How has colour helped?

Tom's story

"I have just been awarded the Bernard Matthew's Youth Award 2010 for my determination to succeed academically in spite of having Meares-Irlen syndrome and Dyslexia. As a child I found it very difficult to read and write as text would move around the page and I could not focus on text at all. As a result I was 'labeled' as a low achiever and I used to get myself into trouble so that I did not have to read aloud in class."

"Just before GCSEs I was told that I would not be able to have a career because I had a poor educational level. After visiting opticians and educationalists my mum took me to see the Sensory Support Service where I was diagnosed with Meares-Irlen syndrome (Visual Stress). I saw Professor Evans who prescribed special glasses which have made a huge difference to me. My reading and writing improved by 80% and for myGCSEs I achieved 1 A, 3Bs, 6Cs and 1 D."

"This gave me the chance to go to Paston 6th Form College in Norfolk where I am studying a BTEC National in Fine Art & Design. With further help and support and the use of my glasses I have now been offered a place at University to study for a degree in Architecture. After many years of struggling being told by teachers that I was stupid and not enjoying education at all, the colorimeter machine has turned my life around by giving me a precise prescription for coloured glasses and I am enjoying studying for the first time. I have been involved in making a DVD called Tom's story to explain about the difficulties of having Meares-Irlen syndrome (visual stress) in the hope that it will raise awareness of the condition and stop other children having to go through what I went through."