Why you might have problems reading longer articles


What you “see” is not simply up to your eyes
The sensory input must be interpreted correctly by the brain

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another Sensory Integration post

“What if you’re receiving the same sensory information as everyone else, but your brain is interpreting it differently?

Then your experience of the world around you will be radically different from everyone else, maybe even painfully so.” ~ Temple Grandin, Autistic Brain

And sometimes not

In my last article on Sensory Sensitivies, [Turtlenecks and Wool – Yea or Nay?] I explained a bit about temperature and tactile sensitivites that most of us probably believe are simply our own little quirks and preferences.

With examples and stories, I hoped to illustrate that sensory integration issues are not nearly as rare as you might believe, even though we hear most about them in the Autism Spectrum population.

“Studies of nonautistic children have shown that more than half have a sensory symptom, that one in six has a sensory problem significant enough to affect his daily life; and that one in twenty should be formally diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, meaning that the sensory problems are chronic and disruptive.” ~ Temple Grandin, Autistic Brain

Sensory Scrambling at the far end

Most people “can’t imagine a world where scratchy clothes make you feel like you’re on fire or where a siren sounds ‘like someone drilling a hole in [their] skull.’ ” ~ Temple Grandin. Autistic Brain

“The world isn’t coming in right. So autistic children end up looking wild.”
~ Temple Grandin. Animals in Transition, p. 192

But most people never dream that struggles with concentration or reading could possibly be the result of a sensory integration issue.

The Paul Revere of Sensory Integration

Dr. Temple Grandin was born in Boston in 1947, diagnosed autistic in 1950. She was four years old before she began to speak. Her mother, advised to institutionalize Temple as a child, fought instead to educate her.

Despite the fact that Temple was misunderstood and bullied for most of her life, and despite the fact that she was dismissed as “impossible to educate,” she went on to receive a Ph.D. in Animal Husbandry.  Her ideas and designs have revolutionized that particular industry.

Autism understanding and awareness took off, thanks in no small part to her books and speaking engagements. She is now a leading expert on Autistic Spectrum disorders and Sensory Integration issues [SI].

As the result of a wonderful movie about her life, more people are aware of Temple and her story than ever, able to understand that scrambled sensory processing is a huge problem for individuals on the autistic spectrum.

Few people are aware, however, that scrambled sensory processing affects many people who are otherwise considered “neurotypical” (i.e., brain “normal”) – to various degrees and in various sensory modalities. More than a few have been misdiagnosed with “learning disabilities” or other cognitive problems.

Even fewer people are aware of Helen Irlen, who has been working successfully with VISUAL scrambles for decades now – in many of those different population samples otherwise considered “neurotypical.”

I’ve been ringing the Irlen bell since I included Irlen Syndrome/scotopic sensitivity in the Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions module in my manual for the world’s first ADD-specific coach training (the only one for eight years) – over 20 years ago now.

Her method is still considered somewhat controversial, despite the fact that we now have functional brain scans that could be used to underscore her claims “scientifically,” and despite the fact that it is supported by experts in the fields of education, psychology, medicine, ophthalmology, and neuroscience around the world.

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
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HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect

About Irlen Syndrome

The endorsement below is from Daniel Amen, M.D., Amen Clinics, Newport Beach, CA, author of many books, including ‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems’:

“When I first learned about Irlen Syndrome, I was skeptical. I never heard about it in my psychiatry training program. Yet, over time I had friends and family members who benefited from the treatment.

Remarkably, when people obtain benefit from the treatment, it helps to balance brain function. One of the factors that drew me to Irlen Syndrome and the Irlen treatment is its simplicity and effectiveness.”

According to information on the Irlen website, Irlen Syndrome Affects:

  • 12-14% of the general population
  • 46% of individuals with reading and learning difficulties
  • 33% with ADHD
  • 33% with autism
  • 55% with head injury, concussion or whiplash

Not ALL of the symptoms show up as reading problems.

Some adult sufferers have trouble seeing well enough to drive at night because of glare – or the glare from a computer screen or other electronic device makes it difficult for them to work very long without problems.

Many have problems with chronic headaches or “unexplained” bouts of nausea. Struggles with concentration and focused attention, or sustained academic and work performance are common in Irlen Syndrome sufferers.

Some can’t abide florescent light or find bright sunlight almost painful, and most Irlen adults have insisted on wearing dark glasses outside for years before diagnosis, even on days that are overcast. Some have altered depth perception, seeming more than a little clumsy.  Throwing and catching a ball can be an ongoing a challenge – and getting on and off escalators can be a bit scary.

Many sufferers tend to read only in dim light, since bright light is part of the problem. Most parents believe that they will “ruin their eyes!” unless the light is bright, unintentionally making things worse for struggling readers.  Kids who wear hats that shield their eyes inside their homes are giving their parents a big clue that parents rarely interpret correctly.

Other problems can actually look behavioral, and Irlen Syndrome is currently misdiagnosed as other conditions a high percentage of the time.

So what IS Irlen Syndrome, what causes it, and can anything be done to correct the problem?

Interpreting Light Waves

Anyone who has ever played with a prism has seen that “white” light is actually made up of different “colors” — in other words, assorted vibrations that our visual apparatus “decodes” as various colors.

But what if something about your magic decoder brain was wonky?

According to Helen Irlen, the author of Reading by the Colors and The Irlen Revolution, Irlen Syndrome interventions are based on processing problems within the brain’s vision centers, not a problem with the way most of us normally think of visual acuity.

Often these problems are the result of brain timing issues — where the perfectly accurate visual information about certain color vibrations is processed by the visual cortex slightly before or after the other color vibrations.

As the brain struggles to make sense of mistimed information, it can only attempt to fill in the missing portions of the pattern – and often totally incorrectly. This misinterpretion can lead to seeing patterns that exhaust the viewer, “rivers” of white space that hijack focus from the words on the page, or static words that appear to be “moving,” similar to optical illusions created intentionally.

Sufferers rarely know

Like asking a fish to tell you about water, most sufferers have no idea that their experience is atypical.

To them it’s simply how it’s always been,
and they don’t understand how everybody else
copes better than they do.

Many conclude that they are simply lazy — or stupid.

Sometimes their physical symptoms have been dismissed
as an excuse or a bid for attention.

Others do realize that something is wrong — with their energy and emotional regulation, for example — but they grudgingly accept those symptoms as a result of PTSD, or how it’s going to be since their head injury (concussion, or TBI/ABI).

Colored filters “bend” light waves

The Irlen Method of treating this condition is simply effective: she compensates for the problem by filtering various wavelengths of light with colored lenses.

This alters the mistimed inputs, creating a consistent data stream that hits the visual cortex in a manner that the brain can process without confusion.  When the lenses are correctly prescribed, the wearer sees the world without color distortion, as happens with some sunglasses available commercially.

With Irlen lenses, improvements are dramatic — and often immediate.

It is essential to understand that just any colored lenses are NOT likely to be effective, any more than the wrong sized band-aid or one in the wrong place isn’t going to be much protection for a physical injury to the skin.

The multi-stepped screening process designed and developed by Irlen is intended to figure out exactly which interventions are appropriate for each particular individual.

  • In the earlier, inexpensive screenings it is determined if colored lenses are likely to help your symptoms.  If not, you stop there.
  • The subsequent screenings are designed to determine exactly which light waves need to be “bent” for each particular brain.
  • Then you need to decide whether the colored “test” overlays, alone or in combination, will be effective or whether you need to move on to a more comprehensive solution: glasses or contact lenses.
  • If you need vision correction because of a problem with focusing your eyes, that is done privately, with a optomistrist or opthomologist (as usual), and you bring your glasses to Irlen only for tinting.

Take the self-test for free on the Irlen Website
and find out how to proceed if your results lead you to believe that YOU
(or someone you love) might be helped by getting screened professionally.

BUT, don’t waste your money on some of the colored filter glasses sold in sets by assorted vendors on various websites – or even in the offices of some eyewear “professionals” who don’t really understand what’s involved.  Get your colored lenses from a certified Irlen practitioner.

And don’t blame the Irlen method if you don’t take that advice
and you see little to no symptom improvement.

 

DO NOT MISS: A teen’s video account of Irlen Syndrome

The video is also found on the What is Irlen? page on Helen’s website,
along with other helpful information to help YOU or someone you love
who has never been fond of reading and never really understood why.

 

A series of videos for Educators and Parents below
(or if YOU have always struggled with reading, comprehension,
headaches, glare, or other vision problems)

DISCLOSURE:  I have NO personal or professional association with the Irlen organization and receive NO remuneration for recommending testing (or anything else!)

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Shared on the Senior Salon


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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

120 Responses to Why you might have problems reading longer articles

  1. Christy B says:

    I had not heard of Irlen Syndrome before, Madelyn! Wow, it sounds like a fair share of people get misdiagnosed with something other than this syndrome, which might be the cause of their reading issue or another problem. I used to know a woman who was very sensitive to sounds and a barking dog would cause her quite a headache. She had to be very careful where she spent her time. I understand a bit more about her sensory issue now after reading your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christy – that is the point of these “sensitivities” posts: understanding (and, hopefully gratitude for how well our own brains work and empathy and understanding for those who seem “picky”)
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sleep Basics affecting Sleep TIMING | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Interesting! I have a lot of the issues you mention here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jump over to the Irlen site (linked above) and take the free self-test. If you still see a lot of issues, it might well be worth checking it out further.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will do that!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good for you. Take notes as you move forward. It would make a great blog article — or more, if it turns out you DO find help from Irlen lenses.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  4. Fascinating article.
    Even though my brother Stephen likes sunglasses I don’t think he has this syndrome. However Stephen is sensitive to loud noises and sometimes overcrowded places. Of course being his sister I’m in tune with his needs. I know when he is uncomfortable and I fix the situation. Before I take Stephen someplace I consider and when possible discuss with him.
    Doctors also told our parents to put Stephen in an institution back in 1963 when he was two years old. They didn’t listen. Raised us together and found a school suited for him. Today Stephen has advanced. Only problem is the New York State government which keeps cutting programs and services.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish EVERYONE had a wonderful sister like you – and that everyone in charge of services had a brother like Stephen. THAT would change things, wouldn’t it?
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Maybe. But that’s not reality and now I must attend too my own failing health. All the phone calls and advocacy I’ve been doing were in vain.

        Liked by 1 person

        • How frustrating. And you are right, taking care of YOU is very important. I pray that all looks up for both of you very soon.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • Thanks. At least I know that I tried. Used all my social media platforms to spread the word. However the focus is on kids with Autism not adults. After age 18 comes age out. Autism Adults just disappear.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Except on the blogs. TONS of adults with high functioning autism found there, spreading awareness – some who follow here (like Laina)
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • True. I follow her excellent blog. I speak for those who have no voice. Somebody has to step in for adults with Autism who can’t articulate their needs.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Good for you! Still, your own health must come first.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • Thanks. Yes. So true. I will rest for a few months then get back into the game. Next year 2018 will be better.

              Liked by 1 person

            • For ALL of us, I hope – bringing on positive changes at the top!
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  5. reocochran says:

    I’m pleased at all your sharing important and new findings in the area of people who may have autism or be on the spectrum, Madelyn. I was almost finished with my OSU Master’s degree in Early intervention (age 3 months to age 3 years old) while teaching preschoolers with special needs. . . When I didn’t have the courses available to get my certification needed at this higher level in 2008, I left the field.

    I admired Temple Grandin’s mother who used flash cards and patience, allowing Temple to lie in fields with cows to soak in nature, animals and discover their herding patterns. She was an amazing testament to being a wonderful advocate for her daughter!

    ❤ You, Madelyn, have such fascinating articles with up to date information! Thank you for stopping by my post and then, featuring it on yours! Big hugs! xo Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re a doll to leave this comment, Robin. You bring up an extremely important point: the importance of strong personal advocacy for kids with special needs.

      Where would Temple be but for her mother? Where would Helen Keller be but for Annie Sullivan? How about Kim Peek and his dad? I could go on.

      Sadlly, and the thing few ever mention, is that fostering these kids to soar in adulthood usually requires a family income that many families simply do not have available – services and medical attention are EXPENSIVE. Even when social services can pick up part or all of that tab, *somebody* has to be on board, which means they aren’t working overtime at high-powered jobs (or working at all, in many cases).

      It breaks my heart – but I continue to post success stories because the underlying point remains the same: we must NOT give up on these kids just because they are different. Look what Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was able to accomplish – seemingly all by herself, but *somebody* had to be paying her bills while she was working on changing her brain.

      SO – when I know of a relatively inexpensive, EXTREMELY quick potential “fix” like Irlen lenses, I am compelled to share it. I would go so far as to encourage ANY parent whose kids don’t absolutely adore reading to get them tested.

      We’re not just talking about the importance of literacy here – it “balances the brain” in individuals who need lenses – which affects every single element of their lives for the remainder of them.

      {{hugs back}}
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  6. Tina Frisco says:

    Another terrific article, Madelyn. Are dyslexia and color blindness also attributed to Irlen Syndrome? My father was colorblind, and several women in my family (myself included) have some form of dyslexia. The brain is undiscovered territory … ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not color blindness, Tina, but dyslexia has been known to be Irlen in disguise. It’s worth taking the time to check it out (start with the free self-test on Irlen’s website – linked above) And tell your family about it. It just might change their lives and yours.

      As I commented to Robin: We’re not just talking about the importance of literacy here – it “balances the brain” in individuals who need lenses – which affects every single element of their lives for the remainder of them.

      If that is NOT it, Michael Merzenich (the neuroplasticity front-runner for 30 years now) has had amazing success in “re-braining” dyslexics with sound remediation — search for Fast Forword (spelled like that) for more info about that. Not as quick a “fix” – but an important one.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tina Frisco says:

        Thanks so much for the info, Madelyn. I will do that ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • And blog about it, I’ll bet. lol I shall look forward to reading what changes for you – if anything.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tina Frisco says:

            Madelyn, are you seeing this url (https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.js) next to comments on your blog? It’s showing for me in my WP notifications of your replies. I posted yesterday on how to disable this ratings feature (https://tinafrisco.com/2017/10/26/3779/) ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you anyway, Tina, but I’ve done it TWICE now – following the procedure on the Ape’s blog. Chris confirmed that he no longer saw it on my comments.

              It disappeared for a while for everybody, and then returned on some comments but not all, then finally on all. THEN the call to begin the process anew.

              I’ve also “talked” a few other people through getting rid of it, and sent them the link to Chris’s post. I guess I’ve spent a couple of hours on this idiocy, all told.

              WordPress! ::sheesh::

              Once I’m caught up with the comments, I WILL take a look at your link to see if it contains anything I did NOT do, but if not, I’m done spending time on this issue.

              I DO appreciate your kind suggestion, but I want to use my time in more productive ways, and plan to simply ignore ALL polldaddy links and pass THAT advice to others. ❤
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tina Frisco says:

              I hear you, Madelyn. Some things just aren’t worth the effort ♥

              Liked by 1 person

            • For SURE, TIna. My poor little dog has been waiting patiently for time and attention for long enough already. I think I’ll shut down for a bit and take him for a LONG walk. That will, no doubt, raise my own vibrational frequency. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tina Frisco says:

              Tink will be overjoyed, and you will be rejuvenated ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oops! Cold rain suddenly out of nowhere – so I went to the kitchen, rummaged through the pantry and made potato/mushroom soup with black beans (Tink got to lick bowl that held the mashed potatoes while I created the broth before I washed it).

              I am enjoying it right NOW as I answer a few comments, listening to a “positive thinking” video in the background. Tink is on a stool next to my office chair, expectantly hopeful for more (I know that can’t happen now that I’ve added the mushrooms & garlic, for any dog-people reading). 🙂

              And so we are both rejuvenated in a different manner – and surely the rain will stop at some point tonight so that we can take a “sidewalk walk” and wander down to his Cheers Bar and say hi to his fans for a bit. 🙂

              Have a great night (day?) yourself, Tina – and a wonderful weekend. Thanks always for your understanding and encouragement.
              xx,
              mg

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tina Frisco says:

              Always, Madelyn. I enjoyed this little Tink episode 🙂 ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • Whew! Yesterday was relatively high distraction for me. Today is MUCH better (and dryer – lol).
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tina Frisco says:

              Yay! Let’s keep it that way. At least for a while 🙂 ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • My thinking exactly, Tina. ❤
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a fascinating post, Madelyn. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Teagan. I’ve always been fascinated with the answers to WHY.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    Madelyn, this is fascinating, and I mean that sincerely and respectively. I see this often in children at school. I may not know what is wrong, but I do know if something is not quite right. While my children are not readers, they love looking at books, and I can tell if something may not be fully developed. Of course I connect families with screenings, etc. What struck me was was the problems with reading longer articles. I was the poor reader as a child, and today I tend to shut down at longer articles. If only the text was broken into paragraphs, I could jump on board. I so enjoyed the history of Dr. Temple Grandin. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Jennie. A LOT of people have trouble staying tracked on long strings of unbroken text – not just those with Irlen Syndrome.

      I’ve taught myself to do it, but I have to be able to highlight (so not library books) – and I would consider myself a far above average reader insofar as reading quickly and retaining the info.

      Most of us intake info better by stringing together smaller chunks (science-based). BUT things change slowly.

      Temples’ story is truly fascinating – and the movie of her life, despite skipping a great many details, is extremely well done, even according to Temple herself.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennie says:

        I know many people use the yellow highlighter. I have just stuck with it. Now, if the text is double spaced I don’t have a problem. Good to know that Temple thought the movie was well done. Thanks again, Madelyn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do better with 1-1/2, eye-tracking wise, but and small print for an entire document (or long sections) is practically impossible for me. At least online I can enlarge it.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennie says:

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Informative and useful info. Checkout my post on stilettos. You might like. Thanks.

    Like

    • Thank you, Siddhartha. I’ll do my best to work it into my schedule (unusually busy right now, due to some issues with my apartment in addition to everything ELSE). 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  10. Such an interesting article Madelyn. I worked a lot with autistic children and creating school gardens. They taught me a lot. The eye issues discussed sound like some of the myriad of fibromyalgia symtoms that include sensitivity to light… A lot of fibromyalgia sufferers had RTA before falling ill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t aware of that link – fascinating (thanks for letting me know). I’ll bet you were wonderful working in gardens with those kids – and I’ll bet a quiet task where they could control the stimulation helped them find another way to self-soothe and center.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • They loved the garden. The school has a polytunnel which is well used throughout most of the year. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sounds like a forward-thinking school.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  11. dgkaye says:

    Always an education visiting here M. And to think there’s an actual name for my problem with seeing because of glare when night driving!. Thank you my friend. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Deb. Most things have an explanation – and a name, once we figure it out.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        And I can always find it here. 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aw – thanks, Deb.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            🙂 xx

            Liked by 1 person

  12. BLUSHING!!!😇

    Liked by 1 person

    • THAT I’d love to see. I’ll bet you are adorable when you blush. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • BLUSHING EVEN MORE!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rotflol!!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Really? Get up already!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I can’t until I stop laughing.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Aw c’mon! I’m not that funny!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Maybe I just needed a good laugh?
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Happy to be of service!

              Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    If you work with children or have children or grandchildren of your own, this post by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie explains why some kids experience reading problems – and it affects adults too. It is called Irlen Syndrome. To find out more, please read on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks again, John. I finally fell asleep at noon waiting for somebody to show. Awoke just a bit ago (5-ish) with the sink still running like I’d left the water on. ::sigh:: That’s twice in two weeks, so my chronos will take some time to restabilize — which will, of course, affect my ability to keep up with comments in a timely fashion. So sorry – out of my control.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry to hear that, Madelyn. You do what you can when you can. Period. You’re welcome – happy to share your good research and valuable insights!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the empathy, John. Believe it or not, it helps a ton.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • I have days where I’m not functioning as efficiently as I’d like, too. Happy to help when I can, Dear.

            Liked by 1 person

            • KISSES! ❤
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  14. Sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bette. ALWAYS appreciated. ❤
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  15. Lots of very interesting information here, Madelyn. Thankfully, my family don’t suffer symptoms like this but I do know children who do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear it Robbie – and you, like others who write for children, are unusually aware of the variety of problems in childhood. Some day I hope that ALL children get what they need to grow and develop in healthy directions. I’d love to live in a world where understanding, empathy and appropriate assistance had been supplied in childhood to the adults they became.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Chuck says:

    Great post, Madelyn. I’ve always been a slow reader. I have contributed it to my amblyopia. Often when my eyes get tired, I start seeing double. Reading on my computer for any length is worse than when I read on my Kindle. I’m wondering if I adjusted the brightness on the screen would it help with the fatigue. I have never heard of Irlen syndrome. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know a lot about interventions for strengthening the non-dominant eye in amblyopia, Chuck — beyond the fact that they aren’t sure what helps and what the downstream affects are for cognitive skills development.

      A search for amblyopia on the Irlen site (linked in the article above) might tell you if Irlen is part of the problem – and taking the self-test there could be enlightening. Meanwhile, try adjusting the brightness DOWN and see if it helps. Time yourself in both formats – how long before you see double. I’d be interested to know.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy says:

    Very interesting.
    I have 2 friends with children who have sensory processing difficulties. One is autisic, the other is not.
    I was impressed on both counts by how early they were diagnosed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Wendy. A lot of people complain about diagnosing children, but the earlier the intervention the better the prognosis. So I’m with you – early diagnosis is impressive!
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  18. -Eugenia says:

    I won’t read long articles IF, the structure of the post is one continuous paragraph with no breaks. There is a reason for paragraphs as it organizes the author’s thoughts making it easier for the reader to follow. Also, images, bullet points, numbering, etc. add more interest to the post. IMO, the structure of a post is as important as the content.

    Your posts are well structured and have movement. I like posts with action and can keep the reader entertained to the end. The time I take in reading needs to be worth my while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Eugenia, this is such a WONDERFUL comment for me.

      I agree so much about the importance of formatting for attention that I pay for custom CSS and spend a great deal of html time to make it possible for more folks to read what I write.

      Your comment allows me to believe that my attention to that kind of detail has not been wasted, and I can’t tell you how VERY much I appreciate it – today especially.

      I also received another of the rare negative comments about the length of my posts and that they don’t “capture the reader’s interest,” which always brings me down (even tho’ I know intellectually that I can’t be all things to all people).

      Your comment brought me back up again in the best possible manner. {{kisses and hugs}}
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • -Eugenia says:

        😉

        Liked by 1 person

  19. That was interesting. I’ve never considered this. My son is special needs related to vision so I spent a lot of time (reading long articles) early on researching all sorts of possible issues. Missed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like I said, it’s still controversial, unfortunately – so I’m not sure you’ll find the info in any of the Journals. That’s why I included Amen’s endorsement (and the long title of his book).

      I always remind everyone that Merzenich and Taub couldn’t get their findings on adult neuroplasticity into the Journals for THIRTY years, despite incredible results with memory and stroke recovery: “inconsistent with the body of knowledge in the field,” doncha’ know.

      The wheels of politics turn slowly – especially in medicine, where there are TWO pharmaceutical reps for every member of Congress here in the US — each of whom have a vested interest in selling what they’ve already developed. Not to say that reality affects Journal publication directly, but money roars and old guards hang on tightly – regardless of negative impact to the public at large. Doctors and scientists build entire careers on the theories they’ve spent their lives studying – so many aren’t as change-friendly as we might expect.

      If I were a bazillionaire I’d fund a different kind of lobbiest and publish a new medical journal with ONLY “out of the standard box” info. Can’t do anything about those long articles, however. Gotta’ get ALL the info into the darned things. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  20. I’ve just ordered a pair of night-time glasses from Australia – I hardly ever drive at night because of the glare. Hope they work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If all you need is to screen out glare, I’m sure they will Stevie. Don’t give up if they don’t – check out the Irlen site.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Madelyn.

        Like

  21. Debbie says:

    Wow, a wonderfully informative article as usual Madelyn, thank you. i have had some of these non-typical sensory symptoms. the information here is really very interesting, I hope i can find some time to re-read and digest. thanks for all the work you do, it is very important sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment, Debbie – and you’re welcome for the info. I hope I can find some time to catch up on everything I’ve missed on your wonderful blog too.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Debbie says:

        You actually havent missed much if anything Madelyn, as I have posted about once or twice in three months. A lot of stuff going on. xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope all is well and things are calming down for you.

          I have been struggling with time management/competing priorities myself, and went down to posting only on Mondays and Fridays. I may well have to reduce one of those if things don’t change soon. We have to take care of ourselves, right?
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for this in depth article. It’s one I will re-read several times. Any literature that mentions Temple Grandin gets my attention immediately; such a brilliant lady who highlighted functional autism and how to ‘make’ it in this world that tries to not understand any abilities that are beyond what is considered ‘normal.’ I worked in a special ed high school program for ten years. I watched one of our autistic students struggle with sound/light/people. He’d walk down the hallways with his fingers in his ears and eyes shut as much as possible. Smart, smart young man. If he heard a language once (Russian, Latin, German) he’d pick it up. But it was so difficult for him to be in the society of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor kid. Society is getting better with autism, tho’ still quite a way to go – but not so much for ADD, unfortunately. There isn’t a great deal of listening for us – and a huge amount of making fun and belittling (even from supposed educational gurus like Sir Ken Robinson). If I could go back in time I’d probably pick a different road, seeing how hard I’ve worked and how little difference it has made.

      It is similar for high functioning autistics who are “merely” distracted by their sensitivities. The invisible disabilities are rarely understood, and even more rarely accommodated. Still.

      MANY bright individuals with metaphorical glass ceilings over their entire lives as a result. My toughest job is keeping a positive attitude and some hope that things will eventually change.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • But you educate so many of us through your blog. That IS making a difference!

        Liked by 1 person

        • How dear of you to say that, Pam. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. (I’d like a magic wand, of course.) 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you again, Michael. You are such a wonderful supporter. ❤
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  24. curryNcode says:

    You arrested my attention with the title of your article… but then you lost me…I dont read long articles… just don’t have the patience

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for letting me know and I’m sorry you’re frustrated. Take it in pieces. It might just change your life if this info turns out to be WHY you struggle to read long articles. It’s a quick fix if this is part of the problem.

      If you simply can’t, scroll down and click on the “DO NOT MISS” YouTube article and listen to what to what that teen has to say about it.

      I wish I could explain in a paragraph or several, but it’s simply not possible. I’m already leaving out more than I’m including.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • curryNcode says:

        if it takes more than a paragraph to explain something, then I should be hooked by the end of the paragraph. I do read novels and such

        Like

        • Good to know. I’m sorry my format doesn’t work for you. Try as I might, the old adage still applies, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” I hope you can find information in a format that DOES work for you.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • curryNcode says:

            very true!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  25. Although this may seem like a rather simplistic analysis regarding the content of the article, I blame the advent of MTV for the proliferation of an entire generation afflicted with woefully abbreviated and easily distracted concentration. Fortunately, I’ve never been a fan of pop music or television.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful comment!

      To my mind it is not so much that MTV (etc) “causes” attentional problems but that focused attention is a skill that must be *developed.*

      So much time spent on the quick-hit formats “overrules” the practice time required to acquire focus and attention in a manner similar to the problem you would have physically if you never practiced walking because you were carried everywhere.

      Individuals who are long-term meditaters and have increased attentional skills as a result, tend to promote that practice as THE solution. ANY format that trains attention results in increased attentional ability – reading, for example – but they all take time (so far, at least).

      If an entire generation spends the majority of their time on formats that do NOT train concentration will find it difficult to sustain focus, especially before their pre-frontal cortex is fully developed (20s and later). Make sense?

      I’m with you on TV, however – primarily because I get hypnotized by it and don’t choose to spend a great deal of time watching shows that are ultimately unsatisfying. Tossed my television several decades ago.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bravo for tossing the television, the rest of the population should summarily follow suit.

        Liked by 1 person

        • They’d certainly have a lot more time for other things if they did. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, like buy and read my books! LOL!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Exactly! 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  26. Sometimes, I’m like where are you hiding? (It’s like this is right next to me. despite not having Autism or ADHD) And this is why I often save your posts to read when I’m fresh, have less in my inbox, so I can concentrate. Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a WONDERFUL comment, Helen — even though I’m not happy to read that you or anybody struggles, sharing ways to overcome challenges we all share to one degree or another is why I write and why I blog.

      I can’t tell you why I post what I publish certain articles at certain times rather than others, however – but I’m glad you haven’t found the bug I planted in your room yet. 🙂

      Seriously, I’m flattered that you save my posts to read later, Helen. Thank you SO much for telling me that.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Lucy Brazier says:

    This is so very interesting! I had never heard of this. Always an absolute delight to learn something new and you always manage to make these complicated and in-depth subjects accessible for simpletons such as myself. Thank you, my dear!
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am always thrilled to read that, as complex as are some of the topics I tackle, my articles simplify the information at least enough that readers can digest it. Thank you so much.

      But NONE of my readers are simpletons – least of all YOU, Lucy my dear! 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucy Brazier says:

        We are all that little bit less simple -thanks to your great work!!
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m simply sharing information. You have a ton of it I don’t have – and vice versa. As my first coaching mentor used to say, “information is the booby prize.”

          I do appreciate the comment and know you are being humorous, I just don’t want to leave a disempowering though it your VERY intelligent head!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lucy Brazier says:

            I am being flippant, of course, and I also wouldn’t want to suggest that any one of your readers is a simpleton. I know that they are all bright enough not to be offended by my silly British humour!
            I really admire the work you do and your brilliant blog, it is an invaluable resource.
            xx

            Liked by 1 person

            • I doubt that anyone reading would take your humor seriously, Lucy – and I really don’t either. You are a joy and a delight in my life, and I’m SO happy to have met you.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              I feel exactly the same, my dearest! I am very grateful for your wonderfulness!
              x

              Liked by 1 person

            • awwwwww thanks, Lucy ❤
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  28. that was interesting to read… and maybe to have problems while driving at night or while twilight isn’t just a problem of the eyes… there can be much more behind this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was stunned to find this information, back when I did. But it does make sense, doesn’t it? Even though it’s not what’s behind EVERYONE’s struggles, for those who turn out to have Irlen syndrome it is practically a miracle.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Beautiful read, once again Madelyn and must say so knowledgeable and informative post. I had never heard about these great women and what amazing roles they played in society and with children who had these problems and one of them herself being autistic. Great, thanks for the awesome share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to learn you found out about them through me, Kamal. Thank you so much for letting me know.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome Madelyn and I had never known about these two women. Great.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. MindBody says:

    Irlen syndrome is one name for part of the range of sensory integration disorders we are prone to suffer from. It is gradually becoming clearer that there are real physical issues underlying them, and that these issues are manageable.

    We are only now getting a handle on the mechanisms by which the brain integrates sensory information and what factors skew it. Probably the most important issue for most purposes is that these input biases cause dyscoordination of eye movements and loss of stereopsis.

    My blog comment “Upper Cervical Subluxation and the reality Hologram” on atlassubluxation.wordpress.com describes my best understanding of the situation 2 years ago, but it is over long and needs a few updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another great comment that is right on, IMHO. I’m long overdue for bed (5AM here) – but I’ll be over to take look at some point tomorrow. Plumbers will be in my space for much of the daytime on Monday, so I’m not sure how that will impact my ability to focus, or how long they will be here. I am looking forward to checking it out, however. Thanks for mentioning it again.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

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