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Irlen Syndrome

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provisions there are for services for children and adults diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome to be provided on the NHS; (143515)

(2) what funding her Department provides for the provision of glasses for people who require glasses as a result of Irlen Syndrome.

The national health service provides optical vouchers for children and other eligible groups who, following a sight test, have been given a prescription to correct a defect in sight. Optical vouchers can be used to purchase glasses or contact lenses. Parents of children with reading difficulties are encouraged to have an NHS-funded sight test to check that there are no refractive problems or eye disease which may be contributing to the difficulties.

If, after a sight test (and glasses if necessary), difficulties are still being experienced then a wider assessment is called for. The best interests of children are likely to be served by a scheme of assessment and treatment, which takes into account the full range of possible ways of helping children with the symptoms associated with descriptions of Irlen syndrome. This is something that local education and health authorities should take forward in view of their responsibilities for services in their areas.