Visual Stress and Dyslexia

What is Visual Stress?

Visual Stress is also known as Meares-Irlen, named after the two researchers who first discovered the connection between white page “glare” and reading difficulties in the early 1980s. It is also called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, although scientifically it has now been shown that this is not a very accurate term, as it refers to an area of the visual system that is not actually affected by the condition. Visual stress is the name most commonly used in the U.K

There is as yet no proven scientific explanation for Visual Stress although many experts agree that the problem is visual-perceptual in nature, most probably originating in the visual cortex of the brain, arising from a deficiency in one of the visual pathways. Because it is perceptual, rather than visual in nature, it is not corrected by prescription glasses, and it cannot be detected by standard visual, educational or medical tests.

How do you know if you have Visual Stress?

Symptoms of Visual Stress vary , but can include headaches and migraines (especially when working at the computer), eyestrain, and words or letters appearing to “jump” or move on the page. People who have Visual Stress see the page differently because of distortions of the print or white background.

In general, somebody with Visual Stress may
•Experience difficulty looking at a computer screen
•Be unusually sensitive to bright lights, especially flourescent lighting.
•Have difficulty judging heights or distances, which sometimes causes problems with stairs and/or escalators.
•Find driving at night particularly stressful, sometimes experiencing a fragmentation of reflected light.
•Develop headaches and migraines when reading.

Some, or all, or the following can be noted while reading. Sufferers may:
•Fatigue quickly when working with text
•Experience problems copying from the board
•Skip words or lines when reading
•Seem to experience increased difficulty after an initial period of about 10 minutes
•Keep moving their head or body position, or moving closer to or further away from the page
•Read slowly and haltingly and have difficulty absorbing information
•Track with the finger
•Yawn while reading.
•Frequently rub their eyes

Visual Stress typically causes the following distortions of print, although not all of the following will necessarily be experienced by one person:
•The print appears to jump or otherwise move on the page – sometimes appearing to move off the page altogether.
•Swirling effects appear in the text.
•Whole lines of text may appear to move.
•Shimmering colours may appear on the page.
•White “rivers” may seem to run down the page, where the white background, as opposed to the black text, has become the dominant image perceived.
•Letters may double, reverse, fade or blur. Basically the image of the letters and words is unstable against the white background, and this instability can be experienced in a number of ways.

Does Visual Stress go away?

Generally, no; although there are cases reported where the contrary has been the case. Sensitivity does seem to change though, especially in a changed response to coloured filters. Somebody who has found a particular colour most beneficial may find that this preference changes and a different tint will be more helpful.

What can be done?

People with Visual Stress can read with much greater ease if they cover a print with a specially treated coloured overlay. Irlen Screening can help to identify which colour is most beneficial. supply convenient and the larger A4 size Coloured Overlays in colours that have been carefully selected to cover the full spectrum in different combinations.

For thorough screening of individual colour preferences. For any optical difficulties, it is important that an optometrist is also consulted to ensure that there are no underlying medical or ophthalmic conditions. Some optometrists prescribe coloured lenses, and have specialist equipment to test for colour preference. It is often found that lenses of a different colour from the overlays are needed. A list of specialist optometrists and Irlen centres can be found here.

.for Irlen Screening contact us at LTS Learning Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth 07967 223181 email

for Irlen lenses contact Central Irlen England -Gloucester

EXAM FEVER OR HAY FEVER? Try our mock exam solutions

Hay fever season may be on us , but it’s time to knuckle down to some serious 11+ revision if you are thinking of entering your child for 2018entry.

Booking now  for next year means that your child will be professionally tutored, and well prepared, both in subject and technique- many of the grammar schools are oversubscribed so it is vital that you book early enough.

As a special offer We are giving one free  lesson and a free 11+ assessment  with this code.  EP LTS 2

Now is the time to book  as places fill up quickly.



The end of a simile-As useful as a chocolate teapot

Is this the end for the chocolate teapot that has no use?

A dearly loved phrase or idiom that conjures up the perfect analogy – used correctly it gives a wonderful visual picture  of a melting teapot!

More importantly for dyslexics it gives the right brain visual cortex time to process the phrase through its association with the visual imagery.

Now a company has come up with a real chocolate teapot that can take hot water to make  a hot chocolate or fondue. The life size pot is handmade from 58 percent dark chocolate and can actually ( they quote) be broken up and eaten afterwards. Says a spokesman:

“It’s more useful than an ashtray on a motorbike,a waterproof teabag, or a glass hammer”(ref: Daily Express)

We think more of these visual imagery analogies could be used as a teaching aid. They  are both useful and entertaining and students could design or draw the images they conjure as well as integrate them into conversation or written work.


Product review The Smart Chute

Smart ChuteThe Smart Chute is a fun way to support literacy and numeracy skills by ‘posting’ a card into the chute for it to come out at the other end with the answer.Cards include initial blend,finals blends, vowel digraph , addition and subtraction, times tables. It engages the child well but can be tricky to remember which way the chute slots into its tray. The literacy cards contain a picture to match the part word with missing phoneme, thus encouraging different areas of processing.
We use it frequently to support word and meaning as well as specific phonemes.

Dyslexia Action support Pack

A new support pack with parents in mind parents has been developed by Dyslexia takes in account extensive research evidence about the best way to support children who struggle from the beginning to ‘catch on’ with reading.

The pack offers a balanced approach to learning to read.

early skills training-a series of structured exercises to establish sound to letter links and sound blending.

Reading activities  for practising and extending reading skills using books from home and school.

The pack comes with a 52 page booklet containing a series of carefully prepared timed exercises and activities together with guidance for parents and carers.

This pack can also be used with adults.the pack costs £40 + vat.

Lts learning will offer a free session of  training with every purchase from us.


Making Sense of dyslexia

Each year Dyslexia Awareness week aims to raise awareness about Dyslexia..Dyslexia Action the national organisation that’s helps and trains those involved with dyslexia  believes that for all that has been achieved, more can be done for those to receive the best possible support whether in school or at work.

This year Dyslexia Awareness Week  will take place from 5/9-11/9 in England Wales and Northern  Ireland and 2-8/11 in Scotland. Throughout each week they will be sharing information and encouraging people to get involved in various ways. Here at LTSLEARNING SOLUTIONS we will be appearing on Bridge Radio Stourbridge on 11th October to talk about DA week.The theme is how music helps with Dyslexia. If you have a question to ask Jenni on the day please send it to us at More information from Extract with thanks to Dyslexia Action .

Reiki And kinesiology can help with Autism

Reiki is an holistic therapy which encourages the body to heal itself emotionally.There is growing anecdotal evidence from our clients and other bodies that it has a particular caliming effect on the nervous and limbic system encourages better sleep patterns

Our qualified Reiki therapist has reported that our autistic students really enjoy the sessions and are able to concentrate better  during their learning sessions.

Please get in touch if you would like to trial this approach.

We Don’t Doodle We Noodle !

A great title !

Max one of our students who is autistic was entered  by us into this year’s BBC 500 word competition.We think this is a superb piece ,with clever assonance and alliteration thrown in bucketfuls.
Here is an extract:


Max’s entry

Mr. Ning Yang owned a restaurant called Yummy Yang’s. It was a very posh restaurant, in downtown Birmingham, serving all kinds of different noodles. Chinese New Year was approaching, this year was the year of the Goat. Mr Ning Yang wanted to order a new kind of noodle for Chinese New Year. Mr Ning Yang set to work. He ordered the noodles from his supplier called We don’t doodle, we noodle. Mr Ning Yang was excited. He danced around his wok stirring noodles and sang in the style of Tina Turner I am simply the best noodler, better than all the rest! Wok to Wong restaurant next door would be so so jealous of Yummy Yang restaurants noodles. Ning could see Yummy Yang restaurant becoming world famous, opening restaurants in Brazil, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India everywhere. He would have his own television show called Masternoodles. Awesome..
Mr Wong from Wok to Wong restaurant heard Mr Ning Yang ordering the noodles. The owner, Mr Wong was worried that Yummy Yang’s would take all their business and they would have no customers. Mr Wong had an idea! He secretly telephoned the supplier and pretended to be Mr Ning Yang and changed the order from noodles to poodles. The supplier, We don’t doodle, we noodle delivered Mr Ning Yang’s order to the restaurant at 2.30pm on the eve of Chinese New Year. Preparations were under way for Chinese New Year, decorating were being hung up, fortune cookies being baked and the artists practicing their Chinese Dragon dance routine. Mr. Ning Yang signed for the order and said ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy’ and gave him a fortune cookie to the driver. The driver thanked Mr Ning Yang and said ‘that’s a noisy order you have’. Mr Ning Yang frowned, did he say noisy? Mr Ning Yang thought the driver was loosing his noodles. Mr Ning Yang opened the large brown cupboard box containing the ingredients. When he opened the box, he was shocked to see a litter of poodles! No my goodness me; why did we don’t doodle, we noodle, deliver me poodle. Mr, Ning Yang telephoned we don’t doodle, we noodle and asked them why they delivered him poodles. The lady said Mr Ning Yang you cancelled noodles, you ordered poodles and we delivered poodles. Aha thought Mr Ning Yang I bet Mr Wong from Wok to Wong is behind this. Mr Wong is always going the wrong thing. Last year he changed Mr Ning Yang’s order of soup to spaghetti hoops. This was the last time Mr Wong would do this. Mr Ning Yang put on the coat and walked across the road to Wok to Wong. Mr Ning Yang said why did you change my order to poodles, now I can’t make noodles. Mr Wong said sorry I was wrong and promised never to do the wrong thing again. The moral of the story is never doodle if you want a noodle because you might get a poodle – Use your noodle!


Kinesiology helping children to concentrate better

Kinesiology is  an effective method  to test the body’s reactions to stress

be it  a food intolerance,an emotional problem, environmental pollution such as electricity mobile phone usage, television (EMR), learning difficulties associated with autism spectrum (kinaesthetic difficulties such as touch),or  noise pollution.

Kinesiology can test for concentration levels in children, their attention span and once tested dietary  requirements  to help with these can also be recommended..

Diet plays a crucial part in a child’s cognitive development. A diet rich in omega oils 3,6,9 from oily fish, flax seeds, together with good sources of protein such as in cheeses, beans pulses and curds such as soya will offset the cravings for processed food.

Improvements in school work are well researched and we can now  offer our clients  this testing service. Following a kinesiology test, recommendations including diet and our special multi sensory programme called The listening Programme (see separate blog info), which has amazing results on behaviour and academic studies, can be added.





ADD and the Listening Programme

LTS Learning is now an accredited provider of ‘The Listening Program ‘ The Listening Program is a music based Auditory stimulation method specially designed to train the brain to improve the auditory and sensory processing skills needed to function effectively . It is most beneficial to

listening program 001

those with poor concentration and ADD as it works to calm down the areas of the brain that control works with sound frequencies and techniques  using classically based music and special bone conduction headphones that stimulate the auditory pathways to the brain

In fact anyone in the following groups can benefit from the Listening Program

Learning:attention study skills, higher study, performance skills

Communication language speech processing information literacy

intervention:theraputic,rehabititation, sensory needs such as motor coordination. The  programme can easily be carried out at home usually in two x 15 minute cycles allowing the parent or student to fit it around their daily routine.  Your LP provider will monitor your  progress over 3-6 months and provide adjustments where necessary. The benefits of this amazing programme  cannot be over emphasised. Call us now to discuss without obligation how your life or your child’s welfare can be improved by THE LISTENING PROGRAM.