Colored Overlays for Reading

I presented several workshops at the Indiana Association of Home Educators and mentioned that some people find it easier to read when they use a colored overlay. For those with Irlen Syndrome, formerly known as scotopic sensitivity syndrome, having colored lenses or overlays can help a struggling reader read more easily. For more information about symptoms, self tests, and treatment go to I am not trained in the Irlen Method, but have used colored overlays with my children to help them focus and manage printed information. A mom who attended one of my workshops decided to try a blue Heads Up reader with her son, a struggling reader. She has given her permission to share their experience here:

I was at your workshop yesterday and I was amazed at how you were speaking of my son! Almost everything you said described my 11 year old, Avery. I know he’s dyslexic but he has not been technically diagnosed. Well, to make this quick…He has trouble concentrating when he’s reading, it takes a long time and he starts daydreaming. I bought a blue Heads Up reader. I never believed in magic wands until last night. I gave it to him and said, “Here, put this on the page.” His face lit up, he exclaimed, “That’s awesome!” and he started reading a pleasure book I bought for him at the conference. He was up early this morning and read for 2 hours straight using his, as he named it, Avery Focus Helper.
Thank you for your ministry and for all of the great information you gave yesterday. I feel much more empowered to help my son reach his full potential!

Here is her follow-up one day later:

p.s. He’s still reading, even to and from church today with his little AFH.

Very exciting! I love hearing stories like this and knowing that a low-tech solution can make such a difference in a child’s life. As someone who loves to read, I am thrilled for Avery who is just beginning to discover that reading can be fun.

2 Responses to Colored Overlays for Reading

  1. dolly hall says:

    I taught for 28 years and used color overlays for about 8 years with a learning style class. Now retired I have bee requested to help and former student’s child. I glad this method has been continues to help children.

  2. melinda says:

    Thank you for your input. It is always great to hear from one with experience “in the trenches”. I’m glad that you still have a heart to teach, that’s great!

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