

Australian Journal of Psychology, 45(3), pages 141-150.

*Mason, A.J.S., Fowler, M.S. and Stein, J.F. (1994) Evaluation of "The Intuitive Colorimeter".

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. March 15, Vol.: 35 No: 4, 1754.

Mazer, S.R., McIntyre, C.W., Murray, M.E., Till, R.E. & Blackwell, S.L. (1983) – Visual Persistence and Information Pick-up in Learning Disabled Children.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16, 221 – 225

McLachlan, A., Yale, S. & Wilkins, A. (1993). Open trial of subjective precision tinting: A follow-up of 55 patients.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 13, pages 175-179.

McGregor, N. R., Dunstan, R. H., Butt, H. L., Roberts, T. K., Klineberg, I. J., & Zerbes, M. (1997).

A preliminary assessment of the association between scc-90-R psychological inventory responses with chages in urinary metabolites in patients with Chronic Fatigue syndrome.

Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 3(1), 17-37.

*Meares, O. (1980)

Figure/Background, brightness contrast and Reading Disabilities.

Visible Language, XIV, 1, 13-29.

Menaker, S.J., Breton, M.De., Breton, M.L., Radcliffe, J. & Gole, G.A. (1993).

Do tinted lenses improve the reading performance of dyslexic children?

Archives of Ophthalmology, 111, pages 213-218.

* McClellan, L.F. (1993) - Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome: An Educational Issue Worthy of Serious Consideration.

Unpublished Masters Thesis., Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. [83 pp69]

*Miller, L. (1984)

Scotopic Sensitivity and Reading Disability.

Unpublished Master of Education thesis, California State University.

ABSTRACT This study is designed to investigate the relationship of Scotopic Sensitivity to Reading Disability. Scotopic Sensitivity is a visual dysfunction which includes (1) impaired visual resolution, (2) impaired depth perception, (3) impaired peripheral vision, and (4) photophobia. The population studied was adult college students diagnosed as reading disabled, not related to mental deficiency or visual handicap. Each subject was given the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery: Perceptual Speed Cluster, the Wide Range Achievement Test (Vocabulary), as well as an interview to assess educational problems and a history of reading disability and absense of mental deficiency. Additionally, to assess the incidence of scotopic sensitivity, each subject as individually administered the Irlen Differential Perceptual Schedule. Interviews were also given to compile a profile of medical, ophthalmology, psychological and visual dysfunctions. Data was analyzed by using a t-test, and it was hypothesized that a significant difference in scotopic sensitivity between the reading disabled adults and a matched control group would result.

Murphy, L. (1985) ‑ Coloured Lenses as Aid to Overcome Learning (particularly reading) difficulties.

Student Services, Tasmanian Dept. of Education.

Newby, R.F. & Lyon, G.R. (1991) – Neurological Subtypes of Learning Disabilities.

In J.E. Obrzut & G.W. Hynd (eds.) Neuropsychological Foundations of Learning Disabilities, 355 – 379 New York, Academic Press.

*Noble, J. & Orton, M. (2002) - A Controlled Study Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Colored Overlays with Third Graders in the Yakima School District.

Paper presented to the 77h International Irlen conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 11-14 July [94pp6]

Noble, J., Orton, M., Irlen, S., Robinson, G. (2004)

A Controlled Field Study of the Use of Coloured Overlays on Reading Achievement.

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities - Volum3 9, Number 2, June 2004, Pages 11 - 22.

Abstract: This study investigated the effect of using Irlen coloured overlays on reading rate, accuracy, fluency and comprehension under regular class conditions, with class teachers instigating the study and conducting the assessment. All subjects in grade 3 at Whitney and McKinley Elementary schools were screened for symptoms of Irlen syndrome, with 31 subjects identified a Whitney and 40 subjects identified at McKinley. The effects on reading achievement were investigated under conditions of immediate use and delayed use, with one group (Whitney) provided optimum coloured overlays for 3 months and the other group (McKinley) delayed treatment for 3 months. The effects were then assessed for a further three months with both groups.

After three months of use of overlays, the Whitney group demonstrated a significant improvement in reading achievement with mean gains of grade equivalence scores of between 1 year 2 months and 1 year 7 months. However, between the three to six month period of use, the gains for Whitney group reached a plateau, with no significant improvement in reading achievement. The McKinley group had negligible gains in reading achievement during the first 3 months without the use of overlays, but significant gains during the 3 month to 6 month phase with the use of overlays, which ranged from 1 year 8 months to 2 years 8 months. It was suggested that the reported reduction in print and background distortions may improve accuracy of word recognition and allow attention to be directed more to the meaning of what is being read than to word recognition thus enhancing reading comprehension. The plateau effect identified for the Whitney group between 3 and 6 months could be related to the fact that after 3 months of overlay use, many students had reached grade level in reading achievement.

*O'Connor, Peter D. and Sofo, Frank (1988)

A Response to Gordon Stanley.

Australian Journal of Remedial Education, Volume 20 No. 1 p.10-12.

*O'Connor, P.D., Sofo, F., Kendall, L. and Olsen, G. (1990)

Reading Disabilities and the Effects of Coloured Filters.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 23 No:10

ABSTRACT. The field of learning disabilities has seen many treatment models emerge as the new solution to the perplexing difficulties of such children and adults, and these treatments have often been adopted uncritically or without experimental research evidence. This study was designed to test empirically the efficacy of a new treatment developed by Helen Irlen, using individually prescribed tinted lenses to filter light frequencies and thus remove a series of specific perceptual disorders, which she calls "scotopic sensitivity’’ and allegedly reducing the reading and associated learning disabilities. Their teachers nominated ninety-two children in grades from 2 to 6 in from middle class elementary schools in an Australian city as having serious reading disabilities significantly below their general ability. The children were assessed as "scotopic" or "non-scotopic" using the Irlen Differential Perceptual Schedule. Sixty seven (44 boys and 22 girls) were identified as scotopic, and twenty-five (14 boys and 11 girls) were considered non-scotopic. They were randomly assigned to six treatment groups using either coloured or clear overlay transparency sheets. Reading rate, reading accuracy, and particularly reading comprehension (as measured by the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability and the Formal Reading Inventory) were significantly improved when the scotopic students read with the preferred coloured overlay compared to clear or different coloured overlays. Non-scotopic students showed no change. The results are discussed in the light of implications for the definition of learning disabilities and the number of persons who may be assisted with this treatment.

*Owre K. and Bryant L. (1992)

Innovations in Reading Programming for learning disabled Students.

Final Report. Las Cruces Public Schools, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Pammer, K. & Lovegrove, W. (2001) – The Influence of Color on Transient System Activity: Implications for Dyslexia Research.

Perception and Psychophysics, 63 (3), 490 - 500

Pammer, K. & Wheatley, C. (2001) – Isolating the M(y)-cell Response in Dyslexia Using the Spatial Frequency Doubling Illusion.

Vision Research, 41, 2139 - 2147

Pavlides, C.A. (1985) – Eye Movements in Dyslexia: Their Diagnostic Significance.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18, 42 – 50

Perfetti, C.A. (1984) – Reading Acquisition and Beyond.: Decoding Includes Cognition.

American Journal of Education, 40 - 60

*Pointon, David G. and Struthers, Irene (1994)

The Norfolk Project:

An Investigation into the Remediation of Some Reading Problems Using Colour.

Norfolk County Council Education Department, Special Education Services, Norfolk, UK.

Sensory Support Service

Colman Middle School

South Park Avenue




Potaznik, W. & Kozol, N. (1992)

The incidence of ocular disturbances in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Optometry and vision Science, 10, 811-814.

Start of the Q authors On Irlen Syndrome.

Start of the R authors On Irlen Syndrome.

Ray, N.J., Fowler, S. & Stein, J.F. (2005) – Yellow Filters can Improve Magnocellular Function: Motion Sensitivity, Convergence, Accommodation and Reading.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1039, 283 - 293

*Rickelman, R.J. and Henk, W.A. (1990)

Reading Technology: Colored overlays and tinted lens filters.

The Reading Teacher Vol. 44 No: 2. [17 pp2]

*Riley, Don.

Summary of MA Research project on Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

*Riley, D.W. (2000)

Irlen Filters and Migraine: A Preliminary Study.

Unpublished report.

*Roberts, T.K., McGregor, N.R., Dunstan, R.H., Butt, H.L., Robinson, G.L., Cosford, R. and Ellis, E.

Metabolic Profiling as a Tool for Investigating Molecular Basis to Disease.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

ABSTRACT. Our multidisciplinary research group is investigating underlying biochemical and microbiological anomalies in polysymptomatic illness. The premise behind our approach is that all disease has a molecular basis. We thus take a homogeneous population of individuals exhibiting one disease or symptom set and analyse the metabolism of each individual by measuring a myriad of cellular metabolites using gas chromatography in the blood, urine and faeces. We also identify and quantitate faecal bacteria in these individuals. When correlation analysis is used to compare the complex metabolic profile of affected individuals with controls we are able to pinpoint the areas of metabolism that are changed. We consistently find that there is a distinct profile obtained that correlates with a particular symptom set. These data then can be used to propose to the clinician treatment options that often are aimed at normalising the metabolism of the individual and further lines of investigation directed at isolating underlying infectious agents.

Our studies initially began with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. We have since published on rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

More recently the approach has been used to show that here is a metabolic basis to the scotopic sensitivity seen in some patients with CFS and to the syndrome of autism, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Asperger's syndrome. These exciting results allow us to predict that similar metabolic disturbances, most likely due to underlying infection will be found in all non-genetic mental organic diseases.

*Robinson, G.L. (1990) – An Evaluation of the Irlen Lenses as a Treatment for Specific Reading Disorders: Commentary on M.M. Cotton and K.M. Evans.

Australian Journal of Psychology, 42, 13 - 15

*Robinson, G.L. (1993?) - Coloured Lenses and Reading Difficulties: What is Research Telling Us?

Fine Print. Journal of the Victorian Literacy and Basic Education Council. Vol.? 16-20 [89 pp7]

*Robinson G. L. (1994)

Coloured Lenses and Reading:

A Review of Research into Reading Achievement,

Reading Strategies and Causal Mechanisms.

Australasian Journal of Special Education 18 (1) pp. 3-14

ABSTRACT The paper reviews investigations on the use of coloured filters in relation to possible causal mechanisms, effects on reading achievement and effects on eye movement. Studies of causes suggest a retinal – sensory after-imaging problem, possibly related to the magnocellular visual neurological pathway. Studies of reading achievement suggest this disability may be one causal factor in reading problems but improvement will be influenced by prior word attack skill and willingness to be involved in reading. Investigation of reading strategies suggest that the claimed reductions in print distortions could allow more reading fluency and enable attention to be directed to meaning rather than word identification, which in turn facilitates access to text context as a supplement to word recognition.

*Robinson, G.L. (1996) - Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and Learning Disabilities: Initial Results for a Long Term Study of Reading Skills.

Paper presented at the 4th International Irlen conference, New Orleans, USA. 27-30 June. [78 pp4]

*Robinson, G.L. (1997) - The Ratio of Males to Females with Literacy/Learning Disabilities: A Survey of Child and Adult Referrals.

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 2 No. 3, 7-13 [63 pp7]

*Robinson, G.L., (1998)

The Familial Incidence of Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome:

A Review of Two Studies.

Paper presented to the 5th Irlen International Conference, Cambridge, UK. 1-3 July

*Robinson, G.L. and Miles, J. (1987)

The use of coloured overlays to improve visual processing. - A preliminary survey.

The Exceptional Child, Vol. 34, No:1 pp. 65-70.

University of Queensland Press.

ABSTRACT Forty voluntary subjects reporting consistent reading problems were divided into three groups on the basis of an assessment of the degree of scotopic sensitivity. Four speeded visual processing tasks involving word matching and letter and number plastic overlays, one with a colour maximising visual efficiency, one with a colour chosen at random and one with no colour.

It was found that the use of optimal coloured overlays yielded significantly better results on the visual tasks than the other two overlays for subjects with high scotopic sensitivity. Important implications of these results are discussed.

*Robinson, G.L.W. and Conway, R.N.F. (1990)

The Effects of Irlen Lenses on Students Specific Reading Skills and on Perception of Ability:

A Twelve Month Validity Study.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 23, No:10. pages 588-597.

*Robinson, G.L.W. and Conway, R.N.F. (1994)

Irlen Filters and Reading Strategies: Effect of Coloured Filters on Reading Achievement, Specific Reading Strategies and Perception of Ability.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 467-483

ABSTRACT The effect of tinted non-optical (Irlen) lenses was investigated in this study, with 29 experimental subjects aged between 9 years 1 month and 14 years 9 months, and a control group of 31 subjects aged between 9 years 1 month and 14 years 10 months. Assessment of reading four months after the initial screening found a significant improvement in reading rate and comprehension, but not in accuracy. A significant decrease in the number of pauses while reading was also found for the experimental group, as well as increases in correlation between word repetition and reading rate and accuracy. The experimental group also demonstrated significantly improved scores on an attitude to school tasks scale.

*Robinson, G.L..W. & Conway, R.N. (1996) - Irlen Lenses and Adults: Preliminary Results of a Controlled Study of Reading Speed, Accuracy and Comprehension.

Paper presented at the 4th International Irlen conference, New Orleans, USA. 27-30 June. [77 pp3]

*Robinson, G.L., Hopkins, B.R. and Davies, T. (1994/1995)

The Incidence of Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in Secondary School Populations:

A Preliminary Survey.

The Bulletin for Learning Disabilities. No: 2 1994 /No: 1 1995 pp36-56

Robinson, G.L.W. & Conway, R.N.F. (2000)

Irlen Lenses and Adults: A Small Scale Study of Reading Speed, Accuracy, Comprehension and Self-Image.

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities.

*Robinson, G.L., Foreman, P.J. and Dear, K.B.G., (1996)

The Familial Incidence of Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 83, 1043-1055

*Robinson, G.L. & Foreman, P.J. (1999a) - The Effects of Irlen Coloured Filters on Eye Movement:

Behavioural Optometry. Vol.7 No.4 5-18 [56 pp14]

*Robinson, G.L.. & Foreman, P.J. (1999b) - Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome and the Use of Coloured Filters: A Long Term Placebo Controlled and Masked Study of Reading Achievement and Perception of Ability.

Perceptual and Motor Skills. 89, 83-113 [55 pp16]

Robinson, G. L., Foreman, P. J., and Dear, K. B. G.(2000)

The familial incidence of Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome: Comparison of referred and mass-screened groups.

Summary. The familial incidence of Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome was investigated in two samples. One sample involved parents and siblings of 126 children identified with symptoms who had been referred for screening. The other sample involved parents and siblings of 33 children who had been identified with symptoms through mass screening of all children in Grades 3 to 6 at two local schools. Two different samples were taken to investigate the possibility of parental referral bias. Familial incidence may be inflated in a referred sample because some parents may be aware of their own symptoms and actively seek assistance. For the sample of children referred for screening, there was an 81% chance of either one or both parents showing similar symptoms and a 76% chance of siblings being similarly affected. For the sample of children identified through school screening, there was an 85% chance of either one or both parents showing similar symptoms and a 54% chance of siblings being similarly affected. The data confirm previous estimates of incidence and suggest that Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome may be a genetically-based deficit in visual processing.

Robinson, G.L. & Foreman, P.J. (1999)

The effect of Irlen coloured filters on eye movement.

Behavioral Optometry, 7(4), pages 5-18

Robinson, G.L. & Foreman, P.J. (1999)

Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome and the use of coloured filters: A long-term placebo-controlled study of reading strategies using analysis of miscue.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 88, 35-52.

Robinson, G.L. & Foreman, P.J. (1999b)

Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome and the use of coloured filters: A long-term placebo-controlled and masked study of reading achievement and perception of ability.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 89, 83-113.

*Robinson, G.L., Foreman, P.J., Dear, K.G.B. & Sparkes, D. (2004) – The Family Incidence of a Visual- Perceptual Subtype of Dyslexia.

In: Focus on Dyslexia Research ed. Henry D. Tobias pp 27 – 40

Robinson, G.L. and Miles, J. (1987)

The use of coloured overlays to improve visual processing: A preliminary survey.

The Exceptional Child, 34, pages 65-70.

ABSTRACT Forty volunteers reporting consistent reading problems were divided into three groups on the basis of an assessment of degree of Scotopic sensitivity/Irlen syndrome. Four speeded visual processing tasks involving word matching and letter and number identification were administered to all subjects using three plastic overlays, one of a colour maximizing visual efficiency, one chosen at random and one with no colour. For subjects with high scotopic sensitivity, the use of optimal coloured overlays yielded significantly better results on some visual tasks than the other two overlays. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Robinson, G.L., Hopkins, B. and Davies, T. (1995)

The incidence of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in secondary school populations: A preliminary survey.

The Bulletin for Learning Disabilities, 5(1), pages 36-56.

ABSTRACT The incidence of Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity was assessed at high school for year 7 (283) and year 11 (70) from two high schools. Screening was carried out using a version of the Irlen Differential Perceptual Schedule which had been modified for group administration. Results of the screening identified 24% of subjects as having significant symptoms at one high school and 20% of subjects at the other, although these estimates may be elevated because a group rather than individual screening procedure was used. A preliminary assessment of the validity of the screening procedure was undertaken for 13 subjects having a large number of symptoms compared to 13 subjects with few or no symptoms.

Robinson, G.L., Roberts, T.K., McGregor, N.R., Dunstan, R.H. & Butt, H. (1999)

Understanding the causal mechanisms of visual processing problems: A possible biochemical basis for Irlen Syndrome?

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 4(4), pages 21-29.

*Robinson, G.L., Roberts, T.K. & Dunstan, H. (2007) – Irlen Syndrome: Important Features, Effects on Reading and Possible Underlying Causes (Including Immune System Dysfunction).

Paper presented at 9th International Irlen conference, Auckland, New Zealand. 3-6 January.

*Robinson, G.L., Roberts, T.K., McGregor, N.R., (University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia), Barbolini, G., (University of Modena, Italy). (2000)

A Biochemical Analysis of People with Chronic Fatigue Who Have Irlen Syndrome.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

Robinson, G.L., McGregor, N.R., Roberts, T.K., Dunstan, R.H., & Butt, H. (2001).

A biochemical analysis of people with chronic fatigue who have Irlen syndrome: Speculation concerning immune system dysfunction. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 93, 486-504.

Summary,- This study investigated the biological basis of visual processing disabilities in adults with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The study involved 61 adults with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who were screened for visual processing problems (Irlen Syndrome) and divided into two groups according to the severity of symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. Significant variations were identified in blood lipids and urine amino and organic acids of the two groups, which may be indicative of activation of the immune system due to some infective agent. It was suggested that metabolic profiling may help the development of more valid diagnostic categories and allow more investigation of immune system dysfunction as a possible causal factor in a range of learning and behavior disorders.

Paper presented to the 7th International Irlen Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 11-14 July, 2002.

Robinson, G.L., Sparkes, D.L., Roberts, T.K., Dunstan, H., McGregor, N.R., Conway, R.N.F. University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. (2002)

Biochemical Anomalies in People with Irlen Syndrome: Overlapping Diagnostic Categories, Immune System Dysfunction and Dietary Intervention.


There is growing evidence of a biochemical basis for a variety of learning and behavioural problems, including a visual processing sub-type of dyslexia (IS), which was the subject of this paper. There are, however, many questions which remain unanswered, and a great deal of further research is clearly needed if we are to determine the place of biochemical anomalies as a method of early identification and as a possible underlying causal mechanism. Learning to read involves many cognitive processes and a breakdown in any of these processes may affect ability to read. Identifying the place of biochemical anomalies in this complex skill is made harder because of the likely interaction between biochemical status and environmental influences. Visual and cognitive development tends to proceed in a sequential and hierarchical fashion and Neuringer et al. (1994) claim that early sensory deficits may lead to a greater vulnerability in later development and thus more vulnerability to the influence of environmental factors such as infection and stress (Horrobin et al., 1995). It is also important to note that changes in biochemistry, such as fatty acid composition would affect membrane structure and membrane enzymes, as well as many other metabolic processes, and thus a single factor may not explain the whole process of learning affected by fatty acids (Yoshida, Sato, & Okoyama, 1998). It has been further suggested that biochemical anomalies and/or neural malfunction may operate in a reciprocal causation cycle (Farmer & Klein, 1995; Stein & Talcott, 1999), with changes in brain biochemistry leading to alterations in neural functioning, which could lead to further changes in neural functioning. We are only just beginning to be aware of the complexity of causal mechanisms, which may incorporate a multiplicity of chemical and electrical responses.

*Robinson G.L., Sparkes, D.L., Roberts, T.K., & Dunstan H. (2004)

Biochemical Anomalies in People with Irlen Syndrome

Presented at the Eighth International Irlen Conference, Brugge, Belgium, July 7-11 2004.

Visual processing problems, such as Irlen Syndrome, are becoming increasingly recognised as a cause of reading difficulties/dyslexia. In attempting to understand the causes of these visual processing problems, there have been investigations of both neurological anomalies (deficits in the magnocellular visual pathway) and biochemical anomalies (deficits in fatty acid metabolism). This paper will review possible biochemical anomalies and discuss recent research in the area.

Initial studies using biochemical profiles of people with Irlen Syndrome identified a number of anomalies, which could be indicators of infection and which may influence fatty acid metabolism. These initial studies, however, may have been influenced by the fact that many people with Irlen syndrome have other disabilities, which could confuse the interpretation of results. A further study was undertaken of both adults and children with Irlen syndrome who did not have other medical conditions. The results of this study found differences in specific amino acids that act as neurotransmitters, can be indicators of a reaction to infection and have been identified in people with symptoms of autism. There were also differences in plasma lipids, such as cholesterol, which also can be an indicator of infection and which can influence the supply of fatty acids. In addition, cholesterol lowering therapies have been linked to depression and aggression, which may help explain the significant mood changes found in people with Irlen Syndrome and this study. It is hoped that the identification of biochemical profiles will help to validate Irlen Syndrome and facilitate early identification. It has been claimed that many children with a reading disability are not identified until the age of 9, by which time they experienced significant and prolonged failure.

Copies of the paper can be obtained from Associate Professor Greg Robinson:

Special Education Centre

University of Newcastle

Callaghan NSW 2308


Romani, A., Conte, S., Callieco, R., Bergamaschi, R., Versino, M., Lanzi, G., Zambrino C.H. & Cosi, V. (2001) Visual Evoked Potential Abnormalities in Dyslexic Children.

Functional Neurology, 16 (3) 219 – 229

Rourke, B.P. (1989) – Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: The Syndrome and the Model.

New York, The Guilford Press

*Rosehart, David A. (1995)

Irlen Syndrome: A Review of the Research.

Full Spectrum Reading, Toronto.

Rosenhall, V., Johannson, G., & Orndhl, G. (1996).

Otoneurological and audiologic findings in fibromyalgia.

Rehabilitation Medicine, 28(4), 225-232.

Runyon, S. (1995).

Results of a pre-assessment of SSS.

Irlen Institute International Journal, 10(1), page 5.

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Start of the S authors On Irlen Syndrome.

Saint-John, L.M. & White, M.A. (1988).

The effect of coloured transparencies on the reading performance of reading disabled children.

Aurtralian Journal of Psychology, 40, pages 403-411.

Safra D., & Steiner Fritz (2007)

Abnormal postneuritic disturbaces and their reduction through a color filter.

ABSTRACT After a third episode of multiple sclerosis with retrobulbar neuritis, a female patient showed abnormal postneuritic symptoms, which to our knowledge have never been previously described:

1. Extremely impaired black/white sensitivity, which bothers her mostly when reading.

2. Having the impression that the floor is moving; this hinders her enormously when walking.

Unusually and surprisingly these disturbances were corrected with a special blue color filter. The cause of these symptoms was assumed to be the hyperexcitability of the magnocellular system; this as a result of a weakening of the parvocellular system due to the neuritis, although signs of partial postneuritic optic nerve atrophy could not be found at the examination. The positive effect of the color filter was interpreted as a fortification of the parvocellular system and its depressant effect on the magnocellular system. Furthermore, a standard variant of the patient's retinal sensory apparatus was discussed, which may be responsible for these abnormal postneuritic disturbances and their correction with a color filter.

Sawyer, C., Taylor, S. & Willcocks, S. (1994).

Trasparent coloured overlalys and learning difficulties.

Educational Psychology in Practice, 9(4), pages 217-220.

Schaffer, M. (1994).

The effect of Irlen coloured overlays on improving student reading achievement.

Unpublished Report. District 25 Queens: New York City, Board of Administration Studies.

ABSTRACT This study was undertaken to ascertain if improved reading achievement would be attained by students with perceptual reading difficulties who used Irlen colored overlays when reading. The students of reading teachers and resource room teachers in three elementary and three junior high schools were screened. One hundred fifty-one students who showed evidence of reading strain or difficulty on a pre-assessment questionnaire participated in the study. Fifty-five of those students used the Irlen colored overlay on the 1993 standardized citywide reading test. There was a significant difference in gain scores from 1992 to 1993 for those who used the overlays. Those students who used the overlays also reported greater ease when reading. Staff with the same reading strain of difficulty problems who had suffered from "reading related" headaches no longer had headaches when they used the overlays or filters (tinted lenses).

Judging for the positive student reactions to use of the overlays for the reading test and the improvement shown in student reading performance, screening for the Irlen syndrome and use of the overlays in school and at home should be considered as an aid to increased educational attainment and cost containment in the form of fewer referrals for special education evaluation.

Scheiman, M., Blaskey, P., Ciner, E.B., Gallaway, M., Parisi, M., Pollack, K. & Selznick, R. (1989) - Vision Characteristics of Individuals Identified as Irlen Filter Candidates.

Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Draft only [88 pp17]

Schein, M.O.D. (1994) – Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome: Reading Disability and Vision Disorders.

Journal of Behavioural Optometry, 5, 63 – 65

Shafir, U. & Siegel, L.S. (1994) – Subtypes of Learning Disabilities in Adolescents and Adults.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27, 123 – 134

Shapiro, K.L., Raymond, J.E. & Arnell, K.M. (1994) – Attention to Visual Pattern Information Produces the Attentional Blink in Rapid Serial Visual Presentations.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20, 357 – 371

Simons, H.D. & Girsham, J.D. (1987) – Binocular Anomalies and Reading Problems.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 58, 578 - 587

*Sitch, S., Sperraza, A. and Schubert, M. (1994)

The Occurrence of the Symptoms of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in Western New York.

Unpublished paper.

ABSTRACT…Some recent research suggests that reading disabilities may be caused by Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity. A study has been carried out in a third grade, ninth grade, and under-graduate setting in the Western New York area. Thirteen third graders, twenty-one ninth graders and twenty-one undergraduates, none of whom had reading disabilities were given the RSQ to test for symptoms of Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity. Eighty-four percent of the third graders, eighty-five percent of the ninth graders and eighty-five percent of the undergraduates demonstrated characteristics of Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity.

Skottun, B.C. (1997) – The Magnocellular Deficit Theory of Dyslexia.

Trends in Neuroscience, 29 (9), 397 - 398

Skottun, B.C. (2000) – The Magnocellular Deficit Theory of Dyslexia: The Evidence from Contrast Sensitivity.

Vision Research, 40, 111 - 127

Skottun, B.C. & Parke, L.A.(1999) – The Possible Relationship Between Visual Deficits and Dyslexia.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 2 - 5

Solan, H.A. (1998) – Influence of Varying Luminance and Wavelength on Comprehension and Reading Efficiency: A Brief Review of Three Studies.

Journal of Optometric Vision Development, 29 (3), 98 - 103

*Solan, H.A. & Richman, J. (1990) - Irlen Lenses: A Critical Appraisal.

Journal of American Optometric Association. Vol. 61, No. 10. [86 pp9]

Solan, H.A. & Branna, J.R. & Ficarra, A.P. (1997) – Transient and Sustained Processing: Effects of Varying Luminance and Wavelength on Reading Comprehension.

Journal of American Optometric Association, 68, 503 - 510

Solan, H.A., Ficarra, A., Brannan, J.R., & Rucker, F. (1998).

Eye movement efficiency in normal and reading disabled elementary school children: Effects of varying luminance and wavelength.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 69(7), pages 455-464.

Solman, R.T., Cho, H. & Dain, S.J. (1992).

Colour mediated grouping effects in good and disabled readers.

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 11, 320-327.

*Solman, Robert T., Dain, Stephen J. and Keech, Sarah L. (1991)

Color-Mediated Contrast Sensitivity in Disabled Readers.

Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 68 No. 5,pp. 331-337.

Solman, R.T. & May, J.T. (1990).

Spatial localisation discrepancies: A visual deficit in reading.

American Journal of Psychology, 103, pages 243-263.

*Solman, R. T, Dain, S. J. and Keech, S. L. (1991) - Color-Mediated Contrast Sensitivity in Disabled Readers.

Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 68 No. 5, 331-337. [22 pp7]

Sparkes, D.L., Robinson, G.L., Dunstan, H, & Roberts, T.K. (2003) – Plasma Cholesterol Levels and Irlen Syndrome: Preliminary Study of 10 - 17 Year-Old Students.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 97, 743 - 752

Sparkes, D., Robinson, G.L, Roberts, T, and Dunstan, H. (2006) Learning Disabilities: New Research. Chapter 4 - General Health and Associated Biochemistry in a Visual-Perceptual Subtype of Dyslexia; pp. 81 - 98. Publishers Nova Science Publishers, New York. ( ISBN: 1-59454-900-7

Chapter 4 synopsis - The general health of adults and juveniles with a visual-perceptual subtype known as Irlen Syndrome was investigated in relation to changes in urinary and plasma biochemistry. In comparison to a normal reading control group of individuals without Irlen Syndrome, those with Irlen Syndrome showed problems with the dysregulation of the immune system, photophobia, neurocognition, mood, and with muscle cramps and twitches. The significant increases in these problems suggests that in those with Irlen Syndrome, reading difficulties were accompanied by reductions in general "well-being" of the individual.

Editors: Soren V. Randall

Book Description: Copied from the publishers web site.

A learning disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information. The term learning disability is used to describe the seeming unexplained difficulty a person of at least average intelligence has in acquiring basic academic skills. These skills are essential for success at school and work and for coping with life in general. LD is not a single disorder. It is a term that refers to a group of disorders. LD is a disorder that affects people’s ability to either interpret what they see and hear to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways: as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self control or attention. Typical learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia – often complicated by associated disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This new book brings together leading research in the field.

Stanley, G. (1987)

Colour filters and Dyslexia.

Australian Journal of Remedial Education. Vol. 19 No. 3, pp 8-9.

*Stanley, P. (1986)

Study of Scotopic Sensitivity.

Benefits from Photopic Transmittant Lenses.

*Stanley, P.M. (19??) - Study on Irlen Filters:

Colour, Latitude, Longitude & Other Factors. [86 pp10]

Stanovitch, K.E. (1986) – Matthew Effects in Reading: Some Consequences of Individual Differences in the Acquisition of Literacy.

Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360 - 407

*Steffert, B. (2004) – The ABCD of Reading: Alpha, Balance, Colour and Dyslexia.

Paper presented at the 8th International Irlen conference. Brugge, Belgium 7 – 11 July.

Stein, J. (2003) - Visual Motion Sensitivity and Reading.

Neuropsychologica 41, 1785 – 1793 (IrlenUK Archive has abstract only)

Stein, J. & Fowler, S. (1985) – Effect of Monocular Occlusion on Visuomotor Perception and Reading in Dyslexic Children.

The Lancet, 2, 68 – 73

Stein, J. & Talcott, J. (1999).

Impaired neuronal timing in developmental dyslexia: The magnocellular hypothesis.

Dyslexia, 5, 56-77.

Steiner, Fritz, (2002)

Low Vision and/or Irlen Syndrome

7th International Irlen Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

1 Introduction

We find many forms of disturbed vision in the field of low vision rehabilitation, different in the various groups of age and different in various diseases. There are many assessment tools to provide evaluation of low vision, prescription of low vision devices and teaching techniques in how to use them.

Visual acuity and visual field do not cover the whole magnitude of visual performance. There are many other aspects influencing the visual performance which are not detected by standard optical or ophthalmic assessment. The Irlen technology offers an approach to proceed in a more systematic way to detect other disturbed aspects of visual perception. Some basics in low vision and experiences with visually impaired patients are reported in the presentation "Low Vision and/or Irlen Syndrome".

Steiner, F. (2005) – Schleudertrauma und Visuelle Wahrnehmunsstorungen.

Schleudertrauma Info, S, 22 - 26

*Steiner, F. (2007) – Whiplash Injury and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries in Irlen Syndrome.

Summary of paper presented at the 9th International Irlen conference, Auckland, New Zealand. 3-6 January

Stokes, L.D & Stokes, M.C. (1990) - A Follow-up on User Satisfaction with Irlen Filters.

International Irlen Newsletter, 3(1), 3-4

Stolzenberg, M.E., Ritty, J.M., Cohen, A. & Liebegmann, S. (1989) – Effects of Ocular Functioning and Time Upon Reading Proficiency.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 60, 122 - 126

Stokes, L.D. & Stokes, M.C. (1990).

A follow-up on user's satisfaction with Irlen filters.

Irlen Institute International Newsletter, 3(1), 3-4.

Stordy, B. J. (1995).

Benefits of docosahexaenoic acid supplements to dark adaption in dyslexics.

The Lancet, 346, 385.

Sumbler, K. (1994).

Visual processing characteristics of disabled readers diagnosed with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and the effectiveness of the Irlen overlays.

Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto, Canada.

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Talcott, J., Hanse, P.C., Assoku, E.L. & Stein, J. (2000) – Visual Motion Sensitivity in Dyslexia: Evidence for Temporal and Energy Integration Deficits.

Neuropsychologica, 38, 935 - 943

Tek, C., Gold, J., Blaxton, T., Wilk, C., McMahon, R.P., & Buchanan, R.W. (2002) – Visual Perceptual Impairments in Schizophrenia.

Archives of General Psychiatry. Feb; 59(2) 146 - 53

*Temple, Mary. (1992)

Visual Perceptual Processing:

A Review of Some of the Research Investigating the Presence of a Deficit in the Specifically Reading Disabled and Normal Populations.

Paper presented at the 2nd Irlen International Conference, Hawaii.

*Temple, M. (2000)

Some of the Effects of Irlen Syndrome on Gifted Students.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

*Tyrrell, R., Holland, K., Dennis, D. and Wilkins, A. (1995)

Coloured Overlays, Visual Discomfort, Visual Search and Classroom Reading.

Journal of Research in Reading, 18(1), pp 10-23

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Start of the U authors On Irlen Syndrome.

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Start of the V authors On Irlen Syndrome.

Valdois, S., Gerard, C., Vanault, P. & Dugas, M (1995) – Perceptual Developmental Dyslexia: A Visual Attentional Account?

Cognitive Neuropsychology, 12, 31 - 67

Vedelago, L. J. (1994).

Visual dysfunction in chronic fatigue syndrome: Behavioral optometric assessment and management.

Behavioral Optometry, 5(4), 11-18.

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Start of the W authors On Irlen Syndrome.

Waring, S., Prior, M., Sanson, A. & Smart, D. (1996) – Predictors of “Recovery” from Reading Disability.

Australia Journal of Psychology, 48, 160 - 166

*Waterhouse, S. (1995)

Sensory Overload.

Special Children, January, pp. 19-21

Westgard, S. (1993).

Color me literate: The effect of Irlen colored lenses on visual perceptual distortion.

Unpublished M.Ed. project Northwest Nazarene College, USA.

Whiteley, Helen E., Smith, Chris D. (2001)

The use of tinted lenses to alleviate reading difficulties

Journal of Research in Reading, ISSN 01423. Volume 24, Issue 1, 2001, pp 30 - 40.


An increasing number of optometrists are offering assessments using the Intuitive Colorimeter (Wilkins, Nimmo-Smith and Jansons, 1992) to determine whether children who have reading difficulties might benefit from the use of tinted lenses. Suggestions have been made in the media that tinted lenses may provide a 'cure' for developmental dyslexia, and there have been many anecdotal accounts of improvements in reading following their use (e.g. Brace, 1993). However, such extreme claims are not typical of the scientific literature supporting the use of tinted lenses. This article provides an overview of the research into the use of tinted lenses for the amelioration of reading difficulties. The electronic databases searched for this review were BIDS, MEDLINE, Psychlnfo, PsychLit and Science Direct. Key search terms used were coloured (colored) lenses, Irlen lenses, scotopic sensitivity and visual deficits in combination with the term 'reading difficulties'.

Whichard, Judith A., Feller, Richard W., Kastner, Ruthanne (2000)

The incidence of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in Colorado Inmates

Journal of Correctional Education . Volume 51 . Issue 3 . September 2000

Abstract. This study examined the incidence of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS) in Colorado inmates participating in prison education. Six prisons, representing the spectrum of security levels and educational program delivery, participated in the study. A sample of 155 inmates was selected from these sites based on age, gender, ethnicity and attained education level to participate in SSS screening. All 155 subjects completed SSS prescreening; 72 subjects completed full screening. Of the 72 subjects, 11.1% had low levels of SSS: 18.1% moderate levels: and 79.8% high levels. When given remedial colored overlays, 55.6% of the subjects demonstrated considerable reading improvement; 33.3% improved moderately. This high incidence of inmate SSS is particularly significant when contrasted to the 12%-14% of the non-incarcerated population estimated with SSS.

Whiting, P.R. (1985)

How Difficult can Reading Be? New Insight into Reading Problems.

The Teaching of English.

Journal of the English Teachers' Association, 49, pp 49-55.

ABSTRACT How many times have parents of young children with learning difficulties been told "He’ll grow out of it"?

Fifteen years ago that was a common piece of advice given to parents of children with learning difficulties. In some places, it is still given. Yet today we have a whole generation of learning disabled adults who were children twenty years ago, and they have not ‘grown out of it'.

Today, conservative estimates put the number of learning disabled in the population at 10% or more. Most of these have reading difficulties.

Clearly, there are no easy solutions. Learning difficulties seem to have a multitude of different etiologies, and diagnostic treatment procedures are symptomatic, at best. In many cases, all we can do is prescribe continued intensive remedial treatment. At the Evelyn McCloughan Children’s Centre, we have seen children who have had eight or more years of continuous remedial instruction, which has cost the parents in excess of ten thousand dollars. The result is in most cases, a child who reads poorly, or with difficulty. Rarely do we see a learning disabled child who is completely "cured".

To have a generation of learning disabled who have grown up to adulthood and are still learning disabled has one advantage for those of us working in the field: we can ask the adults to tell us about their problems, and many of them have had sufficient time and intelligence to enable them to reflect helpfully on those problems.

Whiting, P.R., & Robinson, G.L. (2001).

The interpretation of emotion from facial expression for people with a visual sub-type of dyslexia.

The Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 6(4), 6-14.


Investigations of dyslexia have largely focused on academic failure, but the development of social skills is being increasingly recognized as important. A number of studies have claimed that negative social skills identified in such people might relate to the inability to decode subtle social cues. In particular, facial expression has been identified as critical to the development of social responsiveness, with some studies finding that children with learning disabilities/dyslexia were less accurate in interpreting facial emotions. The majority of studies of interpretation of facial expression, however, viewed dyslexia as a unitary condition, and only made comparisons between this group and a group with no learning disabilities. There are almost certainly sub-types, and a separate assessment of these is needed. In particular, people with visual processing disabilities which are sufficient to cause problems in identifying letters and words, may also have problems in interpreting subtle visual cues of facial emotion. This study investigated ability to interpret emotion in facial expression in a visual perceptual sub-type called Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome), which is claimed to have central nervous system origin, with a deficit in the magnocellular visual neurological pathway being implicated. A deficit in this pathway has also been proposed as a possible cause of visual processing problems leading to social misperception. The study assessed 38 children with Irlen Syndrome in comparison to 31 normally achieving peers aged between 8 and 12 years. Participants with Irlen Syndrome were as different from normal-achieving peers in recognition of facial affect and recognition of faces as they were in word identification and word attack. Application of Irlen filters to the experimental group appeared to reduce the differences between groups on these tests.

*Whiting, P.R. (2000)

Assessment for Dyslexia.

Paper presented to the 6th Irlen International Conference, Australia. 5-8 July, 2000.

*Whiting, Paul R. and Robinson, Gregory L.W. (1988)

Using Irlen Coloured Lenses for Reading: A Clinical Study.

The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 5, November, pp. 7-10.

Whiting, P.R., Robinson, G.L. (2002)

The Interpretation of Emotion from Facial Expression for Children with a Visual Sub-Type of Dyslexia.

Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 6,4, (2001), pp.6-14.

Whiting, P., Robinson, G.L. & Parrot, C.F. (1994)

Irlen coloured filters for reading: A clinical study.

Australian Journal of Remedial Education, 26(3), pages 13-19.

ABSTRACT. Some recent evidence from both clinical and empirical studies has suggested that some cases of reading disability might be helped by the use of Irlen tinted lenses. Clinical work has been carried out in two special education centres, at Sydney CAE and at Hunter Institute of Higher Education. Four hundred and sixty five clients from these centres, all of whom had reading problems, and who had worn Irlen lenses for a minimum of 12 months were surveyed to assess their evaluation of the usefulness of the lenses for a variety of literacy-related difficulties. Ninety three percent indicated a definite improvement in these difficulties. Largest improvements were reported in the amount of effort required to read, fluency of reading, concentration, and comprehension. In each factor surveyed, more than 50% of respondents indicated definite improvements, including handwriting, spelling, tiredness, and self-confidence. Telephone checks with non-respondents indicated that the results are probably reliable for the whole of the population surveyed.

*Whiting, Paul R. (1988)

Improvement in Reading and Other Skills Using Irlen Coloured Lenses.

Australian Journal of Remedial Education, Volume 20 No. 1 p.13-15.

ABSTRACT A recent article by Gordon Stanley in the Australian Journal of Remedial Education appeared to cast doubt on the usefulness of Irlen Tinted Lenses in assisting children and adults with reading difficulties.

The following article reports a follow up of eighteen months of clinical trials of the lenses at The Evelyn McCloughan Children’s Centre at Sydney College of Advanced Education. Although this is survey research, the results are sufficiently strong and consistent to indicate that the procedure is worth further trials. In addition such empirical research as has been done (reported in this article and elsewhere in this journal) tends to confirm and amplify these results.

*Whiting, P. (1992)

Coloured Lenses - What Do We Know Now?

Australia SPELD News, December.

*Whiting, P, Robinson, G.L.W., and Parrott, C.F. (1994)

Irlen Coloured Filters for Reading: A Six Year Follow Up Study.

Australian Journal of Remedial Education, Vol. 26 No: 3 p.13-19

ABSTRACT Irlen coloured filters have been the subject of debate and research for some years. An early study (Whiting & Robinson, ‘1988) followed up subjects who had used the filters for more than one year, and found that there was a highly positive response after that time. The present study surveyed the same subjects after six years, and again found a positive response to the filters. Ninety- four (94) percent of subjects reported continuing improvements, and 58% reported overall large improvements in at least three areas of performance related to written text. Responses, categorised in different areas of improvements, are compared with other surveys that have used similar methods.

*Whiting, P., (1994)

Irlen Coloured Filters: A Summary of Emerging Research and Indications of Help for Those Appearing to be Learning Disabled and Others.

The Bulletin for Learning Disabilites. Vol. 3 No. 1 pp. 66-81

*Whiting, P., (1994/1995)

Visual Aspects of Dyslexia.

The Bulletin for Learning Disabilites. No:2 1994 /No: 1 1995 pp. 13-35

*Wilkins, A. (1993) - Overlays for Classroom and Optometric Use: Technical Note.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, Vol14, 97 - 99

*Wilkins, A. and Neary, C. (1991)

Some Visual, Optometric and Perceptual Effects of Coloured Glasses.

Opthal. Physiol. Opt., Vol. 11 April.

Wilkins, A. (1997).

A system for precision ophthalmic tinting and its role in the treatment of visual stress.

In C.M. Dickinson, I.J. Murray & D. Carden (Eds.). John Dalton's colour vision legacy. pages 695-708. London: Taylor & Francis.

*Wilkins, A. (2000) – Coloured Overlay and Their effects on Reading Speed: A Review.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 22, 448 - 454

*Wilkins, A., Peck, A. and Jordan, B.

Visual Discomfort in the Classroom.

Wilkins, A.J. & Clark, C. (1990).

Modulation of lighting from fluorescent lights.

Lighting and Research Technology, 22(2), 103-109.

Wilkins, A.J., Evans, B.J.W., Brown, J.A., Busby, A.E., Wingfield, A.E., Jeanes, R.J. & Bald, J. (1994).

Double-masked placebo-controlled trial of precision spectral filters in children who use coloured overlays.

Ophthalmological & Physiological Optics, 14, 365-370.

Wilkins, A.J., Jeanes, R.J., Pumfrey, P.D. & Laskier, M. (1996).

Rate of Reading test: Its reliability and validity in the assessment of the effects of coloured overleys.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 16(6), 491-497

*Wilkins, A. J. & Lewis, E. (1999) – Coloured Overlays: Text and Texture.

Perception, 28 641 – 650

Wilkins, A. & Neary, G. (1991).

Some visual, optometric and perceptual effects of coloured glasses.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 11, pages 163-171.

Wilkins, A., Nimmo-Smith, I., Slater, A.I. & Bedocs, L. (1989).

Flurorescent lighting, headaches and eye strain.

Lighting Research and Techology, 21(1), 11-18.

Wilkins, A. & Wilkinson, P. (1991).

A tint to reduce eye strain from fluorescent lighting: Preliminary observations.

Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics, 11, pages 172-175.

Wilkins, A., Huang, J. & Cao, Y (2004).

Visual stress theory and its application to reading and reading tests.

Journal of Research in Reading, Vol. 27, Issue 2, 2004, pp 152-162.

This paper presents a theory of visual stress. The theory is applied to the assessment of symptoms of visual stress and its treatment with coloured filters. The theory has implications for standard reading assessments that relate both to the visual skills and the age of the children taking the tests. These implications are reviewed, with the conclusion that insufficient attention is paid to visual factors in reading, particularly in the design of reading tests.

Williams, M.C. & Bologna, N.B. (1985) – Perceptual Grouping in Good and Poor Readers.

Perception and Psychophysics, 38, 367 - 374

Williams, M.C. & LeCluyse, K. (1989) – Perceptual Consequences of a Transient System Deficit in Disabled Readers. Procedures International Congress of Psychology, Sydney, Australia

Williams, M.C., LeCluyse, K. & Rock-Faucheux, A. (1992).

Effective interventions for reading disability.

Journal of the American Optometric Association, 63, pages 411-417.

ABSTRACT A simple, readily accessible, and inexpensive intervention which produces immediate improvements in the reading comprehension abilities of reading-disabled children has been found. The intervention consists of colored overlays, or overlays which reduce the contrast of printed materials. This intervention produces reading comprehension gains in approximately 80 percent of the reading-disabled children tested.

Williams, M.C., Brannan, J.R. & Latrigue, E.K. (1987) – Visual Search in Good and Poor Readers.

Clinical Vision Sciences, 1, 367 - 371

*Williams, M.C., Littell, R.R., Reinoso, C. and Greve, K. (1994)

Effect of Wavelength on Performance of Attention-Disordered and Normal Children on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.

Neuropsychology Vol. 8, No: 2 pp 187-193.

Williams, M.C., Breitmeyer, B.G., Lovegrove, W.J. & Gutierrez, C. (1991) – Metacontrast with Masks Varying in Spatial Frequency and Wavelength.

Vision Research, 31, (11)

Williams, M.C. & Lovegrove, W.J. (1992).

Sensory and perceptual processing in reading disability.

In J. Brannan (Ed.), Application of parallel processing in vision (pages 263-302), Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.

Winter, S. (1987).

Irlen lenses: An appraisal.

Australian Educational and Development Psychologist, 5, 7-10.

Zuccone, C. (1999).

Why am I so tired by noon? The incidence of Irlen Syndrome among teachers and staff in an American public elementary school.

Unpublished manuscript. Carol F. Zuccone, EdD, and Associates, Houston, Texas.

There is no claim that this is a definitive list.