1 in 5 of all children have symptoms of Visual Stress, and are therefore underachieving at school. Overlays and coloured paper are inexpensive ways of improving the education experience, raising achievement levels and boosting self confidence.
You will have taught many children with Visual Stress. Often children do not report movement or blurring of print because they think it is normal (it is for them!). The only mystery is how the other children can read so fast and accurately when text has to be chased and broken down like a puzzle? The coping strategies they invent are mind boggling.
Dyslexia and Visual Stress are often confused as some of the symptoms overlap; reversal is a dyslexic trait and will not stop with coloured overlays, professional dyslexia assessment is recommended for children who regularly experience reversals while reading. Visual Stress is more common, easier to diagnose and cheaper to treat, you can change children’s lives by helping to identify and treat their difficulties with overlays.
An Institute of Optometry A5 coloured overlay costs £3.50
Always request that a child has a regular eye test if they report any symptoms of Visual Stress.
Never limit the choice of overlays to just yellow or a blue. It is a myth that only yellow or blue will work. Offer at least 10 different colours. A testing pack should have 2 identical sets of at least 10 overlay colours so that double colours can be used too.
Individual "white boards" can be made with either or cream or buff cardboard or to match the colour of a child's overlay. Simply put stiff, coloured card through the school laminator and you have an instant, portable, white board without the glare! Over head projector pens work best with these.
Use verdana, arial or comic-sans fonts, in size 14 or above for word documents. Avoid Times New Roman as it distorts too easily.
Change projectors to a magnolia background to cut down on glare; this will benefit the whole class!
Avoid over-lighting classrooms,
and promote inclusion by offering a range of coloured paper in the
classroom. Please bear in mind that children with Visual Stress
have a great deal of trouble copying accurately from white
boards. they will also be slower than their peers, therefore
please do not keep them in at break time, as they need that time to
rest their eyes.