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Spectacles: Irlen Syndrome

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to provide the spectacles required by (a) children and (b) those on low incomes who have Irlen syndrome at no cost to the recipient. (318663)

Optical vouchers to help with the purchase of glasses or contact lenses with a prescription power are available to children and to those on low incomes or in receipt of benefits.

Where a child experiences symptoms associated with descriptions of Meares Irlen syndrome the child’s parents or carer should discuss the problem with the school and consult an optometrist to ensure that they do not overlook the possibility of refractive error or eye disease underlying the difficulty. If, after a sight test (and supply of glasses if necessary), a child is still experiencing difficulties then a wider assessment is called for.

The best interests of children are likely to be served by a scheme of assessment and treatment, provided in agreement between local health and education services, which takes into account the full range of possible ways of helping children with the symptoms associated with descriptions of Irlen syndrome.