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Meares-Irlen syndrome

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Meares-Irlen Syndrome (also known as Irlen Syndrome or scotopic sensitivity) is described as a visual processing disorder thought to affect reading. The treatment for Meares-Irlen is the use of tinted glasses, which by anecdotal accounts can be instantly and highly effective. However, because there is little verifiable evidence of the causes, existence, or effectiveness of treatment of Meares Irlen Syndrome, organisations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics et al. (AAP et al., 2014) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO, 2018) have issued official statements that they do not endorse Meares-Irlen as a condition.

The use of tinted lenses is thought to be harmless. Furthermore, despite the controversial nature of Meares-Irlen, students with the condition should not be denied the use of reasonable accommodations or support. However, one concern is that a diagnosis for Meares-Irlen prevents people from seeking other diagnoses and/or interventions. Anyone who continues to have difficulty with reading or other skills related to study should receive an appropriate assessment from a qualified health professional and evidence-informed interventions (AAP et al., 2014).

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