Tuesday, 21 January 2014

‘Why Dyslexia and not Visual Stress?’ by Dyslexia Dublin © 2014






The strength of good literacy skills is built from firm foundations, early letter and sound association (phonics, phonemes)… we all remember our phonetic alphabet.  What is a phoneme?...  a phoneme is a basic unit of a language's phonology, which is combined with other phonemes to form a meaningful unit. We can change a word by simply changing the phoneme, like kill and kiss (ll), (ss).

DYSLEXIA  -  How can we tell if someone is Dyslexic?

They can have problems with constructing words, although they are generally ok with mono syllabic words.  They can also suffer with letter reversals (using the correct letters but in the wrong sequence) and logical reasoning (not being able to form pairs of letters into sounds like ‘ch’ or ‘ur’ as in ch-ur-ch or church). Short term memory is also a problem as they are not stimulated as they would be through the visual channel.

What causes Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is caused primarily by the part of our brain (brain is made up of several component parts) that decodes the written and sometimes the spoken word. Two strongly held beliefs about dyslexia are that children/adults with it are prone to seeing letters or words in a reversed format, and also that the problem is linked to intelligence. Both ideals are incorrect. The problem is actually a linguistic one, not a visual one, in dyslexia. And dyslexia in no way stems from any lack of intelligence. People with severe dyslexia can be brilliant… however due to being dyslexic we have a huge problem.

When someone writes something for us to copy or dictates words to copy, the information enters the left side of our brain via the audio or visual tract… most dyslexics would find great difficulty in processing information in this way due to poor or limited function of the left side of the brain (left lobe) that forms whole words and letter sounds.  There are three areas - the Broca’s  that works on articulation and word analyses… the Parietal/temporal that also helps to analyse words (includes sensory processing along with the cerebellum ) and the Occipital that helps to form our words. Dyslexics have an impaired Occipital and rely more on the Broca’s area when trying to structure whole words. This is not the last port of call, as we then search in our right side for a stored image of the given word.  This however shows a lack of reading fluency in the child or adult that has not had intervention. It is easy to see why so many children and adults with dyspraxia have problems with reading/spelling and they make up the greater proportion of dyslexics.

VISUAL STRESS  -  How can we tell if someone has Visual stress?  (we now have a great home test kit) @ http://dyslexiadublin.mygostore.co.uk/visual-stress-self-test-kit.html

Moving closer to or away from page.
Becoming fidgety whilst reading.
Using their finger to track words.
Missing out words and dropping down to another line (eye tracking) is also a possibility here.
Rubbing or rinsing eyes and neck, gulping (drawing in air) and yawning whilst reading and blinking excessively to re-focus.
Self-confidence and associated behaviour which can be hidden.

What causes Visual stress?

 It is a condition that will contribute unaided to reading and writing problems, eye strain and possibly headaches/migraine brought on by prolonged reading. It can affect and be more noticeable in those with light sensitivity, with the appearance of patterns in text and glare effect that can cause letter to appear bunched up and can lead to letter movement. There is a low tolerance to the amount of white light/glare compared to that of a person that doesn’t have visual stress.

The Wilkins Rate of Reading Test will help test for visual stress, it’s a simple test that does not check for dyslexia (cognitive ability) or IQ/intelligence, but that of fluency of reading, speed, etc.

How is this test conducted?  The test uses simple words, familiar to children/adults. The words appear in each line of a block of text but in a random order (we with old hill, etc.) as we are not assessing the child’s comprehension skills but purely the reading speed.

Dyslexia… Help is at hand

How can we help/intervene with dyslexia?  We can get teachers to use visual stimulus to help transfer information to the Occipital area of the brain, this will also strengthen the visual memory bank. The STEPS Programme used in our centre works on these key areas with a multi-sensory approach through structured reading exercises, sight vocabulary games, a word flash session and targeted reading practice( fluency). This can make huge improvements as it stimulates the brain with variety and is also very visual.

 Visual stress… Help is at hand

As visual stress is caused by intensity of light (white), we can reduce/defuse this by using filters. For the most part this can be extremely low cost, with the use of academic resources like a Reading Ruler or coloured Overlays and, in addition, the use of coloured Work Books.
You can if you wish get specialist lenses prescribed through an optician… however many will feel a little uncomfortable with, this especially older children. An inexpensive pack of filters can help with all academic study and can be supplied for under €12 or £10.
and available at www.dyslexiadublin.ie

We can see from both visual stress and dyslexia that the two are not directly connected, although through pure averages, around 2-4% of dyslexics will also present with visual stress.

There are two more in depth articles written by us on both these areas, however I felt that many confuse the two so a short comparison was called for.


For resources that help with both visit our web at www.dyslexiadublin.ie

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Moving on up… “Transition from Senior School to College/University” by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2014

we have a great page on the 3 Dy's why not pop over to our new page and read more on the 3 Dy's @ https://www.facebook.com/DyspraxiaGlobalDyslexiaDyscalculiaForumForAll

Have you experienced a transition from your normal routine?... changing job or moving home perhaps?  This change can affect your structure and stability and can also be very stressful for many.  Multiply this and that is how a child with additional/specific learning needs feels every time he or she has to face even the smallest change.
The stress and anxiety doesn’t just stop with the student either … the parents will worry for the child/young adult and themselves about the early days in the new environment, knowing full well this has already been a problem with less challenging changes like moving desks, teachers and classes in the past and now we are talking a whole new environment in an adult world, where most of the direction has to come from the student.
All change is challenging and comes at a price, so transition needs to be gentle.  Why more schools don’t allow students to go to the next level for tasters (visit the college for a couple of days to allow students sample courses before deciding which to enrol for) is beyond me… this is achieved by few and yet a wide range of tasters and courses are offered by so many third level colleges… certainly in the UK and something that would be worth looking into at any college you’re considering.
Flexibility is king in accommodating the transition process when a child/young adult presents with SPLD.  There are guidelines for schools and colleges to follow, but many parents will be unaware of this at the point it’s required.  It’s vital to maintain communication with tutors and/or special needs department, both prior to and after transition to make sure everyone is aware of the individual’s needs.  Senior schools should communicate with both parent and college/universities to compile the information necessary to be able to accommodate the child’s needs (IEP).  Parents need to be made aware of points reductions where statements can back up a specific learning need, such as in Ireland there is the DARE scheme…this allows for a reduction in entry points required and many colleges subscribe to this.
Guidelines in the UK:
“To comply with the terms of the Equality Act, students with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties should not be penalised for poor spelling, grammar or sentence structure.
Students registered for dyslexia/spld support are given blue cards to attach to their work to alert the marker to their dyslexia/spld so that appropriate concessions can be made.
For further information about marking the work of dyslexic/spld students, please see:
For modules where academic standards would be compromised by applying dyslexia/spld marking concessions, exemption may be requested. This is normally likely to apply only to modules specifically testing use of language – for example foreign language modules.”  Quote from Oxford Brookes University.


Guidelines in Ireland:
DARE is a College and University Admissions Scheme (Disability Access Route to Education) that offers places on reduced points to school leavers with disabilities, apply early.

Who is DARE for?
Dare is for school leavers (Under 23yrs as at 1 January 2013) who have a disability and who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course, due to the impact of their disability.
Apply Early: apply to the CAO at www.cao.ie

Discuss the history of your child/young adult with the college/university to make sure you are all singing off the same hymn sheet… reasonable accommodation should be afforded in certain instances (students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia), such as :

Reader.
 Voice Recorder.
 Laptop/computer.
 Writer present - to be able to sit their exam away from the main exam room (less distraction).
 Exemption from spelling and grammatical components in language subjects (waiver).

The key to reduced stress lies in preparation… I will always remember the old saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Be pro-active and less problems will occur… transition is, as it says, a period of smoothness from one thing to another.  This should happen very early on in the final year/sixth class and below I have made some suggestions that can be used by both parent/child and school.


Transition without the Stress – Hints to help from Second Level School to college/university:

Get the College to demonstrate an understanding of your child’s condition.

Talk with the students on a one to one basis about the different structure and the increased formality they might face at third level.

Introduce a mentor from the present first year to ease in the new student… this will grow the network for the incoming students.  Avoid older students as they could draw the incoming students out of their comfort zone.

Try to get the College to offer lockers that are easy accessible and away from the hustle as young adults with learning needs can become nervous in crowds and all fingers and thumbs.

Most will realise that they will have a variety of teachers, possibly one or more per subject… it’s important that their year tutor informs the others of your child’s needs.

Parents/carers should teach their children/students how to write out and also read prepared timetables and it helps to colour code and replicate with text books…e.g. 1st lecture on Monday is yellow so put a yellow sticker on the relevant book and the timetable…they will have far more free self-directed study periods at third level and need guidance to discipline themselves with this strange routine.

Students need to know about acronyms… for example, Exam bodies like Edexcel and RSA …these will be used far more in third level.
Make sure you avail of every opportunity to visit the new place of education… it’s worth driving past there occasionally, especially at busy times.  Let them know about shortened lesson times and moving to different classrooms for each lesson (orientation is so important).  Also, they need to know meals will be at different times, depending on their timetable… is there a café or will they take food?  Maybe show them the college website and they can check out the gallery of photos. Take them along to as many open days as you can and talk to course tutors, etc.

Make sure your child decides on whether they want their college/friends to know they have learning needs… not all children are comfortable with this and the college cannot tell others as you are protected under data protection. I have found from experience that there is great support from those that know, at this higher level of education.

You should be in possession of a valid statement in order to show the new college/resource department for the provision of resource hours, laptops, etc.  Most have really great facilities in their learning resource rooms and can help with essay/assignments, etc.

Make sure they are aware of toileting, etc… I recently spoke to my son’s teacher about his transition from primary school last year and asked if they understood about his dyspraxia and the answer was ‘yes’.  However, in the next sentence they mentioned that he was spotted going to the toilet less than 20 mins after the start of the first class of the day and surely he knew he wanted to go (inferring he should have gone before lessons started)… so did they fully understand dyspraxia?... no is the answer.  Also, they might well have quiet rooms if your child gets stressed or make arrangements for time out if your child feels threatened by an activity.

Parents need to be prepared for colleges to call them if meltdowns happen… it might be wise for you to take time off work during the first week at least so you can collect them from their new environment, have a coffee and let them talk about their early experiences. It’s also advisable in case you are called by the college.

 Keep an eye out for bullying (change of mood, disturbed sleep, confused and reluctance to get going, wanting to change courses after a few weeks  and maybe even a  return to bed wetting…  these can all be  indicators).  Find out who they spend breaks with… listen out for names and check to see that they are in the same year, as quite often older boys will use them to do things they shouldn’t be doing, like leaving the college to go to the shop or start trouble on their behalf.  Watch out for people trying to influence smoking/drinking or drug taking.
Try to be all positive and avoid pressure in relation to performance until they are settled.

Get to meet their new friends and encourage them to visit... this will help them gel and stay in the loop, thus preventing isolation.
Make sure you attend parent evenings and get a direct line to your child’s course tutor and make sure they have all the relevant information in course files. Get dates from them for exams and project deadlines and make sure you chase them about accommodation for exams ahead of time to avoid upsets.
I will say, third level are far more pro-active than first or second level in this regard, as they are funded on outcomes in most cases and not student numbers.
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All our articles are for information only and guidance… professional advice should always be sought.  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

Thursday, 16 January 2014

‘Exam season…Shared Anxiety between Parent and Child/Adult’ by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013



End of winter and start of spring signals those dreaded words, ‘Exam time’… most students who are  taking exams see far less of the sounds of summer as they are still seeing less day light hours than the students who don’t have exams to take.  You might be tempted to leave your study and drift outside to catch the rays, but think again… you get very few chances to get a good grade. The secret is to try and get stuck in so you can have some time to relax, instead of playing catch-up, by putting it off till tomorrow and all of a sudden tomorrow arrives the day before the exam!  It will soon be past and you will have a long vacation ahead.
How can we structure our study and avoid meltdowns?
1.       You must be relaxed and in a positive frame of mind to make the best of your revision/study.

2.       Make sure you look after your body by eating a good balanced diet (plenty of oily fish is good for the brain).

3.       Plenty of sleep is so important for retention… a tired brain is a less active brain!

4.       Structure your study into subject areas and concentrate more on your weaker subjects.

5.       Make sure you set the tempo of your study programme… the right room temperature, the right     light (preferably natural light) and the correct noise level.

6.       Stay hydrated (two litres of water per day) as this can cause lack of concentration.

7.       Make sure your study is relevant, have access to past papers as well as well managed course notes (indexed) and colour code your study notes.

8.       Make sure you are well aware of your exam timetable, the marking scheme will give you an idea of the amount of points to be awarded  per question, and this will give you an idea of how much to write, relative to the points awarded.

9.       Confidence is an attribute and over confidence can be obstructive to sound revision.

10.   Comprehension is key in most exams… the person marking your paper could be the other side of the country so bear that in mind and make it clear what is being said…make sure you have covered all points asked in the question.

11.   On exam day, make sure you are relaxed and read through the paper before you begin to answer any questions… you will be more relaxed and positive and will make far fewer mistakes.  Divide the questions by points value and time so you don’t spend too long on a given question.

12.   Don’t revise on the day of your exam unless this works for you… cramming can cause confusion in many.
we stock resources at www.dyslexiadublin.ie and will ship to any place

13.   Don’t dwell on a poor result, look forward to the next one… invariably you will have done better than you think.
Try to read books on subjects that interest you, record your work, watch documentaries/films on subject areas... You Tube is good for science/biology, history, literacy and geography.  I read, then rough write my prep and then type it onto the laptop and by then it usually goes in.
Stay close to your family and open up with your thoughts…so many of us have been there and they really do mean well…they will embrace and support you good or bad.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Reading Whole Words and Sentence Recognition (fluency of reading) by Dyslexia Dublin © 2013

You may or may not have heard of a RAN test. This test checks how quickly an individual can name aloud various symbols, pictures and text.  With this we can recognise early problems with our phonological awareness and this may help in detecting factors that may hamper our reading fluency in later years.
It has long been thought that we cannot test for dyslexia until we have a reasonable word bank; usually around the age of seven years (third class), however by using the RAN (rapid automatized naming) we are able to get an early indication that an individual could possibly have dyslexia.  We can initially look for genetic links and then observe early patterns of behaviour… this would prompt many to consider having a RAN test as it would allow for the earliest point of intervention, when the brain is become highly receptive to learning.
Checkout our website at www.dublin-cetc.com
The test consists of naming an array of objects, colours, letters, or symbols as quickly as possible.  This can allow us to gain an understanding of potential positive or negative literacy problems at a later stage in our academic lives.
This is achieved through a later follow-up with the student and retesting them with particular word sounds.
This goes someway to explaining why some people can read to a much higher degree than their spelling ability would suggest.
We could also check possible attention span with this form of testing, as picture images tend to maintain attention for far longer than text will in dyslexic students… although they get the student to skim across several pictures in a frame, this requires the same rapid eye movement as with reading conventional text… we utilise a different area of the brain.  An interesting thought would be to do this in reverse for non-dyslexics to see if we get the reverse effect, as the linear left brained individual prefers to read text and not pictures, as these don’t offer the same type of stimuli.  The RAN technique uses categorization to place pictures and patterns to produce the verbal response and we will look at this later further in the article. 
Automaticity - what does this mean and how does it hamper our learning?
We require fluency in almost everything we do and literacy is no different.  It requires fairly complex skill sets, often taken for granted and we rely heavily on several areas to transpose information from both the visual and auditory tract.  We can benefit from natural automaticity (subconscious) skill, as this allows us to work to a much higher level in all we do and literacy is no exception… the more we know the more we can learn and the faster we can take information in.  If we are skilled at the art of reading, we find little disrupts us (noisy environments) and this allows us to perform multiple tasks at the same time, such as breaking down new words, making sense of what the whole thing means, extrapolating learnt material and referencing when needed… these operations are done automatically (without thinking) and are known as automaticity. Imagine how difficult it would be to drive a car or do many other things without automaticity… you wouldn’t move off your drive!
It’s so important that teachers take into account a student’s automaticity, as it is extremely relevant to literacy and positive learning outcomes.  We can also figure what the reverse of this would be like for those that lack automaticity, everything slows down and become fragmented and this leaves the student with limited chances in a test situation.  This can also be slowed because of a processing problem, but this doesn’t have to be the case as reasoning comes in to play too.
Reasoning Skill Sets -
We have four variants of reasoning and they are storage, retrieval, matching and execution.
The first two of these are used in decoding words and are the storage and retrieval skills, enabling the learner to transfer information to and from long-term memory… all of our academia is stored here!
Matching (categorization) speeds up the cognitive process and, in literacy terms, this refers to the recognition of word blends and chunks… in fact, when you make reference to anything stored in your memory that you already have a grasp of, you are categorizing.  This can also be incorporated into the way we extrapolate… this is a skill we use throughout our lives, but in terms of early learning and academic studies,  enables learners to match the pattern of information from one area to that found in another area.  We use this as an assistive strategy, by linking through the thought process and thus removing the need to start from beginning, when we as learners encounter new information. Instead we, the learners, take information that already exists from a different situation and adapt it to suit the new situation.
Execution and the use of the recalled information, in whole or part, is the last in the set of reasoning skills. These skill sets are the ultimate controller, insofar as they co-ordinate the other skill sets, in order to help the student to build new cognitive layers or reconstruct former ones. This is similar to that in big business… you don’t have to so much as reinvent the wheel, as to tweak that which already exists - restructure your business, restructure your thinking, is very much one and the same.
As mentioned in some of my earlier articles, it is so important to gain an early insight into literacy deficit disorder (dyslexia), we owe it to all the children.  It’s not their fault we fail to pick up the signals… we can only lay the blame at our own door.  I see so many students who are bright but struggling in literacy and numeracy… many think they are lethargic and lack interest in being taught and it’s far from reality.  They try ten times harder than most and just struggle to move forward. I have a particular student who is steadfast in attending school, never late, always well-mannered, turns up to every class and yet many of the teachers at the school fail to understand them.  If only they tried, their education would be so much easier and it would be easier for their teachers too.
We can see through the research that there are many facets in early word recognition and learning, and also idiosyncrasies, from the gentle introduction of the phonetic alphabet around 3-4 years old up to the addition, deletion and substitution of phonemes to build new whole words with a similar structure and elements of shared sound at age 6-7.  This later phase is the point where most with literacy deficit/dyslexia would fall away and it’s at this juncture intervention (support) needs to be deployed to help students keep up with their literate peers.
Early screening in schools in many countries appears to be an approach being looked at by many trying to accelerate early detection of LDD and Dyslexia.  However, this doesn’t seem to be unanimous, with some for and some against its implementation, as research suggests detection rates to be lower than that of those involved in detection and intervention at standard test age, which may be in part due to some children just being late developers.  This could also be down to many not wanting to comment on an area they are not trained in; we are just seeing moves in the UK to introduce a module on specific learning needs into teacher training and many countries are yet to follow with this. There are many existing teachers that would also need to be retrained in this area. The teacher is far better placed to get an overall picture of slow readers and those with spelling deficits, however if we increase early detection will the system cope with increased numbers of students requiring support?  This in itself will cause a log jam, as we have more competing for declining resources. One thing that would make sense is that initial screening, to filter those that are causing concern from those that just develop late or at a slower rate,  and then get teachers to sieve and pass on to professional assessors those that are at possible risk of a literacy deficit disorder.
All our articles are for guidance purposes only and professional advice should always be sought.
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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Moving on up… “Transition from Primary to Senior School” by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2014



Transition from any structure and stability can be very stressful for so many, just imagine how you feel about changing your hairdresser/barber or Doctor and Dentist, the emotions that come with starting a new job… multiply this and that is how a child with additional learning needs feels every time he or she has to face change.

The stress and anxiety doesn’t just stop with the student… the parents will worry for the child and themselves about the early days in the new environment, knowing full well this has already been a problem with changing desks, teachers and classes in the past and now we are talking a whole new school.

All change is risky and comes at a price, so transition needs to be gentle… why schools don’t allow new student intakes to go to the next level for tasters is beyond me… this is achieved in many third level colleges.

Flexibility is king in accommodating the transition process when a child presents with SPLD.  There are guidelines for schools to follow, but many parents will be unaware of this at the point it’s required and lack of communication should be avoided at all times, prior and after transition to make sure we are all aware of the individual’s needs.  Senior schools should communicate with both parent and Junior School to find out and be able to accommodate the child’s needs (IEP).

we have a web site @ www.dublin-cetc.com


Discuss the history of your child with the school to make sure you are all singing off the same hymn sheet… reasonable accommodation should be afforded in certain instances (Students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia), such as :

For this and many other posts follow us at  www.dyslexiadublin.blogspot.com

Reader.

Voice Recorder.

Laptop/computer.

Writer present - to be able to sit their exam away from the main exam room.

Exemption from spelling and grammatical components in language subjects (waiver).

The key to reduced stress lies in preparation… I will always remember the old saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Be pro-active and less problems will occur… transition is, as it says, a period of smoothness from one thing to another.  This should happen very early on in the final year/sixth class and below I have made some suggestions that can be used by both parent/child and school.

Transition without the Stress – Hints to help inform First and Second Level Schools

Get the school to demonstrate an understanding of your child’s condition.

Talk with the students on a one to one basis about the different structure and the increased formality they might face at second level.

Introduce a mentor from the present first year to ease in the new student… this will grow the network for the incoming students.  Avoid older students as they could draw the incoming students out of their comfort zone.

Try to get the school to give lockers that are easy accessible and away from the hustle as children with learning needs can become nervous in crowds and all fingers and thumbs.

Inform them that they will have a variety of teachers, possibly one per subject… it’s important that their year tutor informs the others of your child’s needs.

Work with your child in the summer recess with new subject areas such as business studies, Science/Biology, CSPE and Home Economics, this will help reduce anxiety.


Parents/carers should teach their children/students how to write out and also read prepared timetables and it helps to colour code and replicate with school books…e.g. maths on Monday is yellow so put a yellow sticker on the maths book and the timetable.

Start in junior school to write more complex and varied timetables… identify presentation of projects and variations like school trips, etc… get the SNA to help take down homework.

Students need to know about acronyms…subjects like CSPE shortened from Civic, Social and Political Education.

Make sure you avail of every opportunity to visit the new school… it’s worth driving past there occasionally, especially at busy time.  Let them know about shortened lesson times and moving to different classrooms for each lesson (orientation is so important), school meals…is there a café or will they take food?… homework clubs… maybe show them the school website and they can check out the gallery of photos.

Make sure your child decides on whether they want their new class friends to know they have learning needs… not all children are comfortable with this and the school cannot tell others as you are protected under data protection.

You should be in possession of a valid statement in order to show the new school for the provision of resource hours, laptops, etc.

Make sure they are aware of toileting, etc… I recently spoke to my son’s teacher about his transition from primary school last year and asked if they understood about his dyspraxia and the answer was ‘yes’.  However, in the next sentence they mentioned that he was spotted going to the toilet less than 20 mins after the start of the first class of the day and surely he knew he wanted to go (inferring he should have gone before lessons started)… so did they fully understand dyspraxia?... no is the answer.

Parents need to be prepared for schools to call them if meltdowns happen… it might be wise for you to take time off work during the first week at least so you can meet them from school and also in case you are called by the school.

 Keep an eye out for bullying (change of mood, disturbed sleep, return to bed wetting are all indicators)… find out who they spend breaks with… listen out for names and check to see that they are in the same year as quite often older boys will use them to do things they shouldn’t be doing, like leaving the school to go to the shop or hit a child on their behalf.
Try to be all positive and avoid pressure in relation to performance until they are settled.

Invite their new friends around as soon as you can and let them join a few of the school extra curriculum activities… this will keep them in the loop with others in their class (prevent isolation).

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All our articles are for information only and guidance…professional advice should always be sought. Toby Lee Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2014

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Top Tip Visual Stress  @ Dyslexia Dublin CETC 2014 ©



Visual stress (don’t call me stupid) can cause many people to stop reading due to eye strain and result in possible headaches.
Around two in every ten people can suffer with visu...al stress. Constant use of laptops and computers can irritate sufferers of visual stress and also working for long periods in artificial light and unfiltered UV light can also put a huge strain on the eyes.
We all have tolerance to white light (glare); many would be quick to turn away from intense light such as the sun.  If you monitor this in your own family, you will quickly see the variation (tolerance levels) in each person.  Some will pop sunglasses on with the slightest increase in brightness and others won’t.  You might have noticed your children in the car… one could be looking towards the light and one looking away from the light.  This doesn’t automatically suggest they are visually stressed, but those that have a very low tolerance, might just be.

What is the main cause of eye strain and irritation?  This occurs when the eyes are working overtime trying to focus, in particular, on written script, be it in hard copy, whiteboard or on a computer screen.  Words seem to crash into each other with no apparent gaps between letters.  Letters can also appear to move around and can be missed altogether; causing fragmentation of information taken in during reading and this can have a knock-on effect with retention of information and memory recall at a later date. Writing can and often suffers due to wondering off the margin, we have a problem spacing and words can be cramped or words can be split at the end of a line.

A VISUAL STRESS QUICK CHECKLIST:
(In the case of schools, keep your eyes open for children in class who...)
- Fatigue....tires quickly when working with text.
- Have problems copying from the whiteboard board.
- Seem to experience increased difficulty reading after an initial period of about 10 minutes.
- Keep moving their head or body position, or moving closer to or further away from the page.
- Read slowly and haltingly.
- Track with their finger.
- Yawn while reading.
If any of these points are noticeable, you can contact us for more details on Visual Stress and what can be of help.

What can be done to help sufferers of visual stress?... early intervention and testing is vital. We at Dyslexia Dublin CETC offer a screening test that will give you a clear indication and results will not only indicate that you might be suffering with visual stress but will suggest filters and other resources that will help to remove the problem, so you can get on with your life.
We also stock intervention products such as: overlays…reading rulers…exercise books…software etc visit our online store dylexiadublin.ie or order a catalogue

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

“Should we truly forget those who have spurned us for another’s ear or think and consider them in this the coming year?…maybe their friendship has chilled like the cold nights of winter and shunned as many plus me…shall we reflect just this once and show the hand of friendship and toast to all acquaintance past and present, for the sake of times gone by?” (inspired by Robbie Burns and Auld Lang Syne) Happy New Year my friends! Toby Lee Dyslexia Dublin 2014 ©