Susan Hughes MA Certified Irlen diagnostician and director of Irlen Visions, was a teacher for many years. She taught in England, Costa Rica and Santa Barbara, and then in Chico Unified School District for 23 years.
She became a screener for Irlen syndrome in 1988 after three of her children tested positive for Irlen Syndrome and benefited from glasses with spectral filters.
She was told her 14 year old son was lazy and poorly motivated. After wearing the Spectral Filters for six months he was moved into the gifted program. At age 24 he received an honors degree in Engineering from Northeastern University in Massachusetts, and at age 28 his Masters in engineering , all wearing his glasses.
Her oldest daughter was a special education student . She received the Spectral Filters while struggling in college, and went on to complete her degree in social work with a 3.5 GPA. She has been a successful social worker for Children's Services for many years.
Susan screened students and adults in the Chico area for many years . During the last two years of her teaching she was released for a half day a week to screen students in her school. By the end of the two years there were 90 students in the school using the overlays and more than 15 wearing the Spectral Filters, including a few parents.
Susan became an Irlen trained diagnostician in 1999 after retiring from teaching. She tests clients for overlays and Spectral Filters, rechecks clients, and trains many professionals to be screeners .
As well as Irlen Visions in Chico, Susan used to travel to Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii . Now there are good diagnosticians practicing in those area .
She still travels occasionally around N California if there are 4 or more clients. She has worked with clients who have reading problems, light sensitivity, headaches and migraines ,depth problems, ADD/HD and brain injuries. She finds it also benefits students who can read well but hate to read, are off task and distractible , or are not working to potential.
In recent years she has found Irlen spectral filters have benefited clients with Asperger's Syndrome, autism, dyslexia, headaches and migraines, anxiety and depression, head injuries, low vision, light induced epilipsy, and other medical conditions with perceptual disorders.
She works with schools, colleges, and adult literacy groups. For several years she worked with at-risk youth in Juvenile services and people in addiction recovery.
Several years ago she did some research of her own at a small local charter school called Wildflower Open Classroom.
She first tested 50 students with the GORT tests for speed, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. 18 were found to need overlays. Before using the overlays the students not needing the overlays were an average of 2 grade levels ahead of these students. After 3 months using the overlays most of these students had moved up to be equal or even ahead, and had increased by two grade levels in at least 2 areas.
The students not needing the overlays had gained the expected 3 months. Also 3 students with headaches and migraines had much relief.