Lions Club works to improve reading skills for students with Irlen Syndrome

Lions Club works to improve reading skills for students with Irlen Syndrome

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - For children struggling with reading, a special set of lenses could make all the difference. It has been life-changing for Amara Lowery who has Irlen Syndrome.

Irlen Syndrome is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information due to light that comes into the eye. The Irlen Institute reports that around 50 percent of children and adults with reading, learning or attention problems have Irlen Syndrome.

Amara's mother says her daughter suffered from headaches and was behind grade level in reading. Then, she found special colored lenses that changed everything. The Prattville Lions Club presented Amara with her new lenses. The Lions Club took on the service project after Irlen screener Kelley Matheny contacted them.

"Not many people know about [Irlen Syndrome]. It has been around since the 80s. My husband and two children also had Irlen syndrome as well,” Matheny said.

Matheny says the lenses aren't cheap. They cost around $600.

She reached out to the Prattville Lions Club to provide financial support to children who need the lenses.

“I specifically targeted the Lions Club because their community service focuses on sight, although this is not a specific condition of the eye. They provide glasses for children and adults across the state. This was a natural fit for them," Matheny said.

The screening costs around $125. It takes about an hour to complete.

The results for Amara have been priceless.

“In a matter of probably the first two weeks her headaches were gone, stomach aches were gone,” Amara’s mother said.

If you think you may suffer from the syndrome, head to or call (334) 300-4511 for information about how to take part in a pre-screen and where to go for an official screening.

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