VisionLink – New learning through sight

Vision Link Behavioural Optometrists provide research based treatment for convergence insufficiency, oculomotor dysfunction, spelling and reading problems, dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, Aspergers, Learning Related Vision Disabilities, migraine and brain injuries. We are uniquely positioned to assist Visual Perception through the use of Vision Therapy, Irlen tinted lenses and Cellfield Intervention.

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Home > Testimonials > Irlen > Irlen Testimonials 2010 and 2009

Irlen Testimonials 2010 & 2009

Jordon Brown.


My name is Jordan, and before you gave me my Irlen Glasses my work at school was hard to do. But now that I have the glasses its helping me at school. They are very much appreciated and I thank you for giving them to me. The work is much better to understand.

J Brown,

(Jordan's Aunty, Kim says; He wears his glasses with confidence and is proud to wear them. He always says "They're great".)

Jordan Brown is a 15 year old boy from Dannevirke       November 2010


Nigel and Trish Hall, Waipukurau about their son Mitchell aged 10 years.

Mitchell was having difficulties in reading so we had him tested at Kip McGrath. They checked him out and picked up that he had an Irlen problem. Shelley Harrison, (Irlen screener at kip McGrath Waipukurau) recommended that we see Mark Eagle from Visique Hastings for further testing. This revealed that he in fact did have Irlen syndrome and as a consequence Mitchell was prescribed with Irlen tinted glasses. It has been three months since Mitchell has been wearing his Irlen glasses and it has improved his reading a great deal. Many thanks to Mark and his team at Visqiue in Hastings and Waipukurau who have given us such a great service.

Nigel and Trish Hall.         September 2009

Zoe Purdon.

Hi Maree,

I would like to thank you, Vision Link, Mark Eagle and the Shattky staff. Here is my testimonial:
Before I got my Irlen Glasses, I was having difficulty reading and doing schoolwork. I had never had this problem as a young child, it started when I became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Having always been an avid reader who read for pleasure and to relax, I was distressed when I could no longer concentrate and had difficulty reading and writing. The words would swirl and move, a dull page would glare like bright, white concrete and my eyes got very sore, very quickly. I heard about Irlen glasses from one of my good friends. Both her brother and herself had had success with their Irlen lenses and noticed a great improvement in the amount of schoolwork, reading and tv watching they could do! I decided to see if they would help me. The process of getting my Irlen glasses was easy and stressless thanks to Maree Gallagher (who did my initial screening) and Mark Eagle (who did the test for my specific colours), also the staff at Shattky Optometrists in Hastings were helpful and charming when I was picking out my new frames! My Irlen glasses have helped me a great deal. They have made concentrating on schoolwork a lot easier and I am able to do longer school days (I am home schooled). The computer screen, which used to hurt my eyes, is now a breeze to look at! I can also read for pleasure again which I am very thankful for! I would recommend that children who are having difficulty with reading or with their vision are checked to see whether they could benefit, the way I and so many others have, from Irlen lenses.

Thank-you again to everyone who helped me to get my brilliant Irlen glasses.

Zoe Purdon, 16 yrs, Hastings.        August 2010


My daughter Libby who is now 15 has always had difficulty with reading text. Through various reading and support programs she has managed to maintain average marks - but it has always been a puzzle as she is a mature student who often shows above average ability. Six months ago we had her eyes tested again and as well as suggesting she could have prescription lenses we were also recommended to have her tested with tinted lenses. Consequently, she has been using her Irlen tinted glasses and has noticed a huge improvement in completing her school work. Also her recent exams results are markedly improved which Libby is delighted with. So we fully recommend Irlen as a process to follow up on if other learning processes are disappointing.

Trudi Winchcombe (mother)
Libby Winchcombe, 15 yrs, Waipukurau, July 2010


Throughout my schooling life I was constantly told by teachers I was slow! I was always the last child to complete written tasks and found that I could only read for short amounts of time which made reading tedious. Despite this I would hand in work of a high standard and had been put in and out of accelerate classes as I could understand the work but not complete the tasks given by teachers on time. I was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome at the age of 22. I made enquiries after seeing an advert for Irlen while picking up glasses for a friend and I have never looked back. I wear my Irlen glasses all the time and have found that my reading speed is 5 fold what it used to be. I now know that I was never slow I simply needed 'to view the world through rose tinted glasses'.

David Moys, 23 yrs, Hastings, June 2010


Hi Maree,

Many thanks to your team for introducing me to the Irlen reading glasses.

Since changing to Irlen glasses I am now able to read without getting sore eyes and falling asleep after 10 minutes. There are many more subtle changes that makes reading a pleasure rather than the chore it used to be.

I hope this message is shared with others especially parents with children who struggle with their reading at school. It is such a simple process to rectify when we become aware.

Kind regards

Tane Cooper, 66 yrs, Dannevirke. May 2010


In November 2009 our son Ben was assessed and diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome. We were very suprised that Ben had been through five years of school having to deal with these problems and had made progress, all be it slowly. It was decided that Ben needed glasses with lenses that had a colour tint in them.

Since Ben's diagonsis we and his teachers have noticed a remarkable difference in his attitude towards school and school work. He is a lot happier and confident in general. Ben would often find excuses to not doing any reading homework (e.g. leaving his book at school) but this term I went to pick him up from school at the end of the day and I found him sitting under a shady tree reading!!!!!

Since Ben has been diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome we have become aware of what Ben sees and how he processes information, it has opended up a whole new world for him. We are all very excited to see what Ben will learn next.

Leanne Heaven (Ben's Mum)
Ben Heaven, 10 yrs, Napier. February 2010


I have spent my whole life getting migraines and severe headaches and I never knew why. In early 2009 mum took me to get my eyes checked and they were all over the place. She told me about Irlen and to go to the local Kip Macgrath centre to be tested where I was tested positive. I then went to Hastings to have further tests and find the glasses that I needed. At the time I was really nervous and didn't know what to expect, but I am glad that we found out because my headaches and migraines have decreased a lot since I started wearing my glasses (apparently one or two headaches a week isn't good still lol). It is so cool to not have the strain on my eyes anymore. School has been a lot easier as well I have a longer attention span and can work in the afternoons after a morning of reading. The one problem with it is other kids because they don't understand it so they joke around about it.

Ashleigh Beale, 16 yrs, Dannevirke. November 2009


Lenny and Irlen Syndrome
As a young child our son loved books, pointing to pictures and copying us saying its word. By three he had a comprehensive vocabulary, being able to name a huge array of shapes, forms and pictures. Of text he showed little interest.

By the end of his first year of school he was having trouble spelling simple words; trouble spelling words from memory such as 'the, what, how, where, this etc. He had difficulty with spelling and writing and had little sentence comprehension. Still a bright kid. What was frightening to us was the change in attitude. Sullen, brooding, silent, had low self-esteem, and showed severe agitation when asked to explain anything in detail.
Reading Recovery at school followed with some success. Next was Kip McGrath in Waipukurau and it was here Shelley Harrison suggested we place clear plastic sheets of different colours over the text before reading. One by one we tried them until blue was placed over the page. Lenny's interest picked up instantly. Leaning forward he said "hey, the page has stopped moving, the words are still!" No-one will know the exhilarating feeling of hope I had as I watched Lenny lean forward and say those words!

Shelley suggested he be tested for Irlen Syndrome, a form of Dyslexia, which the coloured overlay sheets suggested he may have had. Back then testing was done in Rotorua, so we headed there, had him tested and he was confirmed with Irlen Syndrome. At the test, from many shades of all colours, Lenny picked one that kept the words and text still on the page. These coloured plastic lenses were then cut into a sunglass type frame which Lenny then wore whenever print was involved, classroom and home. Shelley tested Lens reading level in his first lesson at Kip McGrath which resulted in a nil result. At seven years of age, Lenny couldn't read.

We can't express here the frustration, despair and feeling of hopelessness we all went through as we struggled to understand Len's situation. Not knowing why this bright kid couldn't spell or read was unbelievably confusing. Lenny had complained at a young age that the words on the page kept moving and that the white page was too bright to see the text. These comments I passed off as excuses!

Lenny was tested again at eight years old and after a year of wearing Irlen glasses his result was a level of 7.25!! At 9 he tested 8.8. We were in awe of his progress over those two years, but the best was watching his self-esteem and sense of worth return! That was truly the best. Testing at ten years showed a 9.3 year old level. We realized we had forgotten to retest Lenny at the Diagnostic Clinic at the two year mark as advised, and returning to Rotorua, we discovered a significant color shift in his vision. Over the next 12 months with the new shade, Lenny surpassed his eleven year old level and at 12 has settled in just below his reading age.

We changed the shade again in June 09 as a retest had shown yet another shift. This time the testing was done at the new Irlen Diagnostic Clinic in Hastings and operated by Mark Eagle. Also this year Mark put Lenny through the Cellfield Program, a computer based programme designed to help the mind access memory banks more directly. Right now Lenny is an adequate reader able to tackle documents and books with an amount of confidence. His spelling is below average but we also recognize that his generation, being completely computer literate, has easy access to spell-check.

He is confident in himself knowing he can read, his self esteem is vastly improved, and he completes homework. Both Karen and I know that without identification of Irlen Syndrome, Lenny would have been one of 'those' kids; the dumb kid, the stupid one who can't read, a non-achiever, "could do better if tried" boy, and ultimately a trouble maker and disrupter in class. From there, onwards into the community.

We can't thank enough, Shelley, Mark, Helen for Reading Recovery at Pukehou School, and Mary Cubie in Rotorua for what they have done for our son, and thank you to all others unmentioned who have had influence in Len's life. We saw the path he was on and we love the path he is now on.

So how does this all work?
Lenny hears a spoken word as a picture. His memory bank contains volumes of images and pictures that he recalls when he hears a word to spell. Drawing from memory an image for a word to spell brings the image to mind, but with few letters or only a partial spelling of the word with the picture. I personally hear the word 'cat' as seeing the letters 'c' 'a' 't' in my mind's eye, and can spell it as quick. Lenny hears 'cat' and sees in his mind's eye a picture of a cat, with no or few supporting letters for the image.

In the first two years at school while Lenny struggled to visually pin a word down on the page to memorize and comprehend it, the MoE Curriculum, the 'how to learn' was not installed. He failed to learn 'how to learn'. Added to this is his difficulty in drawing on an image for words like 'the, what, where, there who etc when there is no instant picture in his memory for these words. What is the picture for 'the' and what is the picture for 'apple'; 'why' and 'dog.'?

After Cellfield finished we made hundreds of flashcards and with repetition we have improved his memory bank of non-picture words. Sounds bizarre? It is! We see Lenny around the house now reading the odd article, studying instruction books, and hear him reading words off the TV.

An interesting benefit to his Irlen Syndrome is a natural ability to think outside the square. Lenny does not think mainstream as many Irlen and Dyslexic people don't. This puts them immediately into the square peg, round hole situation going through the Ministry of Education system which caters for mainstream thinking. There is generally an exceptional talent lurking just below the surface of each Dyslexic. Lenny talks money and finances that we hardly hear adults talk and is skilled in the handling of money. He is rapidly becoming an exceptional footballer having had three seasons at Representative level and currently training with an Under Fifteen Grade squad. As at October 2009 he is still twelve!

Watching Lenny happily start school and grow into a sullen and angry seven year old was heart wrenching. In comparison, his younger brother Sam is a perfect student; a model example of the Ministry of Education System.

There is so much not written here. For anyone who can empathize with what they read, we are happy to share with you our experiences with Irlen Syndrome. We understand the frustration of a seeing a bright child go backwards for no apparent reason. Contact us through Shelley Harrison, Kip McGrath in Waipukurau or Mark Eagle at VisionLink, Hastings.

Thanks once again to all who have helped Lenny get life back on track.


Karen and Russell Phillips
Lenny Phillips, 12 yrs, Hastings. November 2009


Hi my name is Tim. I am 12 years old. I found out I had Irlen Syndrome when I went to get my eyes tested. I have had trouble reading since primary school and I have been going to special reading classes for my whole school life. Since I got my glasses I went up two and a half reading years in just two months. They help me read for longer and help me concentrate for longer. The words on the page are clearer, not fuzzy and I don't skip lines or miss words like I use to.

Thank you Vision Link for finding my problem before I got older and my learning was a life time problem.


Timothy Walker, 12 yrs, Hastings. February 2009


Finding out last year that I had Irlen Syndrome answered a lot of my questions. I had problems growing up with my reading, writing, concentration, headaches, sore eyes and not being able to take everything down properly, lines moving on the page and seeing snail trails through the paragraphs in whatever I was reading.

I thought I should get my eyes tested and found out I needed glasses but my optometrist said it will not help all my problems. Then I had my two year check up and heard about Irlen syndrome and it sounded like me. I went to the specialist in Hastings (Mark Eagle) and got told I definitely have the problem.

Throughout my school years my teachers where putting my difficulties down to having a behavioural problem. I had never heard of Irlen Syndrome until I was told I had it and went through all the tests. I never knew that having coloured lenses could help and make a big difference but they do. They have made a huge impact on my life if only we could have found out earlier it would have helped me even more.

Yes I do get asked questions when I wear my glasses like why they are tinted and no one has ever heard of it and no one has the problem. Knowing I have this syndrome and that it is easily fixed makes a huge improvement and the only way people can tell is by looking at my glasses.

I suggest getting tested for it if it sounds like you, it will really benefit your life in a very big way.

Sinead Senior, 17 yrs, Dannevirke (UCOL student) February 2009


This is written from two perspectives, mum 41 yrs old found out she was dyslexic at the age of 32, thanks to a friend giving me some information. We moved to New Zealand four years ago. I went for colour remitter testing (same as Irlen testing) in England where I am from and was diagnosed dyslexic. We did the test and found out wearing coloured lenses (mine are a mix of seven shades) helped the words on the page sit still and my brain is not over worked, this was the biggest change in my life. All through school I was told by my teachers I was stupid and no good, because I struggled with English and writing and spelling and got into trouble often. I came out of school with nil qualifications and little hope. I sat my driving test three times, sat entrance exam for nursing three times and sat my nursing exam twice. Whatever I tried was always hard to achieve but I never gave up. Working as a intensive care nurse I did a high diploma and that was hard, it took me two times to pass but I did it. Then at 32 some one told me about the colour remitter testing and I followed it up. By this time I was injecting myself with headache medicine as my migraines where so far advanced that I was getting them weekly and so bad I would pass out, not good when working in intensive care.

The day I got my lenses things changed. The migraines where less and now very infrequent. My work place environment was better, the bright lights and flashing equipment did not bother me, I could concentrate better and my skills improved. I know I will never correct the method of learning I have but I am able to live a more normal healthy life. Also, dyslexic people are GIFTED people, we think out side the box and we can accomplish amazing things. My IQ was tested and it is pretty high so the teachers where wrong! I have worked hard and my job is now clinical nurse manager of a rural hospital. I also talk to children in school about my dyslexia hoping to show them things can be different.

As a mum of two girls I started to watch them closely as the condition passes to girls easier than boys. My oldest is fine, very bright and beautiful and did well in school. Now my youngest Elle she struggles (funny but the same things I did). I asked her teachers to watch her and have extra help with reading etc and at seven years old took her to Mark Eagle to check her eye sight and was told about the Irlen testing done in NZ. Mark was having a visit for a professor from Auckland with regards to the Irlen testing and he used Elle to show Mark what to look for. Elle came away with coloured films to place over her book page to relax her retinas. This worked well and Elle was doing well - no more complaints about tummy ache which was her escape mechanism for over active brain after school. She is now eight and needs the Irlen lens tint glasses so she can do board work easier. No matter how many times I told Elle's teacher about the white wipe boards being no good for her to copy off they still wrote on the wipe boards. She now has glasses (three colour tints) which she is proud to wear and does not mind telling the other kids she is dyslexic, 'GIFTED' as her mummy says.

Elle says a big thank you, she loves her glasses and is doing well in school.

Hilary Rimmer (mum) and Elle Ratcliffe 8 yrs, Wairoa. February 2009


Hi Mark

I am really stoked with my new glasses, thank you so much. The service was awesome, I enjoyed picking out my frames and getting my coloured lenses. Attached to this are some photos I said I'd send you of me with my Irlen lenses. Thank you to everyone at Shattky Optometrists for the help with picking and fitting my new frames. Thank you so much.


Rebekah Brown, 15 yrs, Palmerston North February 2009


My son L.B. has now had his Irlen Lenses for 4 months and I have noticed a big improvement. Before he had them he really hated going to school because he couldn't see the board or read his books and he was going to give up. Now with the lenses he can see a lot clearer. His words are not moving around anymore and it is not blurry for him. He is also enjoying going to school now and learning. I look forward to seeing what else he can achieve in the future.

Louise Hampson - Proud Mother, Waipukurau. January 2009


Since I have had my Irlen Lenses I can read and see the board at school a lot better. Before, it was really hard to concentrate and I kept losing where I was when reading. Now it is so much easier and clearer and I enjoy school now. I hope it continues and I get better and better.

(L.B.), 11yrs, Waipukurau. January 2009


Dear Vision Link

In the short time I have had my Irlen glasses the improvement has been so dramatic that even my English teacher commented on my school report.

I'm finding that I can read more easily and for longer periods of time using my Irlen glasses. This means I am no longer getting into trouble in class for not staying on task.


Karel Linley, Waipukurau. January 2009


This is from Ellice McDonald. I started wearing my Irlen glasses fully at the beginning of the school year. I am in room 6 at Dannevirke South School. I have moved up a reading level and two levels in my spelling since wearing the glasses. I find them a big help in doing my school work. My teacher is happy that I am wearing my glasses in class. I like to wear my glasses to work at school. I am nearly 9 years old. My birthday is on June the 14th.

This is from Jan, Ellice's mum. I am very pleased with the progress Ellice has made this year at school since she started wearing her glasses. So far she has achieved her term goals at school and the teacher is very happy with her work. Thank you.

Ellice Mcdonald, 8 yrs, Dannevirke. June 2010


Since having my Irlen lenses, I have found I am able to read for greater periods and have much better concentration. I no longer feel reading to be a draining experience and actually enjoy it now.

Adam Gallagher, 26 yrs, Havelock North. October 2009



Before I had my new purple lenses I hated reading. It was just about as painful as having my finger jammed in the car door! I used to see rivers running down the page of a book which stopped me reading some of the words and I sometimes missed out whole lines.

Since having my glasses I now enjoy reading in class and at home. I am now reading some longer chapter books. I have improved in my maths addition and subtraction from 46% at the beginning of the year to 98% in term 3. I like wearing my new glasses, they make reading a whole lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.

Benjamin Hansen, 10 yrs, Waipukurau. September 2009

Hi - I would like to say that we have noticed an improvement in Maddison's reading since she has had her (Irlen) lenses. I feel Maddison is more confident in her reading and is reading more fluently since she has been wearing them. We are very thankful that we found out about Irlen syndrome.

Maddison says, "I like them because they have pink in them and people at school say to me that they like my glasses.

Thank you

Shelley, Sheldon and Maddison Parker, 8 yrs, Havelock North. September 2009


I have had headaches daily and migraines two to three times a week for 30 years. In 2008 my daughter gave me an Irlen pamphlet from her children's school and said I would be interested in the information. After trying almost everything at enormous expense over the years, what did I have to lose in trying another alternative method? I read through the pamphlet and said "that's me". I had all the symptoms, so I rang that day and made an appointment with Prue Deighton the following week, she is an Irlen Screener in Marton. I 'ticked all the boxes' for Irlen glasses, so three weeks later off I go to see Mark Eagle in Hastings where he gave me tests with the coloured lenses. Two weeks later I had new glasses and I haven't looked back since! I do still get the odd headache and migraine, but that would also relate to Vertigo which I have. It's so wonderful to go shopping for more than one hour and read 1/2 dozen pages. I'm even looking at a laptop which I would never have considered. I haven't been able to do any of these activities for 30 years. It's just a pity it's not more recognised and advertised. Schools are the places to start. I now know that our problems start at an early age and don't get picked up. Learning was difficult for me, it's been 50 years of not being well, one way or another. Now I'm a much happier person.

Yours Sincerely

Ann Bowater, 64 yrs, Palmerston North. August 2009


My glasses help with my reading and writing. When I didn't have them it was slow now I am much better.

They help change the colours and letters like what other people see and my world does not move anymore. Without my glasses red was pink, blue green and orange was yellow.

I like being retested because the colours of my glasses change and I never know what colour I'll get next.

They help change the colours and letters like what other people see and my world does not move anymore. Without my glasses red was pink, blue green and orange was yellow.

I like being retested because the colours of my glasses change and I never know what colour I'll get next.

Danyel Holder, 9 yrs, Masterton. May 2009