Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Irlen Method for Children with Autism

Raising children with autism is different with each child. I have two children with autism and they are completely different from each other. Because of this it is difficult to find exact treatments to help your child work with the characteristics he or she possesses. One of the problems a child with autism may have is what is called a Visual Perceptual Disorder. Thankfully there are some tips and techniques that can improve visual perception. It is quite possible that using this treatment a child with autism can see more clearly, increase comprehension, and help mitigate some of the behavior problems associated with autism. Many children with autism have problems when they experience sensory issues. Those issues can be just a general overload of input or distortion of sensory information that can make a child uncomfortable or even cause pain. As adults we have the same experience at the end of the day when we have just had it with everyone and everything. Parents and professionals may find a child with autism becomes overloaded from colors, lights, shapes, and patterns. Too much of any of these can cause the child with autism to display unwanted behaviors or just shut down. This may be multiplied by family factors particularly when there is a parent who had trouble reading or had visual perceptual problems themselves. . Many children with a visual perceptual disorder respond to a treatment called the Irlen Method. This treatment uses color to create a background the world. This background makes the world easier for the child with autism to deal with and live in. Most people have heard of someone who uses a color filter over a page while reading. It helps a child read easier and quicker. This is helpful for a child at that level. Another child who is not at the reading level yet may wear glasses similar to sunglasses that are of different colors. This helps the child have a color background to everything they see. Even if your child reads they may benefit from wearing the glasses the entire day. Since not every color works the same way you will want to see someone trained in the tips and techniques to try out a variety of colors and shades. Some families even use colored light bulbs in their homes. Children with autism can be helped in four different areas with this type of visual perceptual treatment. Those areas are depth perception, social skills and interaction, learning, and general physical well-being. A child with autism will be more oriented to his world because he or she can tell how far they are from objects. No more bumping into things. The world will have layers and dimensions. Because the child with autism is better able to handle his world there may well be calmer days. The child may well be able to learn to pick up on facial emotions if depth perception improves. Some children have reported they have less headaches and dizziness. Experimenting with different treatments including the Irlen Method can help a child with autism in so many ways. I found it was worth the effort with both of my children with autism.

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