Reading should be an enjoyable activity. Even reading for professional or informational purposes shouldn’t make a person physically uncomfortable. However, if an individual has Irlen Syndrome (or Scotopic Sensitivity) reading makes them physically uncomfortable if their sensitivity to light remains untreated. This link provides a short explanation of Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity) at https://stillwaterokssi.com/2018/12/30/explanation-irlen-syndrome-scotopic-sensitivity/
Reading can make a person feel nauseous, fatigued, and generally unwell. Eye strain and headaches are common.
Once screened and diagnosed, Irlen overlays, filters, or contact lenses increase
Children Really Feel Nauseous When Reading
Unfortunately, when it comes to children, parents and teachers often think the child wants to get out of schoolwork or homework. If a child has undiagnosed Irlen Syndrome, then those feelings are real. They result from letters, words, and paragraphs moving, shaking, waving, and sometimes even flying off the pages, the glare of the white paper or whiteboard, or fluorescent lights, among other things. This video illustrates some effects of reading with Irlen Syndrome. A 10-year old boy describes his situation starting at about 0:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB8zRaLzr1M.
Children Develop Coping Strategies To Avoid Feeling Nauseous
Children with undiagnosed Irlen Syndrome develop a variety of coping strategies. They try to avoid feelings of nausea, headaches, stomach aches, and other physical symptoms. Some children know exactly how much time they have until symptoms set in. Consequently, they finish a worksheet as fast as needed. The teacher and parent look at the worksheets and think or say aloud: “You could get a better grade with more attention to detail.” However, the pupil does not have the time for attention to detail. Speed is of the essence.
Other children simply refuse to read or do math worksheets. Instead, they listen carefully to the teacher. The assessments come back with: ” She knows all the concepts, but does not take the time to put them on paper.” In many instances, daily homework becomes an exhausting struggle for the child and the parents. Sometimes, children develop coping strategies that get them through part or all of school. For a more in-depth discussion of coping strategies, please see this blog post: https://stillwaterokssi.com/2019/01/08/coping-strategies-of-irlen-scotopic-sensitivity-syndrome-sufferers/
At some point, however, the coping strategies fail because requirements in school, in college, and at the workplace keep increasing. When this happens, the child (or in the meantime college student, or employee, or business owner), is in a world of hurt. At this point, it is time to take see an Irlen screener to get performance back on track.
What To Do When Your Child Feels Nauseous From Reading
The remedies for Irlen Syndrome (or Scotopic Sensitivity) are fairly simple: colored overlays, adjustments to the environment such as dimming lights, filters (tinted eye glasses), and contact lenses.
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