How can colour help?

 The existence of Visual Stress in children can be identified using the appropriate diagnostic testing procedures.

Designed by Professor Arnold Wilkins - head of Visual Perception at the University of Essex - the tests include the application of coloured plastic overlays. The test can be used by teachers in the classroom or by vision specialists in community practice. Precision tinted lenses, to alleviate the visual perceptual problems associated with Visual Stress, may also be prescribed where appropriate. This procedure is usually carried out as a second stage of the process by vision practitioners trained in the use of the Intuitive Colorimeter.

The Intuitive Colorimeter, designed by Arnold Wilkins for the Medical Research Council in the early 1990s, allows for the optimum coloured lens to be identified and then made up into glasses. The Intuitive Colorimeter is now used in clinics by hundreds of optometrists, opticians and orthoptists and by many universities, in the UK and world-wide.

The Medical Research Council acquired a world-wide patent for the Intuitive Colorimeter and awarded the license to distribute the instrument to Cerium Visual Technologies of Tenterden, Kent. Cerium also produce the precision tinted lenses in their special purpose laboratory.

Since the launch of the Intuitive Colorimeter in the early 1990's , Cerium have produced over 150,000 pairs of precision tinted lenses prescribed by vision practitioners throughout the UK and world-wide.

Experts urge "the need for people suspected of suffering from Visual Stress, to be tested by qualified vision practitioners who specialise in vision and learning. Whilst coloured lenses are not a miracle cure for dyslexia, prescribed appropriately, they will help many children, even those who still need specialist teaching".

To achieve the optimum results, it is important that the selected coloured overlay is not replicated as lenses, particularly without the input of a trained colorimeter practitioner. Research has established that it is very unlikely that the ultimate optimum lenses will be that of the chosen overlay.

It is essential that the lenses are individually prescribed. The colour requirements differ significantly between individuals. Any deviation from the optimum colour, in some cases by only a degree, may prevent achievement of the optimum improvements in both reading speed and accuracy.