Assistive technology and tools 
for learning difficulties, migraines 
and other neurological differences 



Neurological Conditions Associated with Visual Stress:  


Visual Stress has been shown to be associated with a range of neurological conditions.  These conditions are listed in the order that research was initiated. 


Photosensitive Epilepsy: 


Neurophysiological aspects of pattern-sensitive epilepsy. Brain, 102, 1-25 Wilkins, A.J., Darby, C.E., & Binnie, C.D. (1979). [link]or [link]for pdf 


Treatment of photosensitive epilepsy using coloured glasses. Seizure 8:444–449  Wilkins AJ, Baker A, Amin D, Smith S, Bradford J, Zaiwalla Z, Besag FMC, Binnie CD, Fish D (1999) [link] 


Irlen Syndrome  


In 1983, Helen Irlen began presenting anecdotal evidence on the effects of colour in relieving what was then thought to be Scotopic Sensitivity.  Since then, her organization, and others supporting her investigation into Irlen Syndrome have amassed a wealth of information.  Please refer to her website for more information on this research.  Irlen 


Optometric correlates of Meares–Irlen syndrome: a matched group study. Ophthal Physiol Opt 15(5):481–487 - Evans BJW, Busby A, Jeanes R, Wilkins A (1995) [link] 




Time course of the hemodynamic response to visual stimulation in migraine, measured using near infrared spectroscopy. Cephalalgia, 32, (8) 621-629 - Coutts, L., Cooper, C., Elwell, C., & Wilkins, A. 2012. [link]or [link]for pdf. 


fMRI evidence that precision ophthalmic tints reduce cortical hyperactivation in migraine. Cephalalgia, 31, (8) 925-936 Huang, J., Zong, X., Wilkins, A., Jenkins, B., Bozoki, A., & Cao, Y. 2011. [link]or [link]for pdf 


Prevention of visual stress and migraine with precision spectral filters. Drug Development Research, 68, 469-475 - Wilkins, A.J., Huang, J., & Cao, Y. 2007. [link] 


Visual Stimuli Are Common Triggers of Migraine and Are Associated With Pattern Glare , Deacon E. Harle MSc, BSc (Hons), Alex J. Shepherd PhD, MSc, BA, Bruce J.W. Evans PhD, BSc, (Hons) 

Article first published online: 13 OCT 2006  DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00585.x  [link] 


Optometric function in visually sensitive migraine before and after treatment with tinted spectacles. Ophthal Physiol Opt 22:130–142 - Evans BJW, Patel R, Wilkins A (2002) [link]or [link]to pdf. 




Research suggests that a significant degree of Visual Stress affects between 31%1   and 40%2 of people with dyslexia. 


1.     Dylexia and Vision. The relationship between dyslexia and Meares–Irlen syndrome. J Res Read 28:350–364– Allen Kriss I, Evans BJW (2005) [link] 

2.     Computerized screening for visual stress in children with dyslexia. Dyslexia, 13, (2) 130-151 available from: PM:17557688 - Singleton, C. & Henderson, L.M. 2007.  


3.     Visual stress in adults with and without dyslexia. J Res Read 28(3):365–378 - Singleton C, Trotter S (2005) [link] 


4.     Prolonged use of coloured overlays for classroom reading. Br J Psychol 88:531–548 - Jeanes R, Busby A, Martin J, Lewis E, Stevenson A, Pointon D, Wilkins A (1997) [link] 


5.     The effect of coloured filters on the rate of reading in an adult student population. Ophthalmol Physiol Opt 22(6):535–545 - Evans BJW, Joseph F (2002) [link]for pdf. 


6.     Visual Aspects of Dyslexia. John Stein and Zoi Kapoula, Editors. (2012) Oxford University Press [link] 


Specific Learning Disabilities 


A review of the management of 323 consecutive patients seen in a specific learning difficulties clinic. Ophthal.Physiol.Opt., 19, (6) 454-466 - Evans, B.J.W., Patel, R., Wilkins, A.J., Lightstone, A., Eperjesi, F., Speedwell, L., & Duffy, J. 1999. [link] 


Screening for Meares-Irlen sensitivity in adults: can assessment methods predict changes in reading speed? Ophthalmic Physiol Opt, 26, (6) 566-571 - Hollis, J. & Allen, P.M. 2006. [link] 


Autism Spectrum Disorder 


Coloured Filters Enhance the Visual Perception of Social Cues in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders . Amanda K. Ludlow, Elaine Taylor-Whiffen, and Arnold J. Wilkins.  ISRN Neurol. 2012: 298098. Published online 2012 March 4.  [link] 


The effect of coloured overlays on reading ability in children with autism. J Autism Dev 36:507–516 - Ludlow A, Wilkins A, Heaton P (2006) [link] 


Multiple Sclerosis,  


Spectral filters can improve reading and visual search in patients with multiple sclerosis. J Neurol 254:1729–1735 - Newman Wright B, Wilkins AJ, Zoukos Y (2007) [link] 


Brain Injury (Acquired, Moderate, Traumatic, and Concussion) 

Vision Rehabilitation. Multidisciplinary Care of the Patient Following Brain Injury. CRC Press 2011 P.S. Suter and L.H. Harvey [link] 

Photosensitivity Following Traumatic Brain Injury - International Brain Injury Association, April 2011, by Neera Kapoor, OD, MS [link] 



Susceptibility to pattern glare following stroke. Journal of Neurology 2012 September;   259 (9) : 1832–1839 = Ian G. Beasley and Leon N. Daview [Link]   


Tourette Syndrome 


The Beneficial Effects of Coloured Overlays in Children with Tourette Syndrome. Dr. Amanda Ludlow (Senior Lecturer Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Initial study [link]for pdf,  


An Investigation into the beneficial effects of coloured overlays in children with Tourette Syndrome - Dr. Amanda Ludlow (Senior Lecturer Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Current study [link]


Visually Induced Motion Sickness 


Visual stress, its treatment with spectral filters, and its relationship to visually induced motion sickness. Applied Ergonomics, in press 2012. Arnold J Wilkins, Bruce J.W. Evans. [link]