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Ntroduction to ntroduction to Irlen syndrome Irlen syndromeI A visual perceptual dysfunction Affecting 18-20% of the population Guide for Instructors (driving.

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Presentation on theme: "Ntroduction to ntroduction to Irlen syndrome Irlen syndromeI A visual perceptual dysfunction Affecting 18-20% of the population Guide for Instructors (driving."— Presentation transcript:

1 ntroduction to ntroduction to Irlen syndrome Irlen syndromeI A visual perceptual dysfunction Affecting 18-20% of the population Guide for Instructors (driving you to destruction) This guide was produced by Janet Edwards for the Reading By Colour charity. (Photocopyable for instructors use only) Printed in May 2011

2 Introduction 1 Facts 2 Quiz 3 Brain Scan 4 Distortions with Implications 5 – 8 Symptoms and consequent driving faults 9 So why is Irlen syndrome not listed in the health conditions “that could affect your driving?” 10 Feedback Symptoms 14 Screening Form- Driving 15 Screening Form--General

3 (1) Introduction (1) Hats off to all you driving instructors, you do an amazing job! I certainly couldn’t do it. This guide is designed to give you the instructor the tools necessary to detect when your client needs referring for Irlen screening. Irlen syndrome is not detected with the standard eye testing. Perceptual dysfunction is not screened for prior to taking the practical driving test. It is not mentioned on the health conditions “that could affect driving.” If after reading the list of symptoms you feel that your client, could need Investigation feel free to pass our information on to them. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. A screening form is included in this pack. We are happy to analyse the results for your client, and give advice to both you and your client. We also offer presentations to organisations. Irlen syndrome, unlike some disorders, is improved with detection. The use of Irlen™ filters can be life changing. Irlen spectral filters can be worn for driving at night, so cutting out the dazzle from headlights and streetlights. Reading By Colour Charity Folkestone Complementary Health Centre 4 West Cliff Gardens Folkestone Kent CT20 1SP Telephone us on (skype) - Facebook – Irlen syndrome support - Reading by Colour charity To order an electronic copy of the instructors guide please contact us (We also have a guide which outlines the academic and physical problems that Irlen syndrome causes this can also be issued on request).

4 (2) Irlen syndrome affects 18-20% of the population. It is not diagnosed by standard visual testing. Each individual has their own degree of symptoms and colour needs. Approx. 50% of dyslexics and as many as 30% with ASD, ADD (HD), dyspraxia and dyscalculia have Irlen syndrome. Irlen syndrome restricts the span of focus causing difficulty seeing cars in other lanes, pedestrians, road signs, and road exits. The majority of sufferers are unaware that what they perceive is not normal, and therefore cannot recognize the problem by themselves. Irlen filters counteract the spectral light which causes distortion, allowing the brain to process visual information correctly. The wearer does not see the filter colour, therefore Irlen filters can be worn legally at night as long as they are not too dark. Irlen filters are as necessary to the Irlen sufferer as prescription glasses are to the short or long sighted. Irlen syndrome causes fatigue and lack of concentration. Distortions caused by Irlen syndrome can KILL. Facts (2)

5 (3) Which vehicle do you think is the most dangerous? (3) Answer Second row on the right this person has severe Irlen syndrome.

6 (4) Brain scan showing Irlen syndrome and the difference with and without Irlen filters

7 (5) Distortions with Implications (4) Imagine driving along the road and the only part you can see clearly is the red car in front.

8 (6) Blinded by the light, about to change lane.

9 (7) See the world blurry and fragmented. Could you safely judge a distance?

10 (8) So where is the car? Where are the road markings? Why am I dizzy? I wonder!

11 (9) lack of concentration over caution when changing lanes blinded by headlights and streetlights frequently clipping the kerb headaches and fatigue extreme light sensitivity lines appearing to merge blurry, tunnel or fragmented vision poor judge of speed and distance dizziness and disorientation frequently driving closely to the car in front

12 (10) Irlen syndrome Night- blindness Attention deficit disorder Diplopia (double vision) DizzinessVisual field defect Cognitive problems Anxiety These are only some of the listed health conditions that “could affect driving” any one of these could be Irlen syndrome so why is Irlen syndrome not on the list? (5)

13 (11) My name is Karla Griffiths; my main concerns were my lack of spatial awareness and inability to judge distance as well as an aversion to lights. I have been driving for five years now, and one look at my car tells you which aspects of driving are not my strong points! I used to make excuses about each ding or knock, this person distracted me, or mirrors were dirty, luckily the only thing I ever damaged was my own car, but it could have been a person, animal, or somebody’s car. I wouldn’t drive through tunnels (i.e. The Dartford tunnel, the Roundhill tunnel etc I was next to blind at night and definitely suffered visual impairment with headlights approaching me, streetlights and strong sunlight. The financial implications of this were that my insurance after four years of driving, being over twenty five, having a group eight car was still almost £1000!!!! So, I was tested and Irlen syndrome, was identified. I then needed to have a further diagnostic test to prescribe which coloured filters would help me, this is a long process, but fascinating, I honestly did not want to give the variety of lenses back!! So, have my filters changed anything? The difference was amazing! I received the glasses two weeks ago, since then my driving has improved to such a degree that I’m actually enjoying driving again! I have driven in the dark, through tunnels, for over an hour at a time and my first drive after picking up my glasses was about a sixty mile round trip! Other things have changed too, I no longer fall asleep during every film I watch or suffer from migraines when reading, using the laptop, or watching TV, there IS a difference with HD channels and when I watched a film that had a long shot in a wooded area the trees were in perspective, when I lifted my glasses up to see the difference (I still do this a lot!) the trees were somewhat flat and almost in a line not set back from one another as they are with the glasses! In my mind the real telling point of the success of the filters and my driving skills was affirmed when I was running late, forgot to put my glasses on, drove the school run and walloped the car into the kerb causing a two inch split in the tyre and half hour messing about changing the wheel not to mention the cost of replacing the tyre. This is a photograph of the crash Karla had. We are not claiming that this would not have happened had she been wearing her filters, nevertheless it’s certainly food for thought! “I was next to blind at night” (6)

14 (12) I was having several different types of perceptual problems while driving and consequently found myself getting into accidents quite frequently. The types of problems that I have experienced while driving include: tunnel vision, difficulty with accurately judging distance, problems with discerning and processing motion, certain optical illusions such as the appearance that two separate lanes of traffic seem to cross over into each other and the appearance that turnoffs on the interstate seem to sometimes disappear from certain angles. When I experienced difficulties with processing motion it was usually significantly worse during the daytime that it is at night. Sometimes I would notice that when it was a bright sunny day it was very difficult for me to be able to accurately judge distance between myself and other cars ahead. It did not look like a motion which happened smoothly and gradually, but rather it looked more like a motion projector with several missing segments in the film strip thus creating a choppy sense of motion and lessening or expanding distance between me and the car in front. sort of like a jumpy effect, the cars appeared two hundred feet to about twenty feet away in a matter of less than a second and I had no explanation how this could have happened. My name is Chris Abdouch. I would like to say that the Irlen lenses havebeen a great helpfor me to become a much safer and more confident driver. Firstly I willdescribe for you what typesof difficulties I was facing while driving, to help give a better understanding ofjust how much my IrlenSpectral Filters have benefited me My name is Chris Abdouch. I would like tosay that the Irlen filters have been a greathelp for me to become a much safer andmore confident driver. Firstly I will describefor you what types of difficulties I was facingwhile driving, to help give a betterunderstanding of just how much my IrlenSpectral Filters have benefited me……….. “My peripheral vision has come back” (6)

15 (13) At nightime II experienced not being able to see roads accurately and not knowing where the turns and curves in the road were. Winter conditions presented extra problems because my vision seems to become more tunneled and roads were concealed by the snow so that made it even harder for me discern where the roads were going. During the summer season in daytime I was usually in much better shape as far as visibility however the tunneled vision caused a lot of problems for me especially when I was trying to make turns or lane changes because it was very difficult for me to see what was around me with limited visual awareness. Since I started driving I was getting into an accident a year on average which meant that from the time I started driving at the age of fifteen to age twenty-five I had been in about ten accidents. Since being diagnosed and treated for Irlen syndrome I have been a much safer driver and my visual awareness has improved significantly. My peripheral vision has come back again, as well as my ability to accurately judge space and distance between myself and other vehicles has improved significantly also and I am not experiencing nearly as many problems processing the motion of other cars and how fast I am approaching them. Over all I have been a much safer and confident driver since I have been treated for Irlen syndrome and started wearing the Irlen Spectral filters in my lenses. I have not had a single accident in the last two years. “My peripheral vision has come back” (6)

16 (14) The symptoms ( ) Parking Difficulty parking Feel you will hit the car in front Hit the kerb or leave to much space Difficulty seeing where the kerb is Physical Symptoms Become drowsy driving and as a passenger Lack of concentration Feel dizzy with motion Have blurry, or tunnelled vision Bothered by bright sunlight Rain on the windscreen dazzles Driving Performance Feel uncertain changing lanes Drive too close/far away from the car in front Difficulty judging speed and/or distances Drive too close to parked cars Distortion Difficulty seeing where the kerb is. Difficulty seeing the road markings Lanes or cars appearing to merge Experience distortion and glare from snow and water. Have blurry and/or fragmented vision Lack of peripheral vision disabling ability when pulling out into traffic Feel passengers are uneasy with your driving

17 (15) Circle the answer applicable to you Do you find parking difficult? Yes No Feel you will hit the car in front or behind? Yes No Hit the kerb or leave too much space? Yes No Have difficulty seeing where the kerb is? Yes No Become drowsy driving or as a passenger? Yes No Lack concentration? Yes No Feel dizzy with motion? Yes No Have blurry, or tunnelled vision? Yes No Are you bothered by bright sunlight? Yes No Does rain on the windscreen dazzle you? Yes No Does dirt on the windscreen distract you? Yes No Do you feel uncertain when changing lanes? Yes No Drive too close/far away from the car in front? Yes No Have difficulty judging speed? Yes No Have difficulty judging distance? Yes No Have difficulty seeing the road markings? Yes No Do lanes appear to merge? Yes No Do cars appear to merge? Yes No Do you experience distortion from snow? Yes No Do you experience distortion from the rain? Yes No Are passengers uneasy with your driving? Yes No Please return to the Reading By Colour Charity Folkestone Complementary Health Centre 4 West Cliff Gardens Folkestone Kent CT20 1SP

18 (16) Screening form for optional completion- Please return to the Reading by Colour Charity with the driving questionnaire Name: Date: Instructions: Read the questions below with me. Answer to the best of your ability. Each question is personal to you. There is no right or wrong answer. For example, with the question “Do you like reading?” answer what you really feel. If you do not enjoy reading, you can say so. Section A: Do you like reading? If not, can you explain why not? How long can you sustain reading before your eyes get tired or want to stop? 2-3 mins 5 mins 10 mins 30 mins 1 hour Why do you stop then? What happens if you keep going? When you get to the point when you want to stop: How do your eyes feel? How does your head feel? Do the words always stay nice and clear? Do the words always stay still? Section B: Circle round the word that applies to you yes or no Do you hang onto the railing going up/downstairs? yes no Do you miscalculate the number of stairs at the top or bottom? yes no Do you bump into furniture or doorways? yes no Did you have trouble with balance when learning to ride a bike? yes no Do you have trouble riding a bike in a straight line? yes no If riding close to the kerb do you hit the kerb? yes no Do you hesitate when getting onto an escalator or feel funny or ill? yes no Do you have difficulty with ball games? yes no

19 (17) Do you have trouble following the ball on TV sports shows?yes no Are you accident prone?yes no When walking do you feel dizzy or light headed?yes no Did you have problems skipping or jumping a rope when younger?yes no Did you have trouble colouring inside the lines?yes no Did you have problems cutting on the lines?yes no Do you feel dizzy on heights or ladders?yes no Instructions: Think about what reading is like when you get to point when you want tostopC (i). Effects on reading Circle round the word that applies yes no not sureWhen reading:Do you skip lines by mistake? yes no not sure Do you lose your place? yes no not sure Do you misread words? yes no not sure Do you skip words by mistake? yes no not sure Do you reread the same line by mistake? yes no not sure Do you avoid reading or reading out loud? yes no not sure Do you tend to read word by word? yes no not sure Does white or glossy paper bother you? yes no not sure Do you take in information you read? yes no not sure Do you need to look away or take breaks? yes no not sure Are you easily distracted/restless/fidgety? yes no not sure Does reading seem to get worse with time? yes no not sure Do you use something to keep your place? yes no not sure Is it difficult to remember what you read? yes no not sure

20 (18) C(ii). Physical symptoms Circle round the word that applies yes no not sure At the point when you stop reading: Do your eyes feel tired or strained?yes no not sure Do they get red or watery?yes no not sure Do they hurt, ache or burn?yes no not sure Do they feel dry, sandy, scratchy or itchy?yes no not sure Do you rub your eyes or around your eyes?yes no not sure Do you feel tired or drowsy?yes no not sure Does your head feel different or strange?yes no not sure Do you have a headache, or is one coming on?yes no not sure Do you feel sick or dizzy?yes no not sure Do you squint or frown?yes no not sure Do you open your eyes wide to see words?yes no not sure Do you blink a lot?yes no not sure Do you move closer/further away from the book?yes no not sure Do fluorescent/bright lights make reading harder? yes no not sure Section D: When copying do you copy: one word at a time?do you lose your place? more than one word? do you misspell words? less than one word? do you leave out words/lines?


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