I was shocked to see the criticism
of the Helen Irlen method, Reading by the Colors. I attended a National
Reading Conference hosted by Dr. Marie Carbo, where high school teachers gave
personal testimonials to the validity of this theory.
You mention brain-base research
and teaching on your website and claim that we do not know enough about how
the brain works and how neurons are formed to actually utilize this research
in our classrooms. You say that there is still so much for us to learn
about how the brain functions. But, by putting this sarcastic comment
on your site, you give the impression that you KNOW there is absolutely no
possible way that someone's eyesight could actually be connected as described
in Dr. Irlen's book. Are you also a trained optomologist? Have
you also conducted intensive research and study in this field as Dr. Irlen?
Have YOU personally visited with individuals that suffer from this disorder
and benefit by the use of the overlays or colored lenses? I imagine
that you haven't. By allowing such slanderous remarks on your website
you give the impression that this woman's work is just a foolish notion and
that there couldn't possibly be any validity to it.
I am also insensed over the sarcastic
comment regarding Irlen Syndrome. My daughter has multiple learning difficulties,
including severe SSS. She went through every reading program we could find,
every "research based" program for dyslexics, speech language therapy, vision
therapy, etc. and nothing could get her past a 2nd grade reading level. Testing
in 6th grade showed she had severe deficits in rapid naming but that her
knowlege of phonetics was in the high range. Trying to read even short passages
caused severe eye strain, headaches, nausea and emotional strain.
I finally took her for testing to see if SSS could possibly be a reason she
could not read. Low and behold, she was classified in the severe range and
needs fairly dark colors to read with. After getting her colored lenses,
a dark turquoise color, her reading level jumped 3 grade levels. She in now
reading at a 5th grade level and challenging herself to read harder books.
It doesn't cure her reading issues because she has developed a lot of bad
habits due to LACK OF DIAGNOSIS. Had this been discovered earlier in her
school career, a lot of bad habits and reluctance to read could have been
People who continue to ignore this as a possible problem for children with
reading difficulties may be dooming those same children to a lifetime of
reading difficulties. All because they don't like colors.
BalancedReading.com • P. O. Box 300471
• Austin, TX 78703
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Last Updated 8-7-03