Hope for Daniel’s Dyslexia

In addition to Daniel’s Asperger’s Syndrome, he also has very severe dyslexia. Reading has been the hardest part of his academics by far. His reading teacher worked with him diligently through elementary school. She is now his tutor and has continued to work with him twice a week with reading always being the main focus.

The IEP for Daniel includes the accommodation of having all math and science questions read to him. Even with this accommodation, Daniel’s dyslexia still impacts every area of his academics.

Daniel’s dyslexia also impacts his life. He can not read the instructions that pop up on a video game screen and struggles to read a website about his favorite topic, video game development.

For me, Daniel’s dyslexia has been a personal heartache. It is difficult as a parent to watch my child struggle year in and year out without much improvement. Additionally, I loved to read as a child and looked forward to sharing the books I loved with my son. Daniel’s dyslexia has made reading so uncomfortable, that we have not been able to share this pastime in a way I had always hoped.

With the help of his tutor, Daniel discovered that his particular type of dyslexia is called the River effect (for a better gif go here):

Two years ago, Daniel’s tutor and then teacher suggested trying the Irlen Method. While you can read more about it at the Irlen Institute’s website, the basic idea is that some types of dyslexia are caused by Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, also known as Irlen Syndrome. It is not an eye problem but rather problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. The Irlen Method was developed to address this problem.

The cornerstone of the Irlen Method is its precision-tinted colored overlays and filters. They use advanced color spectrometer technology to design overlays and colored glasses that use color balancing designed to produce an effective color-correction tool.

After so many years, I was very skeptical. The testing is expensive and I there had been so many times I had tried something with Daniel, believing it would be the key, only to be disappointed. I had learned over the years that while some therapy or idea may be a piece of the puzzle, none were going to make a huge change.

Daniel’s tutor was insistent and sent me this video, saying, “Maybe this could be Daniel”:

One afternoon I picked Daniel up from his tutor. She was so excited.

“We found a color overlay that worked!” she announced.

After several tries, she and Daniel had identified the type of distortion he was experiencing and had found an overlay she claimed would work.

When we got home that night, Daniel and I sat down to read his Social Studies homework. I was absolutely in shock. Daniel’s fluency and speed was significantly better. Small words that the day before he was stumbling over he read with ease.

He still struggles with some bigger words. However, now, this comes from a bad habit of trying to guess a word from the first three letters instead of reading the whole word – a common result of River Type Distortion.

Daniel is reading more on his own – voluntarily. He doesn’t fight me as much as before to read. He is finding books he likes to read on his own.

I was truly skeptical and now I am truly amazed and thankful that Daniel has found a tool that has made such a profound difference for him. I am also thankful to Daniel’s tutor for working so tirelessly to find a way to help Daniel.


About aspergersmom

I am a 35 year old woman. I am the wife of an amazing man, who keeps me sane. As a recent California/Florida transplant to the midwest and the mother to a combined family of 6 children; 3 boys, 3 girls, my life is an adventure. I blog and raise our family with my best friend.
This entry was posted in A beautiful mind, Ah-ha moments, Challenges, Dyslexia, His Story, Hot Button Topic, Magic Moments, Reasources, School, Videos and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Hope for Daniel’s Dyslexia

  1. I so want to order the overlays from the website and try them out for myself. I have to do more research on this but a friend of mine who is also a BCBA mentioned this recently so maybe I should consider just doing it, right? LOL. What is your next step, continue with the overlays or look at getting the lens?

    • aspergersmom says:

      For Daniel it wasn’t as simple as just picking an overlay. Also, some people benefit from having the overlay all the time (glasses), where as others just need it for reading. Daniel’s tutor, who has some Irlen training worked with him for a while before they found the right overlay. I would suggest first being tested at an Irlen testing facility or by an Irlen Screener or Diagnostician. Find locations: http://tinyurl.com/4mboqx5http://tinyurl.com/4mboqx5

  2. jennifer says:

    when you said daniel stugged with big words .I have a tip for you Get him to sillpp word . Like this lo ve
    it works for me

  3. melissa says:

    My 9yr old superheroes daughter is usually a good reader. She recently has had trouble saying that the words are getting scrambled as she is reading. Can dyslexia happen suddenly?

    • aspergersmom says:

      Dyslexia usually doesn’t happen suddenly or develop over time outside of brain trauma, illness, etc. However, frequently, people are diagnosed with dyslexia later in life. The hypothesis is that they have had undiagnosed dyslexia their entire lives. Also, dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects more than just reading ability. Here is a great article on Stealth Dyslexia – dyslexia that does not present primarily as a reading issue. http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10435.aspx

      However, there could be other reasons for your daughter’s struggles. I would speak to her pediatrician, or a pediatrician who specializes in neurological development. Good luck on this journey with your daughter. As you approach this unexpected challenges with courage and innovation, you are giving your daughter a wonderful gift.

  4. Daniel luckly to have a tutor .Because I need one to one training But not getting it

    • aspergersmom says:

      Yes. We were very lucky. However, this tutor was not a formal accommodation provided by the school. Rather it was a teacher that really had a love for her students and agreed to work with Daniel privately after he left her class. We have had to look outside the box to get most of the help we have received. However, if you believe you need a particular accommodation, I would encourage you to go back to the school and insist on a re-evaluation of the IEP or an evaluation for an IEP with tutoring as an accommodation. The IEP process is slow moving and tedious but you can get some of what you need with a lot of persistence and a little luck.

  5. not possible going to school has I am 24 year old and my school was bad . Because they didn’t know that I had Irlen syndrome

    • aspergersmom says:

      That is difficult. My sister had undiagnosed dyslexia until she was in her twenties. Her road to reading was difficult. Some insurance does give coverage for Irlen Syndrome. I hope you can get some help!

  6. I have dyslexia and Irlen syndrome I am with Remploy . But they just want to send to place that don’t do one to one training . it hard to make them listen to me and my parents

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