Part of
Visual stress resource centre Reading with visual stress

Ex deputy head Rik Ludlow, who is a dyslexia specialist and part of the technical support team at White Space Ltd (publishers of Wordshark and Numbershark) was using the Visual Stress Assessment pack with a 14 tr old student, and was so stunned at the results that he sent them on to us. What follows is his report and comments, in his own words.


"Results may be skewed, and I for one will treat with some caution:

a)      The tests used are different, so results are not directly comparable. Like any such tests, results are subject to confidence level limits.

b)      Last year, she was tested by a stranger, a psychologist for Dyslexia Action, not known to her, and she "felt worried about the testing" and "there was a lot of it". Stress and overload may have reduced performance in the testing.

c)       This year, she was tested by me - she knows me and is at ease, and tests were carried out in smaller duration sessions over several days. This may have maximised performance. However, she was suffering from a virus, so not eating or sleeping as well as usual and was feeling "a bit under the weather". This may well have depressed performance.

I carried out my testing as a part of my CCET and AMBDA course work, and until these are completed I am not officially recognised as a proper person to carry out the some of the assessments. However, the main tests were "open", for use by qualified teachers - which I am - and these are the only ones I have quoted below. They are very much in line with the "closed" assessment results.


Last year, August 2010: Chronological Age 14:02: Report by registered psychologist:


Single word reading: 4th %ile, SS=74

Reading Comprehension: 18th %ile SS=86

Single word spelling: 9th %ile SS=80

Reading Speed: 3rd %ile  SS=72

TOWRE: 5th %ile


August 2010:  Diagnosed formally with visual stress/scotopic sensitivity, using Aqua overlays for all reading from then on, including the tests below.


August 2011: Chronological Age 15:02

Diagnostic Reading Analysis (Crumpler & McCarty): Standardised score 119, 90th %ile, RA 16.05, fluency/reading rate 81 wpm = "Average" approx 48th %ile

Vernon Graded Word Spelling Test:, Standardised score 99, 49th %ile, Spelling age 15:1

Given the very late "starting to read", her vocabulary is still remarkably limited: This heavily influenced her score on the Vernon-Warden Reading Test: Standardised score 88, 20th ile."