Product review The Smart Chute

Smart ChuteThe Smart Chute is a fun way to support literacy and numeracy skills by ‘posting’ a card into the chute for it to come out at the other end with the answer.Cards include initial blend,finals blends, vowel digraph , addition and subtraction, times tables. It engages the child well but can be tricky to remember which way the chute slots into its tray. The literacy cards contain a picture to match the part word with missing phoneme, thus encouraging different areas of processing.
We use it frequently to support word and meaning as well as specific phonemes.

Visual Stress and Dyslexia

What is Visual Stress?

Visual Stress is also known as Meares-Irlen, named after the two researchers who first discovered the connection between white page “glare” and reading difficulties in the early 1980s. It is also called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, although scientifically it has now been shown that this is not a very accurate term, as it refers to an area of the visual system that is not actually affected by the condition. Visual stress is the name most commonly used in the U.K

There is as yet no proven scientific explanation for Visual Stress although many experts agree that the problem is visual-perceptual in nature, most probably originating in the visual cortex of the brain, arising from a deficiency in one of the visual pathways. Because it is perceptual, rather than visual in nature, it is not corrected by prescription glasses, and it cannot be detected by standard visual, educational or medical tests.

How do you know if you have Visual Stress?

Symptoms of Visual Stress vary , but can include headaches and migraines (especially when working at the computer), eyestrain, and words or letters appearing to “jump” or move on the page. People who have Visual Stress see the page differently because of distortions of the print or white background.

In general, somebody with Visual Stress may
•Experience difficulty looking at a computer screen
•Be unusually sensitive to bright lights, especially flourescent lighting.
•Have difficulty judging heights or distances, which sometimes causes problems with stairs and/or escalators.
•Find driving at night particularly stressful, sometimes experiencing a fragmentation of reflected light.
•Develop headaches and migraines when reading.

Some, or all, or the following can be noted while reading. Sufferers may:
•Fatigue quickly when working with text
•Experience problems copying from the board
•Skip words or lines when reading
•Seem to experience increased difficulty after an initial period of about 10 minutes
•Keep moving their head or body position, or moving closer to or further away from the page
•Read slowly and haltingly and have difficulty absorbing information
•Track with the finger
•Yawn while reading.
•Frequently rub their eyes

Visual Stress typically causes the following distortions of print, although not all of the following will necessarily be experienced by one person:
•The print appears to jump or otherwise move on the page – sometimes appearing to move off the page altogether.
•Swirling effects appear in the text.
•Whole lines of text may appear to move.
•Shimmering colours may appear on the page.
•White “rivers” may seem to run down the page, where the white background, as opposed to the black text, has become the dominant image perceived.
•Letters may double, reverse, fade or blur. Basically the image of the letters and words is unstable against the white background, and this instability can be experienced in a number of ways.

Does Visual Stress go away?

Generally, no; although there are cases reported where the contrary has been the case. Sensitivity does seem to change though, especially in a changed response to coloured filters. Somebody who has found a particular colour most beneficial may find that this preference changes and a different tint will be more helpful.

What can be done?

People with Visual Stress can read with much greater ease if they cover a print with a specially treated coloured overlay. Irlen Screening can help to identify which colour is most beneficial. supply convenient and the larger A4 size Coloured Overlays in colours that have been carefully selected to cover the full spectrum in different combinations.

For thorough screening of individual colour preferences. For any optical difficulties, it is important that an optometrist is also consulted to ensure that there are no underlying medical or ophthalmic conditions. Some optometrists prescribe coloured lenses, and have specialist equipment to test for colour preference. It is often found that lenses of a different colour from the overlays are needed. A list of specialist optometrists and Irlen centres can be found here.

.for Irlen Screening contact us at LTS Learning Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth 07967 223181 email

for Irlen lenses contact Central Irlen England -Gloucester

EXAM FEVER OR HAY FEVER? Try our mock exam solutions

Hay fever season may be on us , but it’s time to knuckle down to some serious 11+ revision if you are thinking of entering your child for 2018entry.

Booking now  for next year means that your child will be professionally tutored, and well prepared, both in subject and technique- many of the grammar schools are oversubscribed so it is vital that you book early enough.

As a special offer We are giving one free  lesson and a free 11+ assessment  with this code.  EP LTS 2

Now is the time to book  as places fill up quickly.



The end of a simile-As useful as a chocolate teapot

Is this the end for the chocolate teapot that has no use?

A dearly loved phrase or idiom that conjures up the perfect analogy – used correctly it gives a wonderful visual picture  of a melting teapot!

More importantly for dyslexics it gives the right brain visual cortex time to process the phrase through its association with the visual imagery.

Now a company has come up with a real chocolate teapot that can take hot water to make  a hot chocolate or fondue. The life size pot is handmade from 58 percent dark chocolate and can actually ( they quote) be broken up and eaten afterwards. Says a spokesman:

“It’s more useful than an ashtray on a motorbike,a waterproof teabag, or a glass hammer”(ref: Daily Express)

We think more of these visual imagery analogies could be used as a teaching aid. They  are both useful and entertaining and students could design or draw the images they conjure as well as integrate them into conversation or written work.


Event for Dyslexia support

We are holding a training event for teaching assistants parents carers and adults who struggle with reading


The event focuses on the understanding of dyslexia and related conditions,the importance of correct diagnosis, initial training on what multi sensory approaches mean and demonstrating two new support packages from Dyslexia Action

Event date:    Monday April 4th session one 12-2 pm, session two 4.30 -6.30 pm


Fee : £40

Please email:   Or telephone :07967 223181

to book your place.



Dyslexia Action support Pack

A new support pack with parents in mind parents has been developed by Dyslexia takes in account extensive research evidence about the best way to support children who struggle from the beginning to ‘catch on’ with reading.

The pack offers a balanced approach to learning to read.

early skills training-a series of structured exercises to establish sound to letter links and sound blending.

Reading activities  for practising and extending reading skills using books from home and school.

The pack comes with a 52 page booklet containing a series of carefully prepared timed exercises and activities together with guidance for parents and carers.

This pack can also be used with adults.the pack costs £40 + vat.

Lts learning will offer a free session of  training with every purchase from us.


Making Sense of dyslexia

Each year Dyslexia Awareness week aims to raise awareness about Dyslexia..Dyslexia Action the national organisation that’s helps and trains those involved with dyslexia  believes that for all that has been achieved, more can be done for those to receive the best possible support whether in school or at work.

This year Dyslexia Awareness Week  will take place from 5/9-11/9 in England Wales and Northern  Ireland and 2-8/11 in Scotland. Throughout each week they will be sharing information and encouraging people to get involved in various ways. Here at LTSLEARNING SOLUTIONS we will be appearing on Bridge Radio Stourbridge on 11th October to talk about DA week.The theme is how music helps with Dyslexia. If you have a question to ask Jenni on the day please send it to us at More information from Extract with thanks to Dyslexia Action .

Reiki And kinesiology can help with Autism

Reiki is an holistic therapy which encourages the body to heal itself emotionally.There is growing anecdotal evidence from our clients and other bodies that it has a particular caliming effect on the nervous and limbic system encourages better sleep patterns

Our qualified Reiki therapist has reported that our autistic students really enjoy the sessions and are able to concentrate better  during their learning sessions.

Please get in touch if you would like to trial this approach.

Free books

Bookshare is an online library of Ebooks and educational materials adapted for people with print disabilities including dyslexia.
The library includes more than 200,000 textbooks best sellers and children’s books.
Until end of December 2015 anyone who has a formal diagnostic assessment of dyslexia can apply through Dyslexia Action for a free one year subscription to book share.

To find out more visit

New eleven plus papers

if your child is in year 5 now is the time to enrol for eleven plus coaching. Subjects that needed to be studied are Mathematics ,English comprehension,language and writing skills, verbal and non verbal reasoning.
Book now for your FREE. Assessment.
The new changes in examination style papers are reflected in the following