We know you like research. So do we! It always surprises us when people say, “The Irlen Method isn’t supported by research” because that’s just not true. The Irlen Method is supported by over 35 years of research spanning the fields of education, psychology, optometry, medicine, and neuroscience. In fact, a whole lot of this research is included right here on our website (http://irlen.ie/published-research/). But, we know it can be overwhelming to sift through lots of research papers and try to make sense of it all, so we’ve done the work for you. We’ve read all the articles, synthesized them, summarized them, and come up with a really brief analysis of exactly what the research on Irlen shows. Please share this post with others who don’t believe that Irlen Syndrome is real, or that color can actually make a difference! Help others Get Educated about Irlen.
A SUMMARY OF IRLEN RESEARCH
There is currently a body of research related to Irlen Syndrome, Colored Overlays and Colored Filters that spans more than 35 years. The Irlen Method and the efficacy of colored overlays and colored lenses has been the subject of over 200 research studies encompassing the disciplines of education, psychology, and medicine. To date, more than 100 of these studies supporting the use of colored overlays and lenses to treat the perceptual processing difficulties associated with Irlen Syndrome are published in peer-reviewed academic and scientific journals, including the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Australian Journal of Special Education, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology, Journal of Research in Reading, Behavioral Optometry, and Ophthalmological and Behavioral Optics, among others. This research has established a hereditary component of the disorder (Loew & Watson, 2012; Robinson, Foreman, & Dear, 2000; Robinson, Foreman, Dear & Sparkes, 2004), a number of biochemical markers for problems associated with Irlen Syndrome (Robinson, Roberts, McGregor, Dunstan, & Butt, 1999; Robinson, McGregor, Roberts, Dunstan & Butt, 2001; Sparkes, Robinson, Dunstan, & Roberts, 2003), and differences between both the anatomy and functioning of brains of individuals with Irlen Syndrome (Chouinard, Zhou, Hrybousky, Kim, & Commine, 2012; Huang, Zong, Wilkins, Jenkins, Bozoki, & Cao, 2011; Lewine, Davis, Provencal, Edgar, & Orrison, 1997; Riddell, Wilkins, & Hainline, 2006; Yellen & Schweller, 2009). The research has repeatedly documented efficacy of both colored overlays and spectral filters, as measured by improvements in a variety of reading skills (Bouldoukian, Wilkins, & Evans, 2002; Nobel, Orton, Irlen & Robinson, 2004; Park, Kim, Cho, Joo, 2012; Robinson & Foreman, 1999; Tyrrell, Holland, Dennis, & Wilkins, 1995; Williams, LeCluyse, & Rock Faucheux, 1992; Wilkins, Evans, Brown, Busby, Wingfield, Jeanes & Bald, 1994), reduction in physical symptoms that include headaches, migraines, eye strain, fatigue, and light sensitivity (Barbolini, Lazzerini, Pini, Steiner, Del Cecchio, Migaldi, & Cavallini, 2009; Bulmer, 1994; Chronicle & Wilkins, 1991; Huang et al., 2011; Wilkins & Wilkinson, 1991), and improved functioning and success in both academia and the workplace (Bulmer, 1994; Irlen & Robinson, 1996; Robinson & Conway, 1994; Robinson & Conway, 2000; Whiting & Robinson, 1988; Whiting, Robinson, & Parrot, 1994).
Irlen Syndrome is a real condition, with severe consequences if left undiagnosed. Sadly, the disorder is poorly understood, and regularly left untreated, or mistaken for other problems. Ironically, it is quick and easy to screen for, diagnose, and treat with non-invasive, inexpensive colored overlay and spectral filter technology. Relief and improvement are immediate, thereby allowing students to take full advantage of standard instruction and remediation offered to them. More information about Irlen Syndrome and the Irlen Method can be found at www.irlen.com.