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Results in - published paper. Beneficial effects of coloured overlays in children with TS

Posted on 16 August 2016

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Researchers based at University of Birmingham and the University of Essex found beneficial effects in reading when children with Tourette Syndrome used coloured overlays.

Results in - published paper

Researchers based at the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham and the University of Essex found beneficial effects in reading when children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) used coloured overlays (sheets of coloured plastic designed to be placed over text when reading). Placing a coloured overlay on top of a page whilst reading has proven beneficial in reducing the symptoms of ‘visual stress’ (such as distortions in text and eye strain) and increased reading speed.

Dr Amanda Ludlow and Professor Arnold Wilkins found over 90 per cent of children with TS in their study read more than 5 per cent faster with a coloured overlay. This is a higher proportion than the 80 per cent that has been found within the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) literature. We should be restrained about the results as it was a small group of 12 children who participated in this research and caution is necessary in generalizing the results to other children with both an ASD and a TS diagnosis. In some cases the improvement with the overlay was particularly striking with children with TS reading up to 56 per cent faster with an overlay than without. However given the proportion of children from the TS group found to read faster with an overlay, the results of this study offers an exciting avenue to explore in terms of helping children with TS and their reading.

Read the full report from the researchers.

The published paper: The published paper is now available: Ludlow, A. K., & Wilkins, A. J. (2016). Atypical Sensory behaviours in children with Tourette’s Syndrome and in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 56, 108-116.

 

For more details on Tourettes Action research projects, please contact Suzanne Dobson


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