A Progressive Conservative MLA has fallen short in her bid to make Alberta the first province to mandate childhood screening for a little-known visual-processing disorder doubted by much of the medical community.
Mary Anne Jablonski said Thursday she plans to keep fighting even though her controversial private member’s bill, the Irlen Syndrome Testing Act, was rejected by an MLA committee researching the issue.
Irlen Syndrome is described as a neurological problem in which the brain’s capacity to make sense of visual information is corrupted by an inability to properly process the light spectrum. The condition is most often noticed through difficulty in reading and is treated by wearing custom-made coloured lenses formulated by the Irlen Institute in California.
And, right there, red flags go up. They are selling something. The Irlen Institute claims that the condition is widespread but the medical community calls BS. Even optometrists are not convinced the condition even exists. There is no reason to propose screenings in school that physicians don’t even recognize as genuine. When the medical community as a whole recommends it, then it’s appropriate. It’s a relief this was not approved. No pseudoscience in schools.
Tip: Scott Gavura