Saturday, 5 October 2013

Living with Irlen syndrome. Part 1

I'm writing this entry through the colour purple (no this isn't some experimental writing project, yet), it's in fact the only way I can stand to look at the screen without squinting. If the sun comes through the window and hits the screen I can't do my work, and reading a book on the bus whilst we drive past long railings in the morning is actually my idea of hell. These are just a couple of the annoying things that are affected by Irlen Syndrome.  When I first made this blog I had to ask my partner if the text was easily read because although this blog pleases me aesthetically I can't read my own reviews with all that image of the room behind the writing. Irlen syndrome is a lot more than having trouble reading.

    I was first diagnosed with Irlen syndrome in year 11, when I was 15, a few months before my GCSE's, the optician just happened to have gone t a few lectures on this relatively new optical condition and had quite basic equipment for testing for it. I complained that text was often unfocused and moved around the page, but the list of complaints grew once I knew more about the condition. My head was put inside of a brightly lit box, in the box was a roll of text with random words in rows all over it. Things like 'Dog has a parrot' or 'The grapefruit razorblade was' and I had to read this sheet of paper first with a regular white light and continue reading as the optician filtered different coloured overlay's and counted the increase or decrease of my word count. In the end it was pretty clear I had Irlen syndrome, there isn't a wide spread knowledge of this condition and if my optician hadn't noticed I don't even know what would have happened.
      This all happened quite late on in the GCSE year and it was no longer permitted to apply for different exam circumstances. I had to sit all of my GCSE's on white paper, in a stupidly fluorescent room with nothing but my glasses to help. My results were good, but I can't help thinking how much easier high school would have been if I had know about this earlier. I have always loved reading but in high school I slowed down considerably, and I now know it's because it hurt to read.

This will be a continual blog post / ranty knickers.


  1. I've only just realised this was you!
    I'm looking forward to reading more about your condition.x

    1. The massive picture of my face didn't give it away? It's quite nice to write about it, so there will be a few more coming.