Dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties and is estimated to affect around 1 in 20 people in England. Dyslexia is perhaps up to three times more common in boys and a dyslexic tendency can run in families.
It is a ‘specific learning difficulty’, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, a person’s intelligence isn’t affected. Dyslexia is a lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis. However, a high level of support is available today to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.
A person with dyslexia may show the following symptoms:
- Read and/or write very slowly;
- Skip words in a sentence;
- Mix up the order of letters in words;
- Place letters the wrong way round e.g. write ‘b’ instead of ‘d’;
- Have poor or varying spelling;
- Fully understand information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that is written down;
- Find it hard to carry out a sequence when given directions;
- Find planning and organization difficult.
However, people with dyslexia are found to have good skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving.
Dyslexia and Vision
Vision plays an important part in reading and learning. Our optometrists often find that patients with dyslexia present symptoms of eye strain or headaches produced by visual distortions such as movement, fading or blurring of print.
Our highly qualified optometrist in all our branches are happy to see patients, both existing and new who may have reading difficulty or dyslexia. Initially we will carry out a routine eye examination to asses the condition of the eyes. No correlation has been found between eye conditions and dyslexia but cases have been reported where visual symptoms associated with eye disease have been mistakenly assumed by the patients to relate to dyslexia.
If needed, we carry out a more specialised tests to determine the condition further. It’s helpful, but not necessary, to bring along any documentation you may have from a SEN Co-ordinator or Educational Psychologist. Several additional eye sight tests are performed to assess visual problems commonly associated with dyslexia and other learning difficulties such as weakness in focusing or binocular control as well as the effect of colour tints on reading speed.
Dyslexia and Colour
Visual Stress (Meares-Irlen syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity syndrome) is manifested as distortion, flickering or wobbling of print that persists even when any conventional optical problem is corrected. In Visual Stress, these symptoms can be stopped or reduced by the use of coloured spectacle lenses. There is scientific evidence that coloured lenses can improve reading speed and comprehension, when there is Visual Stress, but the very best colour is individual and needs to be selected with precision for each person. This can be done with a specialised colour screening equipment.
Binocular Vision, Accommodation & Dyslexia
Research has shown correlations between binocular vision disorders and dyslexia. Most common eye sight problems involve focusing close up (accommodation), changing the position of focus or moving the eyes in and out so that they are well aligned. At Realeyes, our optometrist can recommend exercises and spectacles to aid most of these conditions.
All our staff are geared to helping children and adults with dyslexia. You can book a specialist coloured screening appointment at any of our branches by clicking here.
Dyslexia Association – http://www.dyslexia.uk.net/what-is-dyslexia/
NHS Choices – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/
British Dyslexia Association – http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/