Do you have a child who has trouble with reading fluency, reading choppily? Or does he rub his eyes when he reads, or tires easily? Your child could be struggling with a mild "Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome." This is almost always the case in a student with Dyslexia (2 years behind in reading, and usuallly reverses words or letters when reading). However, this "light sensitivity," which is how we describe Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome is often also affecting students who do not have Dyslexia, but are reading on grade level, but without fluency or desire to read more than just the bare minimum. What is going on? When we read, we automatically look at the black and white words, while easily ignoring the white background paper. For struggling readers, this process is not automatic. For them, the white background of the paper is so distracting or reflective (like reading in the sun), that they cannot easily see the black and white words without exerting great effort. For these students, putting a Blue or Green colored (specially prepared...not Office Depot) reading transparency on the reading page causes them to see the printed words without having to exert such an effort. It basically, "evens the playing field" for them, making the background almost as dark as the printed letters. The result is that they find that they can read much smoother, and much longer with ease, and comprehend what they are reading more easily because they can concentrate on converting the words to pictures in their head, instead of concentrating on reading the words.
I love to use Colored Reading Transparencies with my struggling readers, from first grade through college. It gives them instant feedback that the lack of reading fluency is not their fault, but their eyes not giving them the right feedback. They get excited right away. My experience is, that even though there are many colors that can be used, the far majority (95%) of the students of all ages I have worked with over the past 25 years, do best with either the Blue or Green reading transparency.
I call it a nice "crutch", meaning that it helps make the reading process easy right away, but does not "fix" the problem. So what do I do to "fix" this problem? I do 2 steps: 1) Brain Integration Therapy (daily 1 minute eye exercise and once a week Visual Processing Brain Training); 2) Feed the "rods" in the retina of the eye the DHA that it needs to be able to handle this light and dark adaptation easily. By doing this Brain Training method of transferring the eye convergence, binocularity, eye teaming to the student's Automatic Brain Hemisphere, and by giving the protocol amount of DHA (from fish oil...a minimum of 500 mgs/day), I found that after about 6-8 months my students no longer needed the colored transparencies because now their eye knew how to track easily, and handle the light/dark desparity on the page.