Tuesday, 22 November 2016 21:34

HELPING YOUR CHILD READ ACCURATELY

This video below explains ways in which you can help your child to read successfully. These children sometimes appear to be having difficulties reading, but sometimes, it is just the "technique" of reading that they use.

Published in Dr Joan Brien
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 17:59

Learning Difficulties Newcastle

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Irlen Syndrome can cause headaches and nausea

A teenage girl came to see us today.. she is doing Advanced English and Extension English. She also has Irlen Syndrome (just found out today).. in Advanced English, she gets no support from the teacher and is struggling.. in Extension English, the teacher provides support for her and she is doing really well. This girl gets a headache and nauseous everyday when she has to work on white paper (which is the norm). She was able to do our tasks, and read successfully without getting a headache when she used the appropriately tinted overlay. She will return for the lenses and these will make her life much easier at school. If your child gets a headache or feels sick regularly at school, then please consider Irlen Syndrome.

Published in Dr Joan Brien
Thursday, 18 September 2014 16:48

Reading Problems Newcastle

 

 

How do you think you would cope, if every time you sat down to read, after a few minutes, the words started to float off the page? It would be very disconcerting wouldn't it? Sometimes the words float right off the page, for other people, the words float up and down off the page (like waves). There are children who see words behaving like this every time that they sit down to read or are asked to read to the teacher or their parents. Sometimes this distortion makes them feel nauseas, a bit like sea-sickness. There are some children who constantly feel sick at school, and often spend a lot of time in sick-bay. They are often not believed when they say they are sick, and that is understandable, as it is often every day, and there is no obvious cause for the sickness. BUT... these kids really are feeling sick, but don't know why and nobody else knows why, so they are told that they just have to get on with it. If you know of anyone (particularly children) who seem to be sick at school a lot of the time, without any explanation, it may be worth investigating Irlen Syndrome.

Published in Dr Joan Brien
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 16:02

Learning Difficulties Newcastle

I spent the day at Singleton today, and screened four young children who were really struggling at school and they had been referred to lots of specialists in an effort to find out why they were having trouble reading. All of them had Irlen Syndrome, and were able to read much more fluently with the selected overlay than without it. One little boy could not bear to look at the white page for longer than about 5 seconds before his eyes started to hurt. Another one gets headaches every day. He said that he got a headache yesterday evening and when asked what he was doing at the time, he said "nothing" but Mum said "playing with his WI". This is a part of Irlen that is not always recognised. When playing with electronic games, children often don't wear their lenses because the games are colourful, and don't require a lot of reading. However, they emit a lot of glare so children can get sore eyes, headaches or tired eyes but don't realise that it is the result of the glare from the games. So if your child has Irlen lenses and doesn't wear them when playing electronic games, try to explain to them, that the glare is making their brains work harder than they should be.

Published in Dr Joan Brien

Children try really hard, but when it gets too hard, they give up!

A little girl came to the clinic today to be screened for Irlen Syndrome. She is in Year 5 and was really struggling at school. The result of the screening indicated that she did have Irlen, but as well as words not looking very good for her, she also did not see the clinic room as a "square". In other words, she sees the world as almost 2-D so that the corners of the room just looked like a small indentation in a flat surface. After selecting the overlay that helped her, she looked through it and noticed this difference in how the room looked. Prior to this, her parents did not know that was how she saw the world, because she had not mentioned it to them. But why would she? As far as she knew, how she saw the world was how everyone saw the world.

That is why I feel so strongly about screening all children for Irlen in the school situation, because they don't self- report because they don't know that what they see is different from others and the only way we can know this, is if we screen them.

Published in Dr Joan Brien
Thursday, 08 May 2014 10:28

Reading Difficulties Newcastle

Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome (Part 2)

I certainly put the "cat amongst the pigeons" recently when I talked about Irlen Syndrome being confused with dyslexia! (see my Irlen Diagnostic Clinic Newcastle Facebook page June 5 post). I honestly believe that most people (who do not have a definite brain development issue) who can carry out complex thoughts and actions, can be smart in every way including practical skills and planning skills, good at hands-on activities and are as clever as their peers in everything but reading, are likely to have Irlen Syndrome. The sad thing for me is that many of these people will be diagnosed with dyslexia and will go through life with this label. If you take the literal meaning of dyslexia, it simply means "difficulty" (dys) with "language" (lexia) and this can be the result of a number of things. The person may not have had much schooling, may have had a vision problem that was never identified, may have had a hearing problem that was never identified, may have suffered a lot of sickness which interfered with their education, may have a developmental problem with their brain that can make it difficult for them to learn, despite the best efforts of educators and their families and themselves OR they could have IRLEN SYNDROME. In other words, I believe that dyslexia is not a "condition" that someone has, but rather it is a consequence of what life has dealt that individual. I am inserting a link that will take you to the assessment page of Dyslexia Australia. If you look at this page, you will see that the symptoms described (including visual distortions that are reported by people with Irlen Syndrome) are virtually identical to the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to determine whether people diagnosed with dyslexia using this assessment tool actually have Irlen Syndrome? If we found that, then these people could be helped by the use of Irlen lenses and that would allow them to begin to learn to read effectively and they would not have to go through life being labelled as "dyslexic".

http://www.dyslexia-australia.com.au/assessment.htm 

Published in Dr Joan Brien

Helen Irlen has reported that Irlen lenses can help children who have autism and aspergers. See the following link. http://irlen.com/autism-asperger-syndrome-the-irlen-method/

Currently, there is research being conducted in Australia to determine the impact of irlen lenses on those people who have autism or aspergers. The researcher is looking for participants to take part in this important research project. The participants have to be between 16 years and 26 years old. They have to have a formal diagnosis of High Functioning Autism or Aspergers and wear Irlen lenses. If you would like to be a part of this exciting project, go to the following link.

http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php/research-studies/1263-what-impact-do-irlen-spectral-filters-have-on-the-sensory-profile-of-students-who-have-both-irlen-syndrome-and-autism-spectrum-disorders 

Published in Dr Joan Brien
Monday, 12 May 2014 09:47

Reading Difficulties Newcastle

Comprehension Questions..

Some children have trouble with answering comprehension questions because they either don't understand the question or don't know how to "look for" the answer. Comprehension questions are designed to test whether a child can 1: find factual information in the passage (words are in the passage); 2: find hidden information (the words are not in the text); 3: work out what the writer is trying to say (what is the idea of the passage); 4: predict what might happen (use the information provided to work out what they "think" might happen); 5: give an opinion about what they have read in the passage (there is no right or wrong answer, but they need to justify their answer). Why not pick a small section of a book that your child is reading and make up some of these types of questions, and help them to find the answers... even if you don't feel confident to do this, I am sure you can!

Published in Dr Joan Brien