A significant number of children are labelled with behavioural problems without the underlying causes of their behaviour being investigated. If students cannot concentrate, are restless and fidgety, have difficulty starting and completing work, they are often labelled lazy and unmotivated. However, it may be the classroom environment that is the real cause of their behaviour.
Students are expected to sit in classrooms for several hours a day. The classrooms are often lit with fluorescent lights which can affect concentration and attention and cause stress, eyestrain and headaches. Students are also affected by the glare from interactive white boards, shiny desks, white paper when reading and writing, and from computer screens. This constant experience of glare and brightness makes it difficult for them to concentrate and relax. It may lead to avoidance of work, acting out or drawing attention to themselves in negative ways. Sometimes they will do whatever they need to avoid work.
These types of behaviour are noticed by teachers and parents but the reasons behind these changes in behaviour and mood often go unidentified. Children are not necessarily aware of the causes and thus do not tell people how they are feeling. Adults are able to make changes in their working environment to make life more comfortable but children to not have the choice.
Irlen Centres worldwide provide Irlen Filters which give comfort and relief from the impact of environmental stress caused by fluorescent lighting, glare from computer screens and interactive white boards. Parents and teachers report that children then start to achieve and become more confident once the problems are resolved and they realise they are not stupid or lazy. Adults report that they can concentrate longer on tasks, complete more work and have more energy.