Date of Conferral







Ethel Perry


Reading illiteracy is a continuing problem in society. Irlen purported many individuals struggle with reading due to a perceptual processing problem called Irlen Syndrome (IS). Existing research supports the use of colored overlays and tinted lenses to alleviate reading difficulties but has focused primarily on the biological benefits of improved reading while neglecting the IS child’s psychological and social well-being. Viewed from a biopsychosocial perspective, the purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of parents of children with IS who used colored overlays or tinted lenses. Engel’s biopsychosocial theory acted as a guide for the interpretation of themes that emerged from the data analysis. Data were collected using a nonprobability purposeful sample strategy. This study’s sample consisted of 11 parents with IS children who used colored overlays or tinted lenses for 4 months or longer. Parent interview transcripts were analyzed using hand coding and NVivo computer software. It was found that parents of IS children reported improvements in their child’s overall reading, writing, homework completion, self-confidence, sociability, emotional regulation, and physical well-being when using colored overlays and tinted lenses. Findings revealed that many parents struggled with school personnel’s ability to understand and accept IS as a diagnosis and provide their child with consistent adaptive device accommodations. The results of this study may lead to positive social change by giving practitioners and educators a greater understanding of IS and its biological, psychological, and social processes.