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Be Well
Dr. Jamie Fettig

Why Trust me, Dr. Jamie?

Children with Learning Disabilities and Problems Reading

This is a story of my sister and her children.

I have a story I HAVE to share with you all. I want to shout this from a mountain top.  Everyone NEEDS to know about this.

As many of you know we are home schooling our boys this year.  One of our reasons for home schooling them was because of Brandon’s struggle with reading and more specifically reading comprehension.  I have had them home with me for 6 months now.  Brandon is/was still struggling with reading comprehension.  I have tried numerous things with him to no avail.  This was Brandon.

Now I will share Preston’s problems.  As soon as I brought him home I knew he had a problem.  He could not read.  If I gave him an easy book with pictures he could picture read and/or memorize the book and read.  Anytime I would try and have him read a book without pictures it was a disaster.  I tried starting over with a phonics program with him and that didn’t help.  It seemed to help when I would cover all the words except the one he was reading.  Although he still had trouble with switching letters around.  I questioned dyslexia with Preston and I did talk to someone who works with kids with dyslexia but I didn’t like the answer I got so I didn’t research it further.  I just kept struggling and not really getting anywhere with him.

Both boys were having trouble but both were completely different problems.  Brandon was a good speller and was a fairly fluent reader but can not comprehend what he read.  Preston cannot spell and struggles with reading but he can comprehend what he did finally read.    Brandon struggles with memorizing math facts Preston has them down.

Then a dear home school friend of mine suggested getting colored transparencies.  Let me say this was not the first time I have heard about these right Cindy.  So after much prayer from and with my dear friend, in January I finally started researching an email I received in October from my Godmother about Irlen Method.   The more I read about it the more I realized I had to get my boys tested.  The final kicker that had me make an appointment to get the boys tested was one day I yelled at Preston because he wrote on the table with a marker.   Anyone that knows Preston knows that we have called him our “Space Man” since he was very little.  We have called him that because he is always walking into things and is a klutz.  After I yelled at him I realized I just yelled at him for something he has no control over.  Earlier that morning he went to throw something in the garbage and bent over and hit his head on the counter.  One of the symptoms of Irlen’s is poor depth perception.  So he didn’t mean to write on the table but did because he couldn’t judge where the edge of the paper was.  I apologized to Preston about yelling at him and started looking for a screener.

We finished our initial screening today for the two older boys and they have both been diagnosed with it.  The correction is either colored overlays and or colored lenses.  The difference the colored overlays made for Brandon brought tears to my eyes.  I wish I would have known about this 4 years ago when all his troubles started.  This is something that is hereditary.  I did sit in on the test and watched and listen to them ask the questions.  After we were all done the screener asked what I saw and we decided it would be beneficial for me to get tested too.  The boys need to go for testing yet so that they can get colored lenses or tinted glasses.

My hope with this email is to bring awareness to as many people as possible about Irlen Method.  They say that 20% of the population has it.  Anyone who is a teacher I BEG you to read about this on the web at and talk to your schools about getting testing for this for the kids.  Anyone who is a parent and have any of the symptoms I list contact me and I can get you in touch with a screener or even talk to you more about it. 

Do you have night blindness?
Do you have trouble catching a ball?
Are you tired of re-reading for comprehension?
Do you have trouble staying on task?
Do you or your child guess at the words?
Do you lose your place?
Do you hate math?
Are you bothered by headlights at night?
Are you easily distracted?
Are you bothered by florescent lights?
Does reading become harder the longer you read?
Do you have trouble spelling?
Do you reverse numbers or letters?
Do you or your child have ADHD?

If you can answer yes to any of these you could have Irlen’s and CAN be helped.  I have lived with it for 30 years and I am excited to have my turn to get screened and helped.  I would have never thought I had it until I sat in on the screening of the boys today.

Thanks for taking time to “listen” to me.

Peace and Love

It is funny,

Because way back in chiropractic college, a roommate of mine used these colored sheets for reading.
She tried to profess to me how much easier it made her to comprehend stuff.
And I just didn’t really get/believe that it could make that much difference.

I had forgotten about that until you typed this email. In thinking back now, she swore by those sheets.
Now I see why.


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