Category Archives: Reading difficulties

What does the colour of your tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?

What does the colour of your tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?

The link between coloured overlays and vision for learning. 

What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler  mean?
What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler  mean?

Research has shown1, 2 that coloured overlay preference is related to the overlay users’ visual development; the difficulty the eyes have in focusing and working together. It is possible to estimate the degree of a reading difficulty by the choice of colour. When the distraction of light is reduced and managed by the coloured overlay reading does get easier, it is important to remember that the tinted overlay is treating the symptom (light sensitivity) and not the cause (binocular imbalance and/or reduced contrast sensitivity). Optometry intervention will treat the cause and will reward the patient with a higher learning potential.

In summary, coloured overlays work in two ways: they will either:

  • reduce the levels of reflected light off a white page (light sensitivity – choosing blue, green, purple or grey tints) and/or
  • increase the contrast of black letters against the background of colour (contrast sensitivity – choosing yellow, brown, pink or orange tints).

Light sensitivity

Colour preference is influenced by light sensitivity. In general, light sensitive individuals will choose grey, green or blue and reject yellow and orange. This is likely to be because yellow, pink and orange are at, or near, the peak spectral sensitivity of the eye, but even green can sometimes be too bright for some people. Many youngsters have reading difficulties just because of light sensitivity and glare from a white page in bright indoor light. If for instance, the two eyes are not perfectly aligned, have a tendency to turn out for example, it requires a lot of energy to keep them working together to stop double vision. If bright light is then shone into their eyes it really is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Eyes that are struggling to see suddenly can’t cope with the extra distraction (bright light) and binocular vision begins to break down. This translates to an aversion to bright light. Loving blue and hating yellow is diagnostic of clinically significant light sensitivity (blue tint absorbs the fierce yellow light).

Why can I read more easily with my tinted reading ruler or overlay?
Why can I read more easily with my tinted reading ruler or overlay?

Contrary to what may be expected, loss of contrast sensitivity can have an effect on colour preference even in someone who is naturally light sensitive. The light sensitive individual may still choose a yellow overlay with all its brightness because the gain of increased contrast outweighs the gain of reducing light sensitivity – this individual is crying out for visual help.

Contrast

Poor vision can be caused by a binocular vision problem or a focusing problem, or a combination of both. In some people this can be so difficult that it prevents the eye from developing normal sensitivity to details around them (amblyopia). This can be measured as a loss of contrast sensitivity. People experiencing loss of contrast sensitivity would likely pick an overlay from the colour range towards the top of the table shown below (yellow, pink, orange and green to a lesser degree) to enhance contrast. A bright contrast is achieved by absorbing blue and ultraviolet (UV) light. A great example of contrast is in tennis; the yellow tint in a tennis ball transmits the colour yellow and absorbs the colour green in grass increasing the contrast between the object and the background. Contrast sensitivity is related to visual development. If vision is impeded during the formative years it prevents the eyes developing really sharp vision. People with good contrast sensitivity can see well in poor light when the contrast between the print and its background is reduced. Amblyopia is the word, which is often used to mean poor contrast sensitivity.

Click here to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic
Click here to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic

The brighter the light the better the contrast. The visual system is very sensitive to edges that are defined by the contrast between the edge and its background. Sharpness of vision or contrast sensitivity develops in infancy. The cells in the visual cortex and the number of their connections to other cells is directly dependent on the quality of visual information coming from the rods and cones (photo receptors) in the retina. It is also dependent on the combined information from the two eyes. This gives us even higher levels of visual performance including depth perception and positional sense. Any lessening in the quality of visual information contributes to loss of contrast sensitivity.

The cause of light sensitivity is a binocular deficiency. Binocular vision controls eye tracking skills, eye teaming skills, visual-motor integration (eye hand coordination) and visual perception (visual memory, visual form perception and visualisation). The need for a coloured overlay is a very important indication of deeper visual problems.

What does your overlay or reading ruler colour mean? Why did you choose that colour?

Colour of ruler or overlay and approximate wavelength if applicable Tint indicators
OrangeOrange

610 nm wavelength

  • Someone who is desperate for contrast but too light sensitive to be able to deal with yellow, likely to have binocular problems as well as visual development issues.
  • Seek visual assessment as soon as possible.
Brown

 

  • A good UV light absorber
  • A more saturated version of orange. Light sensitive people often find brown sunglasses difficult to tolerate and are much happier when swapped to grey (or green for contrast).
  • Seek visual assessment.
  • Brown, especially in the sun, gives very good contrast. It removes the veiling background haze and light scatter caused by blue and ultraviolet light and reduces general light levels including at peak sensitivity (yellow). As a result, brown is the colour of choice for people who are not light sensitive for sunglasses.
Yellow 

570 nm wavelength

  • Yellow is often chosen by individuals seeking greater contrast between text and the white page. Yellow/Black is the strongest contrast of colour in nature, often signalling danger like the colour of the wasp.
  • Yellow concentrates light in the area of the spectrum to which the eye is most sensitive.
  • Seek visual assessment
  • Yellow is the most popular overlay colour used in the UK.
  • Sports people often like yellow lenses in fading light due to the increase in contrast that yellow provides.
  • Yellow is not suitable for use in sunglasses because of the glare and toxic effect of light at peak spectral sensitivity. Those who enjoy a yellow tint indoors would be prescribed a brown tint for outdoor use.
  • Yellow is disliked by light-sensitive people. Yellow absorbs blue light and ultra violet. Blue light is focused in front of the retina and UV causes the eyes to fluoresce (shine or glow brightly) – this combination can cause a veiling background haze which reduces contrast in light sensitive individuals. Blue light is scattered within the eye causing hazy vision in people who have eye floaters, early cataracts or scars on the cornea.
  • Sometimes an individual may be very light sensitive but may still choose yellow because the benefits of the high contrast outweigh the light sensitivity gains. In this case it is more of a cry for help and the need to measure the degree of binocular and focusing difficulty.
Pink

 

  • Indicates an equal mix of visual development delays and low light sensitivity.
  • Pink provides contrast (a good UV and blue light absorber) and yellow light absorption.
  • Pink is often favoured by migraine sufferers (a nagging subconscious deficiency which the brain eventually rebels against shutting down the local blood supply to give the cortical brain cells a rest).
  • Pink increases the contrast of black letters against the background colour.
  • Seek visual assessment
  • Pink is in the top 5 of the most popular overlay colours chosen in the UK
  • Pink/Red has been shown to be useful in hue/contrast discrimination in colour blindness
  • Pink is often favoured by those with brown eyes. Brown eyes generally let less light in because of the heavy pigment in the iris. For this reason blue eyes are habituated to higher light levels and are less likely to be distracted by a sudden flash of light.
Magenta
  • Magenta brings out the brightness (contrast of pink) and the light absorption of blue that absorbs the yellow light that light sensitive people find difficult to tolerate.
  • Magenta is the light sensitive persons version of pink
  • Magenta increases the contrast of black letters against the background colour.
  • Seek visual assessment
Greens

540 nm wavelength

  • Indicates a level of light sensitivity and some need for enhanced contrast
  • Green absorbs blue and UV and subdues the bright effects of orange and yellow.
  • Seek visual assessment
  • Grass Green is in the top 5 of the most popular overlay colours chosen in the UK.
Blues

480 nm wavelength

  • Chosen by individuals struggling with light sensitivity as blue absorbs yellow light.
  • Blue provides little enhancement of contrast.
  • Seek visual assessment
  • Aqua blue is the second most popular overlay colour used in the UK with Sky Blue also very popular.
  • Blue is not usually prescribed for outdoor prescription lenses as blue dilates the pupils and increases exposure to UV. Green or neutral grey are usually chosen as an effective alternative in young, light sensitive children and would give better contrast.
Purple/violet

420 nm wavelength

  • Indicates strong sensitivity to light
  • It has a tendency to absorb all the higher wavelengths
  • Does not aid contrast
  • Seek visual assessment
  • Not often chosen as the darkening effect and loss of contrast can prove too great even for light sensitive children and adults to tolerate
Grey

Neutral wavelength

  • Lowers general light levels.
  • Someone who likes grey has well established contrast sensitivity but may have some residual light sensitivity possibly related to binocular vision.
  • May benefit from visual assessment
  • Grey does not distort colour and can be favoured by light sensitive people
  • Grey is good for use indoors to reduce glare from fluorescent lamps, VDU and television screens.

The further down the table of colours (wavelengths) the greater the degree of text/page contrast reduction, conversely the higher up the table you go the greater the user will enjoy a higher level of contrast.

Tints chosen from higher up the table are less suitable for light-sensitive individuals compared to the tints in the bottom section of the table.

An individual may require high levels of contrast and be light sensitive – what happens then? One visual need overrides another until your visual performance is improved by correcting the binocular or focusing problem. In our son’s case, although he was extremely light sensitive (requiring the lights in the testing room to be turned off) he chose yellow in his desperation to gain more contrast on the page. With the use of tinted prism lenses and magnification (a secondary effect of positive lenses used to help focusing) his light sensitivity reduced significantly and he is now in the final eye development stage and wears the neutral wavelength grey tint just to take a little of the brightness out of his world. Oli’s tint progression is a classic illustration of how colour preference changes as visual performance improves. He now reads faster, spells more accurately, can understand and remember more of what he reads and all his senses are functioning at a far higher level, he can even hear better.

Coloured overlay or reading ruler users should seek help and assessment from a Schoolvision practitioner who is experienced in the use of the Eye Bright colour preference test.
Coloured overlay or reading ruler users should seek help and assessment from a Schoolvision practitioner who is experienced in the use of the Eye Bright colour preference test.

The need for and use of a coloured overlay (especially when a tinted reading ruler is needed to follow the sentence) is diagnostic of a binocular vision and/or a visual development anomaly (abnormality). The coloured overlay or reading ruler user should seek help and assessment from a Schoolvision practitioner who is experienced in the use of the Eye Bright colour preference test. Unfortunately this type of testing is not yet included in the N.H.S. eye test. A Schoolvision optometrist will test: binocular vision at near point, Eye Bright colour preference, reading speed and contrast assessment. None of these tests are performed in the standard NHS eye test resulting in critical eye abnormalities being missed that are proven to cause learning difficulties.

This article was compiled using a great deal of technical knowledge, research and statements written by Geraint Griffiths MSc Optom, MCOptom (Managing Director of Schoolvision and practise owner of Optical 3 in Leicester). http://www.sportvision.co.uk/school/

The article was inspired by our family’s personal experience: Our son was struggling in most areas of his little life and was given a 20/20 perfect NHS vision eye test result from a high street optician. Unhappy with the outcome I felt there was something unanswered in my son’s visual system. It turned out that there were huge problems with his vision that were directly affecting his ability to learn. These visual difficulties were identified by the Schoolvision optometry assessment. The outcome of the assessment had immediate positive results: improvements socially, academically, physically, in speech, hearing and processing. It is unfortunate that the series of tests performed by Schoolvision are not part of the NHS eye test – the learning outcomes of so many children are being cut short by an NHS eye test that spends precious little attention on the way the eyes work at the near point. If your child is using coloured overlays or reading rulers I would urge you to book in with the Schoolvision team, you may be surprised at what has been missed in your child’s previous NHS eye tests.

Helpful definitions:

Contrast: Contrast is the difference in the reflected light or colour from an object clear enough to be recognised, compared with its background. Contrast sensitivity refers to the ability to detect differences between light and dark areas; therefore, if you have low contrast sensitivity increasing the contrast between an object and its background will generally make the object more visible. Black objects or print against a white or yellow background usually provide the strongest colour contrast.

Light sensitive: some people have problems with certain levels of light, with some being more light sensitive than others. Many eye conditions can make people more sensitive to light. We need light to see around us and to tell us what colour things are. Light bounces off of things around us and different objects reflect different amounts of light. There are times when the amount or quality of light can affect our ability to see and read. Too much light can cause problems with glare.

Binocular vision: ‘bi’ means ‘two’, ‘Ocular’ means ‘eye’ – this is vision with two eyes. Most people use two eyes all the time so it is not sufficient to measure one eye then the other. It is the way that the two eyes work together that causes most of the problems. This process is highly complex in neurological terms and it is surprising that most people do not regard binocular vision as a potential source of problems. Prism is used to balance the way the two eyes work together. If one eye has a tendency to turn out a prism is placed in front of it (with the thick edge near the nose, incorporated invisibly in the glasses) to bend the light in. In this way the two eyes can work comfortably together. This does not require eye exercises, the spectacles just support the weakness the eye was born with. In truth, none of us were born with the ability to spend all our time looking at books or computers or worse still smart phones (even smaller, brighter and nearer). This is purely a modern IT era problem. Binocular vision controls eye tracking skills, eye teaming skills, visual-motor integration (eye hand coordination) and visual perception (visual memory, visual form perception and visualisation).

 References

1G.W Griffiths 2001. Colour preference – a comparative study. Optometry Today vol. 41:20

2G.W Griffiths 2003. Prescribing tints – measuring colour preference in practise. Optometry Today Vol. 43:19

A school vision optometrist can identify any underlying eye anomalies in regular coloured overlay or reading ruler users.
A Schoolvision optometrist can identify any underlying eye anomalies in people who enjoy using coloured overlay or reading rulers. Click HERE to find your nearest Schoolvision practitioner www.sportvision.co.uk/school/practitioner
Fantastic Dyspraxic Dyspraxia DCD shop. Stockists of coloured reading rulers, visual assessment packs for schools, coloured overlays and coloured exercise books. www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk
Fantastic Dyspraxic Dyspraxia DCD shop. Stockists of coloured reading rulers, visual assessment packs for schools, coloured overlays and coloured exercise books.
www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk

Article copyright of authors Lisa Bochenek and Geraint Griffiths. February 2018. This article may not be reproduced without written permission from the authors.

 

 

 

 

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Do you have visual stress? A visual stress checklist. Overlays and reading rulers: What are they? How to use them and how to care for them.

Do you have visual stress?

A visual stress quick checklist:

Do you or your child:

  • Tire quickly when working with text?
  • Have difficulty copying from the board?
  • Seem to experience increased difficulty reading after an initial period of about 10 minutes?
  • Keep adjusting their head or body position, or moving nearer or further away from the page?
  • Read slowly and without fluency?
  • Track the text with their finger?
  • Yawn whilst reading?
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Packs of 5 or 10.
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Available in packs of 5 or 10.

If any of these points are noticeable it is likely that trying a tinted overlay may improve you or your child’s speed of reading. The most affordable way to do this is to purchase a pack of the plain reading rulers, lay them side by side in turn on a piece of text, if the text seems clearer or reading is more comfortable with one of them, choose that one to read with. Once you have tested the different coloured tints and have ascertained which colour is right for you, use the one you prefer for a few weeks. You will have a good idea after that if you have the right colour and if you wish to buy any other items: plain and duo reading rulers, coloured overlays and monitor overlays.

Some questions that may be helpful to ask your child:

  • “Do the letters stay still or do they move?”
  • “Are the letters clear or are they fuzzy/blurred?”
  • “Is the page too bright, not bright enough or just about right?” 
  •  “Does it hurt your eyes to look at the page or is it OK?”.
  • “After you have been reading for a while, do the words or letters do anything different?

Reports of movement, blurring and glare are more likely in children who would benefit from overlays

We would always stress that you should see a school vision practitioner (www.schoolvision.org.uk) should you find that a colour works particularly well for you or your child, they are familiar with the use of coloured lenses and will check there are no underlying eye problems.

There is a Society for Coloured Lens Providers: They provide a list of recommended practitioners following an agreed code of conduct.
Web: http://www.s4clp.org

What is visual stress?

Describing visual stress to a non-sufferer is a little difficult: sometimes you may notice that someone is wearing a really stripy top and it feels uncomfortable to look at and might make your eyes go ‘a little bit funny’. Many individuals with visual stress experience similar feelings when they look at text. Visual stress describes the discomfort some people feel when looking at text for long periods. Our tolerances for repeating shapes, high contrasts and brightness are each slightly different. Visual stress refers to discomfort and print distortion brought about by pattern glare. It is also known as visual dyslexia and scotopic sensitivity.

The term visual stress is sometimes used to refer to the collection of symptoms and signs of visual fatigue when reading that are reduced when colour is used as therapy.

Visual Stress might not be seen as a serious problem until it comes to coping with small black text on a white background or volumes of reading. Many children who suffer from visual stress are unaware that they see the page differently to others.

What are the symptoms of visual stress?

Below are some symptoms that may indicate visual stress. (This list is for guidance only, and is not proof of visual stress)

  • Words or letters may appear to move or jump on the page, letters may have a back to front appearance, may shimmer or shake
  • Words or letters may fade or blur, often going out of focus, become darker or flash
  • Letters may seem to change size
  • Patterns may appear in the dark print or the white spaces
  • You may feel tiredness during and after reading, dizzy or even nauseous
  • Headaches, often frequent, may occur from reading. Regular migraines (especially when working at a computer)
  • You may find it easier to read large, widely spaced print, than small and closely printed text.
  • Words or letters may break into two and appear as double.
  • You might experience difficulty with tracking across the page, losing your place
  • You  may feel uncomfortable in the bright daylight, sunlight or under fluorescent lighting conditions
  • Glare on the page might be upsetting to you, most noticeably with black print on bright white paper
  • You might experience sore eyes when reading, often rubbing them during or after reading, experiencing eye strain
  • You might blink excessively

In some cases any of these symptoms can significantly affect a persons ability to read. It can also make reading very tiring. Note: A child may not recognise what they see as a problem, as this is how they have always seen text.

Research has shown that around 20% of the population suffer, to varying degrees, from visual stress (around 5% of the population are severely affected). Reading through an overlay of the right colour can reduce the symptoms or remove them altogether. Overlays enable more fluent reading with less discomfort and fewer headaches.

Recent studies indicate that visual stress is more prevalent in people with dyslexia than in the rest of the population

The symptoms of physical stress can be similar to those caused by other physical eye conditions e.g. undiagnosed short or long sight or binocular vision problems. Therefore, any person experiencing visual stress should be examined by an optometrist. Nonetheless, visual stress can remain, despite correction of refractive error and treatment of binocular problems.

Why does colour work?

Original research indicated that the discomfort when looking at the print and the related symptoms of visual stress in reading difficulties are due to a hyper-excitability of neurones in the visual cortex. Some of the cells in the brain that process visual information work too fast and don’t respond in the way they should.

Some cells in the visual cortex are colour sensitive and so, by placing a colour in front of the eye; the pattern of excitation can be changed: the colour helps to slow and calm these cells thereby quietening the pattern and reducing the visual stress.

The colour needed to reduce this hyper-excitability is individual to each person.

Statistical data from recent studies has shown that 5% of children in mainstream schools read at least 25% more quickly with coloured overlays (Wilkins, 2002). 

What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?
What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?

NEW Research provides some very interesting answers as to why you chose your specific overlay colour. Click HERE or on the image to understand why that colour worked for you.

Visual stress products include:

Our visual stress products are made by Crossbow Education. Their products are designed using the findings of the research from the Department of Psychology at Essex University. They are the visual stress products most commonly chosen by UK schools.

They are made from transparent PET and enable you to read longer and with less stress. All our visual stress products are available in the same colour range which include: Yellow, Celery, Grass, Jade, Aqua, Sky, Purple, Magenta, Pink, Orange and NEW Grey (only available in the A4 overlays and virtual type-thru monitor overlays at present).

Reading rulers: There are two types of reading rulers: Duo window reading rulers and Plain window reading rulers.

Crossbow duo eye level reading rulers reduce visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Pack of 10 colours.
Crossbow duo eye level tinted reading rulers reduce visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Pack of 10 colours.

Duo reading rulers: are divided into a narrow reading window and a wide reading window by an opaque strip. People who have difficulties keeping their focus on the line being read find this design useful. Focus can be further confined by taping paper over the wide transparent window a quarter of an inch below the opaque part of the ruler, so that all words except the present line are completely blocked out. The rulers can be trimmed to fit in books or even cut in half to keep in a small dictionary. Click HERE to buy.

The Eye Level Reading Ruler is a coloured overlay filter and text highlighter about the size of an eight-inch ruler. It is discreet and professional-looking and can be kept in a book as a bookmark for easy storage.

The Duo reading ruler is made of a combination of opaque and transparent plastic that both underlines the text and highlights it in a coloured tint. Simply read the text through either of the tinted plastic strips of your selected colour, and track down the page: broad strip for paragraphs; narrow strip for single lines.

Crossbow plain eye level reading rulers, text overlay for relief of visual stress and light sensitivity for faster reading speed
Crossbow plain eye level coloured reading rulers, text overlay for relief of visual stress and light sensitivity for faster reading speed

Plain window reading rulers: are the same size, price and colours as the Duo Window reading rulers, but with only one window and a tracking line half an inch from the edge. They have no opaque strip in the middle. Confident readers who struggle with visual stress often prefer plain because there is no interruption to the flow of text, allowing them to read ahead easily. Click HERE to buy.

 

Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Packs of 5 or 10.
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Available in packs of 5 or 10.

Page overlays: Full sized coloured overlays can be useful; in an exam or revision, and research where you are glancing around the page and going back and forth to the same page. It can just be left in place over the whole page. Other useful applications are for reading sheet music and machining patterns. Overlays can be easily cut in half to use with smaller pages or to keep in dictionaries and other reference books. In the workplace,  page overlays are perfect for invoices and copy typing. Click HERE to buy.

Monitor overlays: You can change the background colour in your windows preferences, but you can’t change the background colour of a web page, such as the “google” page. Monitor overlays deal with this, and also the glare from the surface of the screen itself. Crossbow monitor overlays simply stick to the screen by static electricity, effectively reducing the glare, allowing you to work comfortable for much longer periods of time. Click HERE to buy.

Virtual coloured overlay for pc. Select your perfect tint, unrestricted by the 10 colour plastic overlay choices for screens. Convenient, easy to use visual stress and reading support product.
Virtual coloured overlay for pc. Select your perfect tint, unrestricted by the 10 colour plastic overlay choices for screens. 

Virtual Type-Thru Overlays: The virtual overlay will tint the screen of the monitor any colour you like from 2 million colours. It will not deal with the surface glare like  a monitor overlay does but it does give flexibility if more than one person uses the computer. Many people find it sufficient for their needs. You also don’t need to worry about scratching your monitor overlays.

Visual stress A4 tinted exercise books available in 10 colours.
Visual stress A4 tinted exercise books available in 10 colours.

 

A4 Tinted exercise books. A4 Tinted exercise books. Children with Visual Stress often find it as difficult to write on white paper as to read from it due to light and contrast sensitivity. Writing can be untidy and presentation poor, because the words they write are affected in just the same way as the printed words they read. Revision from poor presentation is difficult and discouraging. The right colour workbook can make learning easier and improve grades. Our range of exercise books are available in 11 colours and feature high paper quality to reduce the effect of see-through “shadows” from the reverse side of the pages, which can be a distraction for children with dyslexia-related and other visual-perceptual difficulties. Click HERE to buy.

Tinted handwriting exercise book well liked by children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and visual stress.
Tinted handwriting exercise books are enjoyed by children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and visual stress.

Tinted handwriting exercise books. Many children with handwriting difficulties enter a new world of neatness when they write on tinted paper. 48 pages with soft grey ruler, ‘shadow’ for the height of the letter and soft guidelines for ascender and descender stopping points. 15mm ruled. Available in 8 colour tints. A5 size. Click HERE to buy.

 

Visual Stress Assessment Pack by Crossbow Education - School Edition - Revised. Help your students or child reach their full potential - eliminate visual stress in the classroom. Suitable for all schools and children ages 6-18. Visual Stress assessment should be carried out for all weak readers by the end of key stage one. The visual stress assessment pack is the ideal tool, as the assessment can be carried out by non-specialists and will identify the children (5%, or around ten in every average-sized primary school), whose reading is severely impeded by distorted print or other symptoms. The children who just need a reading ruler or coloured overlay to increase their reading speed by 25% or more can be quickly identified with the Visual Stress Assessment Pack.
Visual Stress Assessment Pack by Crossbow Education – School Edition – Revised. Help your students or child reach their full potential – eliminate visual stress in the classroom. Visual Stress assessment should be carried out for all weak readers by the end of key stage one. 

Crossbow Education Visual Stress Assessment pack – School Edition: Suitable for all schools and children aged 6-18. A complete guide to testing for visual stress in schools: contains full instructions for testing for visual stress. No prior experience needed. Contains directions on how to deal with the results and where to get help. Contains 2 sets of A5 Crossbow overlays to do the test, photocopiable  leaflets for parents, classrooms, staff rooms etc. Cick HERE to buy.

 

 

How should an overlay be used?

  • Simply place the sheet over the page, when reading. You may want to cut your overlay down to A5 size if you normally use if for reading books.
  • Try both the matt and the glossy side to see which side you prefer, and use the side you like best.
  • Position the text to avoid reflections from the surfaces of the overlay caused by lighting
  • The overlays can be used as often as you like, wherever it is helpful
  • You can touch the overlay in order to point when reading
  • There may not be a difference straight away as the improvement may only show after 10 minutes or so of reading, when fatigue would normally have set in. Your experience will vary depending on lighting conditions, style and size of print etc.

Care of your coloured overlays and reading rulers: 

  • Coloured overlays can scratch and the colours wear off and so care should be taken. Don’t slide them across the table as they may pick up a small piece of grit underneath which may damage the surface.
  • Keep your overlay free from creases, being careful how you pick it up, don’t let it flap around.
  • Keep your overlay in a sturdy envelope when not in use.
  • Use a soft, clean glasses lens cloth to clean your overlay, using just soapy water. Do not use window cleaner, methylated spirit or any chemicals on your coloured overlay.

References: Wilkins, A.J. (2002). Coloured overlays and their effects on reading speed: A review. Ophthalmic and Psychological. Crossbow Education (2015). What is visual stress, and How can you reduce it?

Enter our Visual Stress shop to purchase any items that you may find helpful. Click HERE.

Click here to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic
Click HERE to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic

Copyright. Fantastic Dyspraxic, 2015 – 2018. Author: Lisa Bochenek.