I strongly recommend that you visit Mark

When my son first started school he became very uncomfortable - a different lad!

I am a teacher myself and there were real anomalies presenting in his behaviour, his output verses his intellect and his emotional attitude towards school. My son has high intelligence and is often very curious and keen to learn. He loves books and has been read to since he was born.

He is always telling fantastical stories. So then why, when he went to school, did he hide and become upset at the prospect of having to write, why did he become so agitated and despondent when needing to read? Why was he having difficulty sitting on the mat and moving around the classroom? Why wasn't he able to make progress? Why didn't he want to go to school?

I didn't know, the teacher didn't know. We had our theories but nothing quite fitted. Although I have worked with Special Needs Children for years, yet I hadn't yet come across the concept of a Behavioural Optometrist. Then one day, I was talking to a student in a local secondary school I work at, and she was wearing pink glasses. In our conversation she explained her experiences with reading, her diagnosis of Irlen's Syndrome and the amazing difference it had made to her learning.

This was fascinating for me professionally, to see such an easy solution to a life long reading difficulty. It was obvious she was an intelligent person, but with quite stifled learning potential if she hadn't had those glasses. Also her description of her experiences explained my own life.

I mentioned this conversation to my co-worker at the time. I also confessed to her that I hadn't read an article that I had needed to read before a meeting that afternoon. It puzzled and stressed me that I had been avoiding it. She suggested to me that I had Irlen Syndrome, and gave me a yellow plastic sheet to read through. I powered quickly through the text and it was much less stressful to read it. I was able that afternoon to contribute successfully to the meeting.

This lead me to query whether my son had Irlen's Syndrome. And after further investigation I learnt that the Behavioural Optometrist could also diagnose other specific learning difficulties.

After a diagnostic interview and an examination with Mark at VisionLink I now have very clear information about what my son's specific difficulties are. He has Irlen's Syndrome, Oculo-Motor Dysfunction, and Dyspraxia. My son has since been fitted with Irlen's lenses, and we will be embarking of a program of therapy which will help to correct the Oculo-Motor Dysfunction. Although this is a commitment for our family, it is well worth it. Through having these definitions to help explain my son's behaviour and difficulties, his school and I are now better placed to investigate strategies and approaches to best help my son. We are much clearer in our direction and goals for him.

Our son has been wearing his Irlen's lenses for several months now, and already in such a short time he has made great progress in reading. Where he previously avoided reading and really struggled to read, he is now much more positive about reading . He previously was making slow progress in reading. Now he is doing very well.

His glasses allow him to decode (read the words) comfortably, enabling him to access and enjoy the text. He now reads often in his own time. He loves reading. He has joined the library, and he knows he wants to read. Now he regularly lies on his tummy on the floor at home, kicking his feet in the air, with his blue glasses on, while he reads his book. This is simply wonderful.

Now I intend to look at getting myself assessed for Irlen's syndrome. I'm sure it will make a huge difference to my work and reignite in myself my love for reading. And for my younger son, who is sensitive to light, I will know what to do should difficulties rise for him at school.

I strongly recommend, that if you child is struggling with reading or writing at school, that you visit Mark.