Enkeleda Sako


The overlays used by the Irlen method and the Intuitive system are A4 plastic sheets, with one ‘shiny’ and one ‘matte’ side. Wilkins, on the basis of his group’s research, concurs with Irlen’s opinion that filters should be individually-prescribed, as there exists an optimal color for each individual which will reduce their visual stress symptoms and facilitate their reading to the greatest extent (Wilkins, 2003; Wilkins et al. 2005; though see Simmers et al., 2001). The basic set of colors provided by the Irlen method and the Intuitive system are broadly similar (the chromaticity of the Intuitive Overlays, along with other details, can be found in Wilkins, 1994). In both systems, a patient’s optimal overlay is chosen using a process of elimination, often combined with questions relating to any visual stress symptoms the patient may be suffering from. This study describes the history of color overlays, the use of them as a treatment and various theoretical mechanisms which potentially explain the effects of colored filters on reading such as magnocellular theory. 


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color overlays, Meares-Irlen syndrome, magnocellular theory, dyslexia


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